As the title mentions, we stayed for 3 days in Edinburgh. Little did I realize when booking the portion of the trip that the famous Fringe festival was going on. It messed with our pricing a little bit, so we could really only afford to stay for 3 days there.
After a frightening flight filled with turbulence, we arrived in the UK. George was pretty hungry and excited to be there, what with the almost perfect view of the castle. So we took the airport bus, barely figuring out that we could get off the bus at an earlier stop closer to our hostel. We hopped off and checked into our hostel. We dropped our stuff off and at 12:30am, George had his sights set on food (no surprise as this will be a constant theme), however the only place open at such an hour was the big, glaring yellow arches of Mickey D’s. but food was needed, so he chewed down and we got some great entertainment in some drink girls spilling milkshakes and sodas all over themselves. We went for a stroll, walking up to the Royal Mile before I declared that I was exhausted and needed some sleep.
We stayed in a 16 person dorm at Caledonian Backapckers. After waking up with the construction workers and getting free breakfast (yay!), we took a walk up to the Royal Mile only to find it completely mobbed by other tourists there for the Fringe. The Fringe festival happens every August and USA huge performing arts festival with comedians, actors, street performers and musicians performing in the street or at various venues throughout the city. So, like dopes, we decided to go during the a) busiest time of year and b) most expensive. But in the spirit of traveling, we adapted and made the best of it. So we walked past the crowds and explored other parts of the city including the Art Museum for some great works. We ate a hearty lunch of soup and fish and chips at a small pub on the Royal Mile. Really just a day to get our bearings and scope out a few places.
After seeing plenty of exciting things, we wanted to know a bit about the history of the city, so we went with a free walking tour from Sandeman’s. We had a great guide and since they are free, the guides work on a tip basis. She took us through a ton of local history as well as a cemetery where there were names that J.K. Rowling used as inspiration for the Harry Potter books. That was probably the highlight of the tour for me. They also have a great deal with a pub, so we stopped in for a bite after the tour. We then went back for a bit of relaxation before heading to Marks & Spencer to pick up some dinner and groceries and then took a walk around the nice brownstones of the city. Since Fringe was going on, we decided to not be lame and check out a couple of free comedy acts. The first one was in this tiny room with, I swear, microwave bulbs but the comedians were great. We then headed over to another venue for some more laughs and I don’t think I’ve busted up more than at these people. Definitely worth it since once again, they work on tips. We headed back to get some shut-eye since we were leaving the next day for Inverness.
We grabbed some coffee and pastries in order to make it up the long trek to the castle. I didn’t get to see it the last time I was here, so I was determined to go in and check out the grounds. A little pricey at £16 a person, I still recommend it. We spent almost 3 hours exploring the grounds including getting to see the Scottish royal gems and the Stone of Destiny. It was very foggy and we were the above the city, so it literally felt like we were in a cloud. I loved it. We then descended below the clouds to the Grassmarket area known for lots of shops and restaurants, but we settled on a French creperie truck with great sandwiches. We then grabbed our bags, made the 15 minute walk to the bus station and headed for the Highlands! (Is it just me or do you have a thick Scottish accent in your head every time you hear “Highlands”?)
Just wait for the Highland post!