I guess I just wasn’t ready for ere city that is Edinburgh Scotland. I absolutely loved everything about it to the point where I found a local art shop and purchased a replica painting from a local artist who does Edinburgh city scapes so I’d have it in my house someday.
I arrived in Edinburgh in the late afternoon with the dying sun at my back and my 2 bags strapped on. It was not too far of a walk from the bus station to my hostel but it let me see just a small glimpse of the city I would come to fall for over the next few days. The cobbled streets, the intricately designed gothic buildings, the Scottish flag strung about even though Scotland is technically still part of the United Kingdom.
The special something I had been searching for in Dublin hit me full on in Edinburgh.
Even though the hostel I chose to stay in because of the lower pricing and last minute availability was the least favorite of all the places I had stayed in before this, the city brought well made up for it.
After dropping my things off, it was pretty dark to see much of the city so I walked down the street and found a place to have dinner, hopped on over to the royal mile just for a look at all the fun, and then decided to sleep off the long arduous travel of the day before and wake up early to gallivant through the city.
The royal mile in the morning was another thing all together. It was bustling with activity even in the early morning light. I stopped at a cafe for a macciato and then happened through some of the shops while waiting for the free walking tour to start at around 10am.
Everyone who has been to Edinburgh knows that the royal mile is for the most part a pedestrians only street, and I love this because some of the most historic places are situated right here amongst all of the pubs, restaurants, and cafe’s. Meaning that you are just able to walk about and explore everything and take it in as you go up the road.
Seeming as I finished a class on the Financial Crisis in Asia, I had to stop by and get a picture with Adam Smith. One of the draws of Scotland for me, is how many people of history have ties to some of the places in the city. They even have a pub crawl you can go on to learn about it.
Laura, a very close friend of mine started telling me about Scotland while we were on our road trip to the National Parks. She had done a study abroad semester in college in Edinburgh and lived out of a hostel. Oh must fun that had been! She told me about her favorite spots in the city specifically Arthur’s Seat. I might not have realized exactly what that was had I not heard about it from her. So, the next morning, as soon as I had breakfast I was off to climb Arthur’s seat for views of the city.
I mean, what an interesting and amazing mountain to have right next to Edinburgh.
Where people are free to have a picnic and do frolic in the meadow. Most weather forecast predictions for October and November in the UK and Ireland say overcast skies, dreary, rain, blah. I mean I really lucked out because I barely saw bad weather during my trip. Look how gorgeous and blue the skies were the day that I climbed up to the top of Arthur’s seat.
From the top you can spot everything. I was not very good with placement of the city, but it was easy to spy old century turrets, medieval looking establishments, and the royal mile. There were many people out climbing and I just kind of happily chatted for a few minutes with different groups of people then moved on my way.
There of course is a castle in Edinburgh, which I took a few snaps of down in a park at the bottom. I walked around the city the entire day. Probably miles. I went everywhere they seemed interesting. Stopped for some coffee and wifi hear and there, walked by the University, found many pubs to dip in and out of.
My friend Morgan sent me a message about the haggis and so I obliged and had it for dinner that night. I remember it fondly from our Robert Burns Celebration we did in Italy with the British military. It was quite delicious. After dinner and a few extra pints (I was on foot mind you), I went to this bar that quite possibly is on elf my favorites and I don’t even know the name! It’s on one of the side streets closer to my hostel in the city but it was full of books, warm lighting, tufted chairs, and great scotch whiskey. How can you go wrong.
After a drink at the bar, I stepped outside to smoke a cigar I had bought earlier at a cigar shop on the same side of the bridge as the royal mile. It was raining but there was about half an overhang, enough to keep my cigar dry so I didn’t mind.
While I was sitting out there 2 girls from Lithuania came out for a chat and invited me to their table and then another girl came who was there with a group of friends and invited me to her table. I am telling you, even when you travel alone you don’t ever have to be alone. I went back in with the latter girl and talked with her and her friends until the bar closed. We had some great conversations and they told me about the farmer’s market that happens near the castle on the weekends. After we went our separate ways but I decided I might stop by the market in the morning.
What! A statue of Wojtek the bear in Edinburgh. Interesting, especially since he was in the Polish Army during WWII. Just one more reason to love this city!
Green lipstick! Just walking about, enjoying fall, and listening to the inner whisperings of my inner child. Of course I brought green lipstick on the road just in case.
I decided to do the free walking tour in Edinburgh. Until Edinburgh my favorite has been the Budapest Hungary free walking tour and I’ve done quite a few throughout Europe since 2014. The guide was just really captivating, vulgar and funny. There is much to learn about even on the royal mile and if you have the change, the free walking tour is pretty informative and I highly recommend it especially if you get the same guide.
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When this guy showed up this morning he said, "Do you know what a hangover is? Right well that's why I'm late because I have a massive fucking hangover. Oh, and if you don't like swearing get the fuck over it because there is a lot of swearing on this tour." Pretty much the best free waking tour I've ever been on. He just trumped the communist free walking tour in Budapest, which has held the top spot for me since 2015. Even Dublin couldn't compete. This guy was epic, and was throwing some serious shade at Robert Burns in this segment. loved it! #travel #scotland #unitedkingdom #edinbourgh #freewalkingtour #winnersofar #hilarious #iwanttodrinkwiththisguy
Right outside of Greyfriar’s is this statue of the dog that is said to have guarded his owner’s grave for 14 years after he passed away in the late 1800’s. I love dog’s so much! Here is the story of Bobby if you’d like to know more.
After lunch and some light shopping, I tricked over to Grey friar’s cemetery to see the old graves in stark contrast to the city, and of course to see the grave that inspired none other than Tom Riddle. I visited the cemetery about a week before Halloween and it only seemed right to save a Tom Riddle post for Halloween in the Faroe Islands.
What a great way to get inspiration for a book, by using the names on tombstones.
Then I decided on an organic vegan dinner, which was delicious. No complaints about any of the food in Edinburgh I loved everything.
Found this sign right outside a restaurant and loved it! Especially because I love fall so much.
After 2 full nights of gallivanting and one night out with hostel friends and American’s I met studying abroad from Syracuse, I was spending my last day in Edinburgh before heading to the airport and flying to the Faroe Islands. I woke up in the morning and decided to walk down the road for brunch. While waiting for a table, 4 girls invited me to join them, who are all still in uni and we had an amazing brunch with even more insightful conversation.
Next up I cannot wait to tell you about a place that was giving me unannounced adrenaline rushes and had me shaking from the moment I woke up till I went to bed. More on that very soon!
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.
P.S. I haven’t properly introduced you, but while I’ve been off gallavatning, my quite amazing neighbors and a guy I went to NPS with, have been watching my dove Nix. Just after I arrived in Edinburgh Scotland, they sent me a picture of her and I really really loved receiving it! I love to travel very much, but I did miss this sweet bird and was very happy to be reunited with her when I got home.