27 January 2017

Travel Diary: 24 hours in Edinburgh

I love reading travel diaries don’t you?  I think it’s the nosy part of me that just loves seeing what people choose to do when exploring a new place.  I recently had a very short break in Edinburgh so thought I’d share my own travel diary with you guys.


I arrived on Saturday in the late afternoon and was immediately filled with nostalgia.  I had previously been in Edinburgh six and a half years ago when I was working the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a month.  I loved the city but got little chance to explore due to the crazy hours I was working (I was a lighting technician so I barely saw daylight or slept).  As soon as i got out of the station I recognised places I thought i’d forgotten, little cafe’s we’d had goodbye dinners, our favorite outdoor spot for eating lunch if we got chance, a bar we caught up with other techies after work.  I didn’t expect the memory’s would be so bountiful.  
I walked towards the Royal Mile then headed towards the lower city to my Airbnb.  This was my first time staying at an Airbnb so if I am honest, I was pretty nervous.  The idea of staying on my own in a stranger's flat was pretty worrisome, and although I had done plenty of research online I couldn’t help but be hesitant.  Luckily these worries were totally unfounded, my host was welcoming, showed me to my room and left me to it.  The room was gorgeous and the bed was so comfy I very nearly slept in the next morning. If you use my link www.airbnb.co.uk/c/karissa the first time you use AirB&B we both get £25 credit. I'm not working with them, it's something anyone can do, so go ahead!


Even though this was a solo trip it just so happened that one of my friends from Pride in London was there for work, so I met up with him and his mother to have dinner at the beautiful and quaint Rose Street Brewery restaurant.  I went with the traditional haggis neeps and tatties with Cranachan for dessert and I have to say the whole thing was gorgeous.  I had tried haggis on my last trip here and enjoyed it so I am happy to report I still love it just as much.
The next morning I walked to the base of Arthur's Seat while I debated whether I should attempt to climb it.  My Airbnb was right near the base so I didn’t have to go far, however as I was loaded down with a backpack and a tote bag so I thought this was better left for another time when I was more prepared.  I went to the more novice friendly Carlton Hill for a view over the city instead.
Even on a very misty day like that day  I could see pretty far over the city from this point.  You get a great view not just of the city and nearby towns, but of the mountain's too, including Arthur's Seat.  It’s well worth a trip to anyone viewing the city.  Not only that but there are plenty of beautiful monuments to look around including the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument and the Nelson’s Monument that you can walk up for a small fee.  Unfortunately with it being a Sunday it was closed on the day I was there, so I didn’t get the chance.  
From here I headed towards to Royal Mile, to slowly make my ascent towards the famous Edinburgh Castle.  On the way I passed the beautiful St Giles Cathedral and the theatre I used to work at, there was also some great street performers doing their stuff.  There's always a great energy to The Royal Mile that I really love.
Once I arrived at the castle I decided to buy an audio guide to help with my exploration.  I love audio guides at places like this as I really think it adds history and life to a place that can often be overlooked with historic buildings.  I had a delicious lunch here too before exploring further.  I was surprised to see how many museums there were situated inside the castle that were included with the admission price, such as the National War Museum and Regimental Museums.  The castle itself is a wonder to behold, and a must do if you are visiting.  I ended up spending almost 4 hours here, and I didn’t even go into all the museums.  Some of the rooms are so grand you can just imagine what it was like to have royalty living here, and the views are spectacular.  The war memorial is unlike one I have ever seen, and a great place for quiet reflection, whilst the Crown Jewelers and the stone of Destiny are must sees.  The Crown Jewels are actually older than the ones you find in The Tower of London!
When i was done here I headed to the The Elephant House Cafe, the famous place where J K Rowling wrote some of her first Harry Potter novels.  I didn’t go inside because time was escaping me, and instead walked just a little further down the road to visit the famous Greyfriars Bobby instead, the famous statue that is said to bring luck if you rub his nose, as you can probably tell by how shiny it is!  


Unfortunately after that it was time for home, and with a heavy heart I headed back to the station and back down to London.  This trip has left me wanting to explore Scotland further, it’s such a beautiful place.  You can see a little something of what I got into in my vlog below:
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