After an amazing trip around the Highlands, we finally made our way to Edinburgh. Have we saved the best for last? It remains to be seen
What has surprised me about Scotland so far is that no matter where you are heading, you can be sure not only that there is a good train ride away (and by the way, ScotRail has a fantastic service, now back to regular programming) but that the scenery will blow your mind away.
Besides the fun trying to even pronounce the names of the train stations in Gaelic and taking tons of pictures knowing for sure we will not be able to recognize in which town we took it, the most fascinating piece was the tons of Scottish people we briefly meet, all of them willing to answer our stupid questions (what is that? Are we there yet? LOL), giving us tips and welcoming us with open arms to their country. I want to take a minute here and thank them for that, when people say that the Scottish people is warm and welcoming… well, they have rightfully earned that fame.
So, when one very funny lady pointed us to “after we go through this trees you will see the first glimpse of the Castle” we knew for sure we have arrived.
Quick note to clarify what my state of mind (and body) was when arriving... I have to confess that I broke a toe on my right foot less than 3 weeks before traveling, so everything that implied walking with a slightly risk of a hill (where my foot was not completely flat) was really painful… so… when I realized the layout of the city in the area just surrounding the train station made my heart beat really fast… deep breath .. No small toe will stop me from enjoying Edinburgh (well… most of the time anyways LOL) !!
We were staying at a hotel on the old part of the city, on Cowgate street. So just unpacking and studying the map (yeah, we don’t travel with too much stuff planned ahead… we review the maps, ask people left and right for recommendations once we arrive and off we go!), I noticed – quite loudly – that the Rutheford bar (all 16 years of alcohol fans will know what I am talking about) was only 3 blocks away!!
When we arrived, I sadly found out that the bar has been transformed into a Spanish restaurant. There is nothing sacred in the world!! As much as I love spanish food, I refuse to eat there, especially after peaking through the windows and noticing that the beautiful wood work has been removed. Please, join me in a minute of silence for a beautiful masterpiece that was destroyed in the name of business. And let’s drink a whisky in Frankie Mac’s honor!
Let’s move on to a completely different experience.
Edinburgh Castle: what a place! Not only the placement in the city gives it the powerful presence but how they have taken care of it and how proud the people are of it is breathtaking.
What I like the most was the St. Margaret Chapel. Small little gem worth the visit.
We happen to be in Edinburgh during the EIFF (Edinburgh International Film Festival). And I was really intrigued by a movie starring Ewan McGregor. It is called “Perfect Sense”. So my next task was to try to get tickets for the screening and luckily we got them!
Side note: the movie is interesting, the main concept is what happens when –for unknown reasons- human race starts losing one sense at the time. Both from a city (Glasgow) view, and a couple’s view (a cook –Ewan McGregor – and a scientist – Eva Green). I have to say that I liked it, my friend not so much. So you better watch it and let me know your opinion.
We weren’t able to get to the Ghost Tours so, well, we will need to come back. You have to do what you have to do. Next August…sounds like a plan!
Also - as part of the EIFF - there was a “Night at the park” at the St Andrews sq. We happen to be walking around on a very rainy day, not really feeling our best, and suddenly we turn a corner and… “Mamma Mia… here I go again, My , my, how can I resist you? ” ..yes! Mamma Mia at the park! Amazing that lot of people was sitting in the grass watching the movie, or dancing in the rain. What a view. It made us immediately change our mood! And yes, we were dancing by the end of the movie too!
I think that the experience pretty much summarized what the energy of Edinburgh is about.
An area of the city that I really liked was Grassmarket. The energy, the architecture, the music, the people, the arts. Amazing. We spend a fantastic night in a small jazz club with a great band, great whisky, and great people. What more can you ask for? And we spend hours (and I mean hours) checking every single shop (from natural medicines to artsy purses… something for everybody LOL)
Certainly we need to come back soon. You need at least a week in Edinburgh to not leave feeling that there were tons of things we couldn’t see. We will solve that soon, I hope. Edinburgh, for sure it wasn’t the last time we saw each other!
thank you Betina for sharing your travels and experiences of Scotland with us