I spend this past weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland. Luck was definitely on our side this weekend. Tess and I had a changeover in York and we decided to double check with a conductor right before our train was about to depart. He told us we needed to run to another train going to Edinburgh Wavery. We sprinted through the York train station and as soon as we got onto the train the doors closed behind us. Then about an hour into the train ride we intercom, the driver announced that our original train was canceled. It’s crazy we even made it to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh has such a magical feeling about it. Through all of the old cobbled roads and the windy pathways. I’m so glad I was given a chance to visit it because it was never on the top of my travel destinations. Now I want to bring all my friends and family back to experience this wonderful city. Our hostel was a 10-minute walk from the train station. If you ever find yourself in Edinburgh I highly recommend Castle Rock Hostel. It is at the base of Edinburgh Castle and I think we paid £14.99. This has been my best hostel experience with such a friendly staff and big common rooms to meet plenty of other internationals. We went on a Thursday and there happened to be a free pub crawl. This was the perfect way for Tess and I to meet people and see some of Edinburgh’s night scene. We went to an Australian pub, Irish pub, karaoke bar, and a bar with a live band. Karaoke bars are my new favorite – nothing quite like screaming into a microphone/mumbling the words to a song you thought you knew by heart. We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning and regretted it heavily during our 10 am checkout.
The next day Tess and I walked around the city as sleepy zombies. We got a late brunch in a little cafe and sat there for hours just staring into oblivion due to the lack of sleep. We were staying with Tess’ aunt and uncle that live in Edinburgh who kindly offered us accommodation. Her aunt made us a delicious curry and then we were off to bed as soon as we possibly could.
Tess’ aunt took us to a beach town Cramond and Lauriston Castle. It was really nice weather (not raining or windy) so we took a nice stroll through Cramond’s beach walk and found ourselves at a cute cafe. I tried Haggis for the first time. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish consisting of sheep heart, liver, and lungs mixed with oats and loads of spices stuffed into a sheeps stomach. The closest comparison I could make would be a meatball but even that is a stretch. I realized I just couldn’t think too hard about what I was actually eating but it was quite tasty.
The last day we were there we met up with Tess’ cousins. We had some brunch and sat around and talked for ages. Then Tess and I went to the main shopping area, Princess Street. We just happened to go into this British handbag store because Tess was looking for a small purse and I fell in love for the first time with a handbag. It will forever be one of my favorite souvenirs from abroad!
Overall a very successful weekend in Edinburgh. Wish we could spend more time in the lovely city but back to the studies.
by Victoria Cossman – Northern Arizona University – USA