My first big overseas semi-solo trip and I started off by touching down in in Edinburgh town. What a way to start and make sure this little Aussie gal knew she wasn’t in Kansas (Melbourne) anymore but had been flown to the other side of the world in a time machine all the way to Emerald City (Scotland). Ok enough with the Wizard of Oz references. But truly - how else do you describe the surrealness of all of a sudden being on the other side of planet Earth. IT’S WEIRD.
I was lucky enough to arrive in the arms of my wonderful host. Nothing like getting picked up from the airport after a 22 hour transit. I met Amy when she had been travelling in Australia from Scotland. Best move ever. Having someone to show you around a foreign place is the BEST. It sounds obvious but it is so easy to get swept up into so many touristy things and you can leave the place feeling like you’re not even sure if you saw the ‘real’ thing. Yes - there are some things which you need to do so you can put ticks next to BUT for me the best things were all the secret local hangs. If you know someone somewhere you have never been, even if it’s somewhere you don’t necessarily want to go… GO.
Before heading to the centre of Edinburgh I spent 2 nights at the most beautiful, small and quaint seaside town called North Berwick. Amy’s Mum has a beautiful home right on the water front so we got to stay there. Shout out to Jane! It really is a little old fashioned village. The type of place that has one news agent, one post office and one hair dresser… maybe a slight exaggeration but everyone knows each other, it’s really homely. If you get there definitely visit Tantallon Castle (built in the 1400’s.. wohh), climb to the top of the Law (an amazing lookout) and have fish and chips from the lobster shack at the little harbour. Scots know how to fry.
Once I got to Edinburgh I had a fair bit of solo time as Amy was back at work (someone had to). It was so good having no idea what the time was and just wondering around with my camera having way too many food and coffee stops. You understand why Harry Potter is the way it is when you are there, I felt like I was on set. The houses are all the same stone! They are mostly all heritage listed and are stunning collectively. Edinburgh was the one place where I did the whole touristy hop on hop off tour bus. Yes I was surrounded but 60+ but I liked it. Pick a sunny day for a roofless bus ride and you get too see so much more of the city.
If I could suggest one thing - try not to spend too much time at the Royal Mile (Which is the main street in the old town). So so touristy and you will spend double the money there on any food and drinks. That includes The Grass Market area. Although SO awesome to wander around you’ll be dropping way too many pounds. Definitely climb Arthurs Seat for an awesome hike and view, go underground to Panda & Son’s for a delicious cocktail, go to the Queen’s Arm’s for a pint and check out Stockbridge Sunday markets and buy yourself a jar of the pesto there - it got recommended to me and I will never regret it. I do wish I went to a Ceili (a traditional Irish/Scottish dance party) they sound so fun.. especially for an out of towner! Guess i’ll have to go back. MK x