After grabbing one final crepe with our hostel BFF, Evan, we said our goodbyes and left Paris behind us to get to our final stop in Edinburgh. The trip took some unexpected turns, to say the least. Alexa had to unpack her entire backpack in security because of an only-kind-of-hidden glass bottle full of Angelina’s hot chocolate but ended up getting to keep it (it got taken away leaving Scotland, though). We were in line with some people who started fighting about who was first (because RyanAir sucks.. Have we mentioned that before?) and then they magically all became best friendzies. The Scottish accents started coming out. We ran all over the airport/road/train tracks in Glasgow at 1am trying to find the bus stop we needed to Edinburgh. Our ticket reservation got messed up. But we got a free bus ride in the end! Weeee!
We got a glimpse of Glasgow while passing through, but once we stopped in Edinburgh, despite darkness and delirium, we knew we had made the right choice to go straight there.
First building we encounter off the bus: Church of Scotland. Huge, ornate, & totally awesome.
We checked into Castle Rock Hostel at about 3am and literally rolled into bed without looking at a single thing, but then woke up the next morning and were immediately greeted by musical sounds and this…
Oh yeah. That’s a kilt-wearing marching band just casually rolling through the street. We actually thought we were hallucinating, but we were in Scotland, alright.
After consulting a map, we decided we’d have plenty to do right in Edinburgh. Here’s what our last days of European travel were filled with and what our final memories of #EuroTrip2013 looked like…
Closest neighbor to the hostel was Edinburgh Castle. NBD.
Rain, rain. Go away… Actually, we don’t even care. Edinburgh looks badass in the rain.
Our breakfast spot of choice – Deacon’s House Café
SCONES 4EVER ❤
Got lunch at The Elephant House Café, where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series!
Orange juice machine! We were completely enthralled.
Did some walking through Diagon Alley – uh, we mean Edinburgh Castle.
View from our hostel dorm
Somewhere in here we sprinted in the downpour to the local movie theater and saw Star Trek 2. No shame. It made for some awesome people watching, we got a taste of everyday Scottish culture, and Scotty, the Scottish (obviously) character in the movie was a lot funnier given our surroundings. Also, we may have made fools of ourselves by laugh-singing the entire Star Trek theme on the hike back to the hostel. The abundance of young people (seriously, so many) really didn’t seem to mind.
Watched mini superheroes battle.
Climbed Arthur’s Seat aka THE TALLEST POINT IN EDINBURGH
Oh wait, no we didn’t. That was just a hill because Arthur’s Seat was ahead of us the whole time. Oh well.
Who WOULDN’T want to see a ballet like this? I mean… kilts. Come on.
Vegetarian full Scottish breakfast – haggis included.
We took our last day as a true sign that we were meant to be in Edinburgh. After going to what we like to think of as our secret café corner of Edinburgh for breakfast, we met up with one of Alexa’s friends from Pitt who was also traveling in Europe and happened to be in Edinburgh at the same time we were. His friend he was visiting was studying abroad for a semester in St. Andrews, Scotland, which we thought was an interesting choice. The four of us went to meet up with a girl Alexa met in Madrid, named Bryony, who was au pairing at the time. Her and her friend from the University of Edinburgh took us to an awesome hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant that was so good! It was fun chatting with a motley crew of people who all enjoyed traveling but came from very different places.
Due to some Christmas miracle, the sun appeared, and it actually warmed up, which meant there was no way we were going back to the hostel. Sun! In Edinburgh! There was a moment where we looked out off of a bridge and realized, “wait… is that the OCEAN?” It was, and we had to see it. Immediately.
Up to a big hill with an observatory, we went.
The Queen’s digs when she visits dear ol’ Scotland
Water! Too bad we didn’t have enough time to go touch it 😦
All in all, Edinburgh was pretty awesome. The city definitely had the most young people milling about (maybe due to the fact that the University of Edinburgh is there, or maybe because we spent a lot of time in H&M) but it made us feel like we never graduated, so that was pretty nice. We have to say, we are definitely glad we made the last minute decision to include Edinburgh on our #EuroTrip2013 itinerary.
Up next – The final day of #EuroTrip2013: Dublin airport edition
-Alexa & Abi