$50 round trip – that’s what I paid to fly from the East Midlands airport to Edinburgh and it was significantly cheaper than both the bus or the train. How incredible is that?? With that kind of luck my trip could only be a memorable one!
I spent a long weekend with my friend Matt who was a student at the University of Edinburgh. We met when he was an exchange student at UC San Diego and it was great to have a friend show me around the city. We did a lot of walking. Up and down, up and down the cobbled streets of the Scottish capital. I saw the sights and I tried haggis. What’s haggis?
Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead. –Wikipedia
For more in-depth info and photos click on the Wikipedia link above. If you aren’t daring enough to click the link let me give you my food review here…haggis is that dish that all the foreigners have to try because you’ll only get it made the “right” way while you’re in country. I’m always up for trying things once so I ordered myself a plate for lunch and you know what? I really liked it! It was flavorful and minced so fine that if you didn’t know any better you would think you were eating a more mainstream cut of meat. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of my haggis dish as I ate it back in January 2012 and the “quick! take a picture of your food before you eat it and post it to instagram/facebook/snapchat/twitter/etc” wasn’t really a thing yet. Back then it was still weird to take photos of your food out in public.
The weather was just as I expected it to be: dreary and overcast with intermittent rain. It was January in Scotland after all! Disappointing weather aside, we still managed to walk around and see a number of interesting sites.
Arthur’s Seat is a striking hill next to Holyrood Palace. It’s about 822 feet high and pretty easy to climb up. I can’t remember why not but we didn’t get to the top of it. Oh well, that’s another great reason to go back and visit Edinburgh!
This is the official residence of the British Monarchy in Scotland although the Queen prefers Balmoral Castle further to the north when she goes on holiday. I was impressed with the beautiful architecture both inside and out of Holyrood. There were a few of the typical attempt at overthrowing a monarch and murder stories.
Abbey at Holyrood Palace
But, my favorite part about Holyrood was the Abbey. I know, I know there is no roof but it was wonderful. It was a smaller abbey. Obviously, it was an exclusive worship space for the monarch and their entourage. There were still elements used in larger cathedrals like flying buttresses.
Jenner’s Department Store
Jenner’s Department store is the Scottish version of Harrod’s or Macy’s. It’s definitely a high-end store but it’s worth taking a look around. When you walk inside you feel like you’re in an old library with sweaters, watches, and perfume on display!
Other than trying haggis, taking a picture in a red telephone booth is the most touristy thing you can do in Edinburgh! They’re few and far between nowadays with most people having cell phones.
Here are a few more photos I took from Edinburgh:
The next time I visit Scotland I would like to explore the highlands. The Outlander novels (and now tv series) really have me itching to go!
Have you been to Edinburgh? Was the weather any better for you or was it gloomy like it was during my trip? Tell me about it in the comments below!