“[Edinburgh] Half a capital and half a country town, the whole city leads a double existence; it has
My mom traveled around the world in the 80s and met one of her best friend a posh Scottish all these years later after I've moved up to London I've gotten to know her and her kids. Her eldest a daughter moved to Edinburgh (from reading) in June. I planned a trip back a bit back to visit.
Thursday the 22nd
4pm flight Uber- in the future, I would never Uber if i got in around six because it's rush hour, but I didn't want to figure out the transit even though it's easy.
Hotel Glasshouse- no joke this hotel is has been on my wish list of places to stay. I just Think it's just so cool with how they mix the old facade and add on the glass with contrast. The hotel itself is very nice my room was big and had a huge bed and some great views. Deliveroo- I say it, again and again, it makes the best room service and sometimes even Cheaper
Friday the 23rd
Exploring- my friend was working Friday, so I went out and saw Edinburgh
Walk down princess street- all the shops are down princess street it's really the only None-original area of Edinburgh. But it is the center with stores from Apple to H&M, as well as all the touristy stores with kilts and stuff.
Royal mile- I walked over the bridge and found a Starbucks. The royal mile is from the palace to the castle and lies in the old town. They have a large variety of tourists shops from cheap t-shirt shops to expensive cashmere shops.
Tartan Weaving Mill- at the end of the mile right before the castle is Tartan Weaving Mill store. The store is huge; it's so big it's hard to explain because they have different layers and areas/shops. When you are on the bottom floor (-3), you can look down and actually see people making the tartans wool.
The hill- on the side of the Tartan Weaving Mill is the hill and you go past some great sites and can see all the way to the sea. Its a great place to cut into town.
this is the cool ecolgie center
I've bee reading Outlander and the night before in the book they had mentioned this pub and in the tour they mentioned it.
The bus- I caught the site seeing bus off Princesse street. There are a few offers I ended up take the green bus which has a live commentary but is only in English. I find that these are the best way to see a city. I was able thoroughly to see the city make notes of places I might want to see later.
After the bus, I walked back up George Street (the street parallel to Princesse) the facade is still original, unlike Princess. At the end of the street is St James Mall, which is entirely empty at the moment besides John Lewis and outside on the George street side, there's a collection of luxury stores.
Cake- I went to my friend's house and made her a cake for her early birthday. My mom has a special cake she makes for everyone. As my friend's family lived in Scotland all these years she never got it, so I ventured out to make the cake for the first time by myself.
Movie- We ended up going to see Bridget Jones Diaries 3 (I had seen it but thought it was so good we should see it again). There's a movie theater below the hotel, and we saw it there. Drinks- we did drinks at cc's a bar close to the hotel. We think it might be a gay bar but who cares we each had a drink and called it a night.
Hike- behind the hotel sits Calton Hill and I had seen thinking it might make a nice walk. The hike is steep but short. The views from the top are gorgeous and 360 of the whole city. As well there are a few sites up on top. One is the tower which I wanted to go up, but it costs £5, and they don't take credit cards, and I didn't have cash. But neither less you can see so much, And I would definitely recommend it.
Walk- I walked the opposite direction from the hotel as I had walked before towards Princesse street. In hopes of going to the sea but gave up because there wasn't anything around and the sea was farther than I thought. Meeting up- after I went and hung at the hotel, my Friend came and met me at the hotel (she had needed to be home for her Airbnb).
Walk around- we walked up the Royal Mile a bit. And then she showed me elephant cafe where JK Rowling wrote the beginning of Harry Potter. She also showed me some of her favorite stores, Swish , Museum Context and Red Door Gallery in Grassmarket. We headed from there to Princess street gardens and got drinks at just a little concession spot. There was a big rave going on, so we had to walk around, so it was less convenient than I had thought.
Drinks- my friend need to meet someone to interview them, so she met me back at my hotel later, and we did food and drinks in the "restaurant" the hotel doesn't really have a restaurant it's more of a lounge with waiters. But they have this amazing fireplace. One of the most amazing parts of the hotel is the rooftop gardens which are serene and look toward Calton Hill.
Sunday 25th Breakfast- Sunday morning we planned on meeting in Old town to do breakfast. My friend had a good idea of a place, and we walked around finding it and then found they had no space so we wondered around before breaking down and going to Patisserie Valerie (a large UK chain). it's was pretty good but nothing special.
Castle- the only thing we planned was the castle as her boyfriend, and I had never been. As my friend grew up and went to school in Scotland, she had been to the castle many times. Her boyfriend who she moved up to Edinburgh with had never been as they had only been there a few months and he had broken his foot the first day and August is an incredibly busy time in Edinburgh with the book festival. The castle opens at 9, and you definitely want to get there early as it's the biggest attraction in The City. The tickets cost £13.20 the castle has great views of the city, and lots of different aspects from a wwI memorial to the replicate rooms of the Castle's to dungeons and a war museum. You’ll also hear about the one O'clock cannon which goes off every day (except Sundays) at one o’clock (gasp). My friend swears she's been stopped and asked by tourist what time the one o'clock cannon goes off.
Lunch- after the castle we wanted to go to the whiskey experience but thought we should get lunch first. We went to B&B. The restaurant was really good a great variety of food (INCLUDING FRIED HAGAS if you're brave enough to eat it my friend swears it's not much different from sausages). We had a variety of burgers, but we started off with some mac and cheese which I highly suggest it.
Whiskey experience- the last thing we did was go to the whiskey experience. Its located right below the castle. The Whisky Experience isn’t owned by any brand so it's just a general knowledge tour. the first part is Whisky barrel seats that take you around the processes which a little ghost. From there you have a walk through information graphs and then into the tasting room where they tell you the difference between the areas taste and flavor. Then you choose your whisky to taste and take it into the final room where they house the largest collection of whisky.
head home- I took an uber back the Edinburgh airport is easy and took only a few minutes.