A Weekend in Edinburgh

Everything people say or you have read about Scotland is true. The people love whiskey. LOVE whiskey. Some of the friendliest people I’ve encountered. The accents are thicker than the whiskey they love so much. The streets take you back in time to a different era liked with abbeys and cobblestone streets. The fields are green and filled with sheep and hairy cows.

But Scotland is so much more. A weekend to fall in love with the quaint city of Edinburgh that will make you buy a return ticket before you leave. Truth be told, a weekend in Edinburgh is not even enough time to experience the medieval personality of this feisty town. But if you only have three days you might as well make the most of them.

Day One:

Once you land in the Edinburgh airport walk straight outside and look to the right. You’ll see a huge double-decker blue bus. That bus; the AirLink 100, will take you directly to the city center (the very last stop). It only costs £4.50 for a one-way adult ticket and the journey lasts about 40 minutes. Check into the hostel. Go eat. Sleep.

Day Two:

A day of exploring. Most cities I’ve ventured to I always try to find the free walking tours. Why? One) because it’s free and well, I’m frugal and who doesn’t love free knowledge. Two) because it is a great way to hit up all the must-see recommended spots.
We did the Kick-Ass Hostel free walking tour. Starting at the hostel and making your way around the town stopping from the graveyard to a hill with delicious brownies. It’s only an hour and a half which can be a good or a bad thing. Good: because you have the rest of your day to explore on your own. Bad: because it is super fast and while trying to get a picture you might miss on some historical facts.
After the tour, time for food. The most important part of travel (hell, the most important part of life). Scotland has a few dishes that are known as being traditional Scots meals. Haggis is one of those traditional Scottish dishes you have to try while on Scottish soil. Don’t google it or ask what is in it; have a taste and wash it down with some Scottish beer or cider or whiskey or all of thee above.
After you gobble everything up, time to walk it off: Arthur’s Seat is the perfect chance to burn off all those mashed potatoes and beers. Fairly easy to locate, walking past the Queen’s Scotland home and the Scottish Parliament, you’ll see a cliff looking mini mountain…there it is Arthur’s Seat.

Arthur’s Seat is the main mountain in Edinburgh and formed from Holyrood Rock; described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design.” The highest point of this mountain is Arthur’s Seat, which happens to be an ancient volcano and gives amazing views of the whole city.
The total hike is about three miles and takes about two and a half hours, so plan accordingly especially in the winter months when the sun sets a lot earlier and darkness falls faster than you think.

img_7392img_6886img_7407img_7402img_6875img_7415img_7441   Once night falls the best way to get to know the people and culture of any city is to share a beverage with them; apple juice or whiskey. Whatever makes you happy. Meet some strangers, exchange some laughs and try not to wake up with a hangover.

Day Three:

Woke up with a hangover. Whiskey is best not taken as a shot…lesson learned. 7AM wake up call to head up north to the highlands to search for the infamous Loch Ness Monster. We arranged our tour through Ness Bus Tours, which took us from Edinburgh to Deanston Whiskey Distillery (imagine a whiskey tour with a whiskey hangover…) to Glencoe to Loch Ness to a mini waterfall and finally back to Edinburgh. I’d recommend this tour if and only if you are tight on time. The driver was knowledgeable about the history of Scotland but the drive felt a wee bit like a roller coaster ride and not enough time to conduct a full photoshoot. The times at the location were a tad rushed since it got dark a lot earlier this time of the year. Also, bring cash. And a rain jacket. And good shoes. You can opt to buy a £5 packed lunch (which was quite good) or bring your own snacks.



 After the tour we had the intentions of going out and eating and drinking and embracing our inner Scottish once again. But we settled for delicious gelato at Molly’s Milk Bar and accidentally fell asleep.

Day Four:

Up and at em. Check out today. With a late flight is the perfect chance to spend the morning taking a stroll through the city once more. Morning coffee at the infamous Elephant House, where apparently JK Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter. It’s a tad bit overpriced and not the best coffee in the world but it’s filled to the rim with elephants and the bathroom is graffiti out in dedications to the magic she created.

(When I become a famous writer or novelist or poet or person of words, I’ll pick a random cafe in every city to make note they contributed to my fame. I’ll let you know beforehand winkie winkie).  After being coffee-fueled, we wander back through the streets.
University of Edinburgh/Meadow Park
It’s a fabulous, old school that makes you wish you received your Hogwarts letter already. And the park is green bare and muddy and filled with happy pups chasing seagulls.

Writers Museum
To be honest I am not fully positive why I’ve always wanted to visit this museum. I’m not even a fan of museums. Ask me why another time. But I always wished and hoped that I’d receive some sort of inspiration from the great writers of the past that would beam some combinations of words into me to inspire a novel by yours truly. I can get a little loopy in my daydreams. But if I do bust out a great masterpiece of my time I will say it was from that very spot.
Edinburgh Castle
Obviously. I mean obviously. If you know me in the slightest, you know my lifelong dream and goal of becoming a princess and owning a castle. Therefore every castle I visit is a little piece of architecture inspiration for the one I’m building in my head. And let me tell you, OH GOLLY. ITS GOING BE A BEAUT.
We didn’t go inside for two reasons: one: time; two: money (it costs about £20). To my frugal self, that is a tad steep unless they let me sit on the throne and put the Crown Jewels on. However, the outside is just lovely, and on a good lighting day, the perfect photoshoot.
As time was narrowing down, we headed back to Fiddlers Arms to eat. Then back to the hostel to pack up and write postcards. Which I never end up mailing anyways. Sorry family and friends. They are written and stacked in a HUGE stack on my desk. One day. Maybe.
Same exact/easy way to the airport and all aboard EasyJet; off into the sunset and above the Edinburgh clouds.
Until next time Edinburgh.

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