We arrived in Edinburgh by train from London – it’s roughly a 4 hour journey if my memory serves me right. You also have the option of taking a flight – travel time would amount to the same because of early check-in, baggage, security, etc but the train ride turns out to be a lot more scenic, comfortable and hey, you can walk around while having a beer, talking to people and have more leg space and if you get lucky, a really big table for yourself too. Of course that is a personal choice but I would anyday recommend taking the train – I try to minimize my flying hours as much as possible – shitty dry airplane air…eugghhh!
But I would like to mention that we did have a rustic couple with a toddler who forced his way and pooped in his potty right in the compartment under our big table. He just wouldn’t go with mum to the designated toilet. He had his way and all of us around (myself included) were so horrified that my brain almost pretended that it didn’t happen. There was a kid…WHO TOOK A SHIT…right where our seats were.
ANYWAY, moving on to happier thoughts – it was my first time in Edinburgh and the shit incident was but a blip in my excitement. We arrived at about 3pm and got our daily bus pass to get to our Airbnb. A super cute, clean house but in hindsight, slightly further away from the city centre. No option because it was ‘Fringe Festival’ time in Edinburgh and we were lucky to get an Airbnb at all. Fringe Festival means all hotels, airbnbs and more are completely booked for a whole month because the festival goes on for a month. It’s a crazy time (in a good way) and if you can do Edinburgh during Fringe time – DO IT. You’ll never forget it.
A single bus ticket is GBP 1.60 and a day pass is 4. It works on buses and trams but buses are more widely available. The day pass runs for a specific date and expires at 12am that day – not for 24 hours after you have purchased it. We quickly said hello to our hosts, checked-in, dropped our minimal luggage and headed off to city centre. The city is bursting with people and action during Fringe and it’s a beautiful sight to see. We got off at Waverley Station and walked around with Calton Hill as our destination (it’s a must visit for sunset). We visited the Old Calton Burial Ground which is quite beautiful and on our walk towards Calton Hill, because we were starving, we stopped by and ate a very late lunch at Howies. Had the handmade gnocchi & ham which is quite heavy and the pork terrine that has a rather small portion size so it all evened out for Prateeq & me. Don’t forget to eat dessert here – highlight!
Calton Hill was a beautiful sight. Slightly crowded because of the Fringe but still enough places to walk around peacefully. The golden light during sunset is stunning, you get the longest shadows and even have a superb view of the entire city on one side and Arthur’s Seat on the other. Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano, and sits 251m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. We missed going to Arthur’s Seat during our visit because firstly, we didn’t have enough time and secondly, we were given a few cloudy mornings which are not ideal because it gets really cold up there.
We ended the night with beers & cider at The Whistle Stop. Turns out you can’t find any places with their kitchens open post 10pm in Edinburgh.
Enjoy the pics from the day.