Edinburgh, Scotland 🏴 March 2019
After taking a solo road trip from Canterbury to York (1,500 miles on the “wrong” side of the road! Ah!), I returned the car and took the high-speed train up to Scotland. What a joy to have arrived in this beautiful country!
While pulling into the station, I was inundated by large buildings straight out of Harry Potter, tea shops piled high with rose tea, Earl Gray tea, black tea, white tea, red tea, and overwhelmed by the amount of seriously tall, steep, exhausting staircases that I swore were going to be the death of me by the end of this visit.
Along the downtown main street that seems to go on for miles, there was a beautiful church that looked like it could have been the filming set for every Halloween movie under the sun, souvenir shops with kitschy keychains and posters, and blue and white Viking hats, and these teeny tiny narrow alleyways that seemed to lead to an even more massive shopping square or ancient meeting place each time you went through a claustrophobia-inducing tunnel with a cute name, one right after the other.
There was an old church being used as a warehouse location for cute handicrafts and local goods, such as puzzles of “Nessie,” the Loch Ness monster looking all friendly and smiley, wire baskets holding sturdy armor being sold at exorbitant prices, and adorable glassware with animal -friendly phrases such as “all you need is love and a poodle.” There were quaint recipes for haggis, mugs made out of legs wearing kilts (one of which I might have brought home with me haha), and kilt calendars with attractive shirtless man in various sexy poses, while on the top of grassy knolls or in the middle of a lake, standing in a manly fashion on a boat.
There were bagpipe magnets, gelato shops with every flavor under the sun, art galleries with paintings of the cityscape in the shape of fingerprints, and double decker buses heading in all directions.
I saw colorful walls, bright clothes, grapes that look like long green mini gourds, canned Haggis and garbage cans that had, “I’m a bin, drop your litter in!” painted on the side. There were resale shops with massive high heels and Marvel stores with Funkopops and mini keychains. The apartment I stayed in (an Airbnb) was a super nice woman from Poland, who lived on a third level walk up that had a lovely spiral staircase. It was close to the center of town, so I could walk to get my canned Haggis anytime I’d like 🤣
The next day, I headed to the Museum of Scotland, which was massive! There were clothing exhibits, a rocks and minerals floor, animal skeletons hanging from the ceiling, and famous race cars lined up on the walls. And even Dolly the Sheep!
The architecture in this area was to die for! All the white buildings with brick designs – it was like a life size, city-wide museum!
There were clear plastic shoes, tall heels made out of copper wire, and straps made from zip ties. The gift shop was cool, too – clay buttons, fake taxidermy animals, and earrings made from
The Edinburgh Castle was massive and beautiful! Quite a view from the entrance side, and apparently from the side of the mountain, it looks like a little house. Haha Then to the Money Museum, which had a million (voided) pounds displayed proudly in a display case in the front.
The National Gallery was beautiful but not all that enticing, but St. Giles Cathedral was lovely, and clearly very very old. The Scott Monument, which looked like a massive rocket launching pad from the 1800s, can be seen by most of the city.
Then our tour group happened upon a cemetery, which happened to flood often, which meant that bones happened popped out of the ground at inopportune times. If we found one, instructions were to try to remember where you found it and bring it to the head office, where it would be stored until the monthly “re-burial” of all bones that happened to make an appearance. The architecture is just amazing, with beautiful limestone buildings, neatly smooshed together with tall floors and skinny windows above the quaint cafes and bookshops below. There was even a cute story about a doggie named Greyfriar’s Bobby who was buried right next to his owner.
Although quite cold and full of angsty pigeons, Edinburgh was one of those places that I swore to myself that I would return with more time and a better tripod.