Edinburgh, haggis is only just the beginning
Trip Start Nov 30, 2012
11Trip End Jan 30, 2013
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It has been quite a while so this entry's probably gonna be quite short haha but all I remember is making an epic train trip from Brussels to London then to Edinburgh, all on Christmas eve! Just like rushing home to our family...the only problem is that we had nothing waiting for us on the other side =P. Arrived late at night in Edinburgh, hungry as hell with a massive hike ahead of us and who would've thunk it...Maccas was closed!!
The next day we left to go on our grand hike...and grand it was! Made sure to scope out some places for food (it was Christmas day after all) and made our epic hike down the Royal Mile towards Arthurs Seat. That I think was when I started to fall in love with the city...just so different to what we had seen before and amazing how uniform everything was! All these dark looking cobblestones, and the towering buildings with their weird patch work of stones all down the Royal Mile. Just fitted so nicely in creating this brooding dark atmosphere...but it was a good kind of brooding, if you can imagine it....like a dark novel ;). Anyways, we went all the way down to the end of the Royal Mile, of course stopping at any tourist shop that was open and we finally found it! The Scottish Parliament!! No just kidding...Holyrood! No no no...the bottom of Arthurs Seat!! haha so begins our long slippery muddy trip up the ancient volcano. The hike could've been better (ie: I could've been fitter haha) but the views! My goodness and the fact that the low winter sun (ie: it was getting really late) may such amazing photos. I'm sure you'll approve. It was windy as hell too and at the top you could almost get blown over, I sure as hell couldn't stand up without support haha but I think we were all very glad we made it.
Hiked our way back down (surprisingly easier) to our scoped out Chinese restaurant and prepared ourselves for an amazing Christmas meal only to find
Next day we made our way to our first walking tour!! And we were late haha so we power walked pretty much only to discover that the tour would be waiting for 15mins anyways for latecomers XD. Ah wells, our tour guide, Kiel was a very cool Aussie doing professional guides for a while now so we were in good hands. Very informative about the places, from the pinning of thieves ears on the mercat cross, to JK Rowling stealing names from a nearby graveyard, to Irn bru outselling coke and the overly descriptive talk on Haggis! Ooooh and learning about the heart of Midlothian and also spitting in it for good luck...serious
Spent the last day in Edinburgh checking out the national scottish museum and I must say it was a lot bigger and detailed that I thought! So much to see, like the science, history, art and natural history museums all jumbled into one. Checked out the Scottish history side and the science technology (Dolly the sheep!!) but that was it and I spent almost 3 hours there! Ah wells definitely worth the visit, surprising amount of innovations from this little country and funny that Edinburgh considered itself the Athens of the north once...apparently that's why they tried to build the Parthenon copy but then they ran out of money =(. BUT we have a lot to thank from the Scottish Enlightenment =). Finished off the day with some more Scottish food...Haggis and fish and chips at the frankenstein bar! Before heading up the Royal Mile to see Edinburgh castle, very nice and imposing but expensive. Was cool we got to hear the canon fire though!
And that was it, took the train back to London that night. But all in all, despite the angry youths that peppered the city here and there, Edinburgh was a really cool place to see. Amazing volcanic sights within a 20 minute walk from the city centre, awesome foods to try out (oooh had my first Whiskey there too! Smokey!), such fantasy inspiring architecture and a rich and bloody history full of wars and fighting!...then engineering innovation! I don't think you can ask for much more in a city right? ;)