Sunday, 7 May 2017

Edinburgh: April 2017.

Hello guys!

If you read my last post you'll be aware that I said I was off to Edinburgh! I decided that for Adam's birthday I wanted to go somewhere nice rather than just buy a gift so I decided Edinburgh might be a nice place to go visit as I had heard a lot of good things about it. It was only for a few nights so we went down on the Wednesday and came back home on the Friday evening. Before we went we decided it was a good idea to plan every thing so we didn't have to spend time planning while we were there and basically every thing we had planned - we did! It was a super busy few days, very tiring as it was non-stop as we wanted to do as much as we could. So I thought I'd write a little (it's probably not going to be little...) blog post of all the things we got up to and my opinion on visiting Edinburgh itself. 

First things first, the traveling. 

Wednesday the 26th of April, around 7.30am. 

We got up quite early as our train was leaving Birmingham at around 8.15am and to get there we had to get on another train first. Obviously we packed the night before and got to Birmingham in plenty of time to catch the train. It was just over 4 hours on the train to get there and we luckily pre-booked the tickets for a virgin train so we already had seats in advance which is nice, you don't really want to be worrying about not getting a seat for over 4 hours... weirdly, I was kind of looking forward to the journey. I don't usually like trains, they can be quite boring and crowded but this one was nice and chilled and when we got closer to Scotland there were some good views to see. 


Arriving into Edinburgh Haymarket, around 12.30pm. 

We got off before the last stop as we were getting off at Haymarket rather than the main Edinburgh station. The hotel was probably a less than ten minute walk from the station. First impressions of the town was it was very quiet... I mean, it was a Wednesday so I guess there's no surprise there! The walk from the station to the hotel was just like walking through a usual town but walking further past the hotel is when you come across Edinburgh Castle which I will tell you more about as we did go and visit of course. The hotel was nice, we didn't spend much time there, it was more just a place to stay at night as we were out pretty much all day every day. After getting settled in we decided to go to a pub for some lunch, I just had a veggie burger but Adam tried some Haggis sausage.. I guess being in Scotland it was something you had to try right? 

After filling up on food we then decided to walk up Arthur's Seat.. not sure if that's a good idea after eating a lot of food and after traveling for hours and it being quite late in the afternoon.. but I'm glad we did.

Here's us trying out the selfie stick we bought in the hotel room:



Climbing Arthur's Seat, Wednesday afternoon. 

I didn't know much about Arthur's Seat so I didn't know what to expect. It didn't take long to climb and it wasn't that hard going. It was actually quite nice because it was sunny so when we were back at the bottom it was quite chilled and relaxing to just sit on the grass (and catch Pokemon of course).  

When you get to the top the views are pretty amazing. You get a panoramic view of Edinburgh town, you can see the castle, Holyrood palace, the old town, it's a pretty cool experience. Arthur's Seat was formed by an extinct volcano and the hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5m. You can climb it from any side really, obviously there are easier bits where a path has been created but on the way down we decided to go a different way which I found a little scary at times... 

Here are some pictures of the walk up: 

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Thursday 27th April, AM.

After a long day the day before we decided to have a small lie in but then made our way to Edinburgh Castle for the morning and early afternoon. 

Before that we stopped off for some breakfast at Loudons which was absolutely amazing, if you're ever there I would recommend it, the food was so good! Here are some pictures of some of the nice breakfast we had:  





The castle was right near to the hotel so it was a short walk.


We also got to see some of the Royal Mile before going into the Castle. The castle is basically at the top of a very long street and right at the bottom of the Royal Mile is the Palace. It is a very historic place, there's a lot to learn. Most of it of course is the constant war between Scotland and England, England took over the castle and Edinburgh many times. 

So the castle took quite a long time to look round every thing, there were little rooms you could look in, prisons, you could also stand up at the top and take in the views and all the old cannons and such were all there. The castle too was built upon an extinct volcano and the summit of the castle rock is 130 meters above sea level with rocky cliffs to the south, west and the north rising to around 80 meters high... so it was a good spot and tricky to get to back in the day.

