Yes, I know the city is spelled Edinburgh but that doesn’t help us Americans pronounce it right so please say it with me – ED IN BURR UH. Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you a little about my favorite city in the whole entire world.
I always get a little nervous before traveling, especially if I’m by myself, but going to Edinburgh was the most excited I’ve been for a trip since I came to Spain. It is everything you would think an old english town would be, but a city. There are old Peter Pan style houses with their cute little chimneys and there are brick cottages everywhere with parks and statues scattered around as well. It’s just such a heavenly place! After I checked into High Street Hostel, I walked up and down the royal mile a couple of times, then took a stroll and a look around the university. How I wish I would have studied in Edinburgh instead of California… After, I got a pot of tea at The Elephant House, which is better known as the birth place of Harry Potter. Yes indeed this cute cafe was where our beloved J.K. Rowling created our childhood. I met an older man who sat with me and we talked about both San Francisco and Edinburgh and how we loved both cities equally. He is a cellist and is taking art classes, which we had in common, so we briefly touched on the architecture in Edinburgh before he had to catch a train. I wandered around and found my way to new town, then got dinner at The Baked Potato, which was the only baked potato I’ve ever really loved. I went on a pub crawl with the hostel that night, which took us to 4 different and incredibly fun bars and helped me meet some amazing people, then we went to a club that had been built into the foundation of the surrounding buildings.
The next morning, I met up with my parents (oh ya my parents heard my travel plans and thought it sounded fun, so they decided to join me), and we wandered through the national gallery. The Edinburgh national gallery has pieces by Monet and Van Gogh, and even the most famous of a Spanish painter, El Greco. We hiked up Calton Hill and climbed Edinburgh’s version of the Parthenon and admired the view of the city, then got an amazing dinner at Maison Bleue before hitting the Scottish pubs. One of Scotland’s greatest aspects is its beer and if you can find Innis & Gunn on tap, you know you’ve found a good spot. Also, if you are ever in Edinburgh, go to Sandy Bells pub for an amazing night. It’s on George IV bridge. Thank me later. ALSO we ate haggis! We actually ate a lot of haggis for breakfast and dinner every day, but for the record it’s surprisingly good.
On Saturday, we saw the castle which had a lot of history from Mary Queen of Scots, and then saw the national museum which took all day since they were so huge. We then found Tom Riddle’s grave at Gray Friars – and I do mean the dark lord voldemot’s – and after dinner we went on a ghost tour through the tunnels under the city. TOURIST TIP: go on the ghost tour! Or any underground tour at that but it is so cool to see the tunnels! Some are off limits because the plague is still alive in the deepest parts. Sunday, our last day in Scotland *tears* we took a 10 hour bus tour of the highlands. You know the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Well the castles featured in it were actually all just one castle from four different angles, Doune Castle to be exact, which we visited first. We saw a few other amazing Lochs and castles and even stopped at Rest and Be Thankful before heading back to Edinburgh to watch the sunset at golden hour from Calton Hill.
The short four days were not enough but I can easily say that Edinburgh and Scotland in general are in my top five favorite places in the world. I guess it helps that we’re Scottish and Stewarts – the royal clan of Scotland. And yes, we are technically royalty if you trace back the family tree far enough. Cheers Edinburgh, until next time!
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!