Edinburgh in 48 hours
Edinburgh, Scotland: Mountains, rain, romance and whisky. What comes to your mind when you think of Scotland?
To be honest, I have been thinking about going to Scotland for a long time, but unfortunately, I had a false image of it and thinking that the risk of rain is too high, especially for hiking trips. Imagine hiking for hours, the exhaustion, the sweat, with only the anticipation of the out-of-the-world view on top of that mountain that keeps you going. At last, you reach the peak and… it is too foggy to see anything. Yes, happened to me before!
Nonetheless, I found a cheap flight to Edinburgh and my friend, who recently went there, told me that it was great for hiking despite it being a city. So, I took the chance and booked the flight, a budget bed in a hostel dorm and off I went.
Before I could even fall asleep on the plane, we were already landing again. Stepping out of the plane, the unexpected: it was sunny and hot!
The airport was small and we soon were on the bus to the city centre. The journey took only 30 min and you had wifi on there as well.
DAY 1: Arthur’s Seat
To make use of the weather, we decided to hike up Arthur’s Seat on that day, which sits 251m above sea level. Equipped with food and plenty of water and of course, several cameras, we made our way to the ancient volcano. It was strange to pass through the city and suddenly you find yourself
in front of this breathtaking hill.
The further up we went the more beautiful it got. We had an amazing view over Edinburgh and although there were a lot of people hiking on that day, it felt incredibly peaceful. I just wanted to stand there all day, breathing in the fresh air, breathing out all stress and worries. The path was quite rocky and you had to watch your step, but it was definitely doable. In fact, on our way up, we came across a man, who was running up and down the hill several times! I’m pretty sure he passed as at least three times. That’s called strength and dedication!
We found a beautiful spot to have lunch and enjoy the view before making our way back down again.
By the time we were back, my stomach was growling out of hunger! We passed this little Mexican place that looks so charming and unique that we decided to have dinner there. It was not Scottish food, but we just could not resist.
After a relaxing stroll around Edinburgh, we went back to the hostel to rest. The hostel was clean, new and definitely more than I expected for 11 GBP a night. We shared the room with 4 others, 2 French girls and 2 German guys. The German guys just came back from a hiking trip around the Isle of Skye and of course, I soaked in all the information I could get, as Isle of Skye is on my bucket list.
DAY 2: Art, Calton Hill and Food
The next day was a lot more chilly than the previous day, but still warm. We had breakfast at this cute, little green cafe. I had a Matcha Latte and an Acai Bowl. It was so delicious and so healthy! I wish I could have tried all the food on their menu.
After we filled our greedy bellies, we went up Edinburgh Castle. I was quite disappointed as they had some kind of festival recently, so the view of the Castle was obstructed by metal benches etc., losing its feel of old, historical times.
We strolled through the National Gallery and I spent some time there to sketch some of the statues. Spending time in museums and strolling through the city with my Fuji brought back sad memories and nostalgia of someone who used to be in my life. I travelled to escape the feeling, but it haunted me in everything that I love doing.
I took a deep breath and shook off the sadness. Edinburgh is beautiful. The old buildings that have so much character and culture. We walked up Calton Hill and were greeting by these monumental pillars. On one side you had the hills and green sceneries of Scotland’s beautiful nature. You turn around and you had the view of the whole city. We spent quite a lot of time here, just sitting there and taking in everything.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all positive and beautiful. The place was also full of rubbish thrown out by inconsiderate tourists. Anything from plastic bottles, to Adidas packaging. It saddens me to see how some people cannot value the beauty of nature and their environment. How tourism leaves it gloomy trail…
Before heading back to the airport, we went to a Pub called the Red Squirrel and had the most amazing burgers! I did not try the Scottish speciality, Haggis, as the vegetarian version did not really sound that special.
Overall, I absolutely fell in love with Edinburgh and will explore Scotland more in the future!