There was also the National Scotland War museum which was included in the entry of the castle which was good. It was cool to see all the war equipment, ranging from older weapons/clothing etc to the newer upgrades. It's a lot to take in, they also had the war memorial there for the thousands and thousands of men and women that lost their lives at war.


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Thursday 27th, 4.30pm.

After visiting the castle we then had a tour booked for the underground vaults. These were quite interesting and the tour was very enjoyable. We were taught a bit about the streets (the royal mile) before going underground. Walking down the royal mile there were some small alley ways and when going down them you're in between buildings where people lived/live with 6 floors (which back in the day were about 11 floors high and they were so close together that people who lived in them could put their hand out the window and shake hands with their neighbour.) We were also told about how when they did not have a sewage they would put all their waste into a bucket and chuck it out the windows into these small alley ways! There was a law put in later where they were not allowed to do this until after dark as in the day people could be walking by and get a bucket of crap on their heads! 

We were also told about the famous bridges that were built going from one side of a building stretching over to reach the opposite side. This bridge was such a big addition to the Royal Mile.

Here's a picture of the Royal Mile: 



We then went underground to see the vaults. In these vaults there were a range of things, at first there were many shops that opened underground, a tavern, a blacksmiths etc... however a lot of them did not last very long as it was quite smelly under there and also because they were quite poorly built when it rained a lot of water got into them and could cause floods. When shops had enough and closed up that's when other things took cover in the vaults such as prostitution, black market, drug dealing opportunities, and also it was said that body snatchers would store bodies under there when they had dug them up from graves to give them to the medical researchers who paid good money for a body to dissect.

It was a cool place to learn about, many people lived under there as well, and to this day there are some restaurants and clubs that use the underground vaults. The tour lady was very good and I think if I went again I'd go on a ghost tour that they do as I feel that would be quite entertaining! 

We don't have any pictures of these, it was quite dark down there so I doubt the pictures would have been any good anyway, but if you find yourself in Edinburgh I'd recommend checking them out!

Thursday 27th, evening. 

We decided to go to a pizza place for dinner which was lovely, I had a cocktail there and I wasn't expecting it to be so strong.. but my god it was. Which then made me really want to go to a bar and have some cocktails, so we did!



We went to this bar and it was amazing. it was called: Badabing. It was so chill, there was a man playing the piano and you could sit around the piano! But we had a couple cocktails each and I got quite drunk, but the people working were so cool and there was such a good collection of cocktails that you could buy. We went for the sweet ones, here's a picture of some:  





Friday 28th April, AM.


Our last day... sad times! We decided on this day to check out Holyrood Palace, after all it's where ar' liz stays every summer so we thought it would be an amazing place to look round, and it was of course. 

You couldn't take pictures inside but it was as you would expect a palace to look like.. lots of posh plates and cutlery. Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It has served as the principle residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th Century and is now used for state occasions. Queen Elizabeth spends a week there at the beginning of each summer for official engagements and ceremonies. It's always open to the public though except for when there are members of the Royal Family there.


Here are some pictures of outside: 


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Friday 28th, afternoon. 

We then had to leave to get to the station to catch the train home! And that was just a small overview of our mini holiday in Edinburgh! It was very educational and there was so much to see. As I said before we tried to fit in as much as possible in the short stay we were there for and I think we did pretty well. It's a pretty place but because every thing is so hilly it was very tiring and it was nice to get back on the train and chill. 

I didn't write about every detail in this blog post otherwise it would be so long but I would recommend to go, especially if you like to look around at historic places and learn about history. I had a wonderful time and it has now made me want to go away for a few nights to other places to explore all the little areas of the UK. 

Hope you enjoyed this blog post! I am over due a monthly love post for April however because of this one it'll be a little late but look forward to that next weekend! 

Hope you've had a great weekend and as always, chat soon!

xx