it was my second visit to the great city of Edinbrraaah (that’s how you pronounce the name, really) and this time it didn’t disappoint either. The first time I came here with another friend and I honestly didn’t know what to expect so I guess that’s why when I saw the beauty that is the Scottish capital, I was blown away.
As with the first time, my friends and I only had limited time to see the surroundings, as we had to drive to the Highlands the next day and then go back to Norwich early morning the day after.
We arrived to Edinburgh bright and early and as my own tradition with Edinburgh goes I popped into Starbucks and got meself a tea with milk, as you do in the UK, tea I mean, not Starbs.
Three of my friends and I needed to find our tour guides, the ones we booked for free, they do several tours a day, in several languages, we went for English, and off we went.
This post is about my second visit to Edinburgh, so if you want more details on the city, I will be doing another blog post with all the sights pretty soon, so you’ll see what you can actually do there. I have a very special relationship with this city. Edinburgh is always fresh and makes me feel like I can be a knight on my own.
It was a lovely sunny day in ‘burgh and we went on that free tour which was full of history because our guide was a real Scot, who was in love with his own country and he was really cute too. My friend and I were crushing on him for two whole hours of the city tour.
Later it turned out he actually was a captain of his university Quidditch team, and I fell for the guy even more. On that day, my phone was even put into a 9 and 3/4 platform case, Johnny, the guide noticed it and made a really nice comment, which made me centre of attention and I blushed.
Let’s move on!
We had a few brief stops and just walked about, taking in the sights of the city.
The tour was nice, but may I say, the year I first visited the place the tour was different and may I say better… Johnny made the tour lovely, but we didn’t see the cafe where Jo Rowling was writing Harry Potter (see my post on my first visit, where I tell you about this), or the dog that was made famous for his love for his master. We didn’t see the different levels of the city – if you’re ever there, you will understand what I’m talking about, the medieval streets off which you can hang off right onto another street level (discouraged for your own safety), we didn’t see the vital buildings of where famous poets and writers lived, or the place where the prisoners were taken for their last pint. I was a tad disappointed, to say the least.
But then we went for breakfast and the situation got a little bit better. I honestly do not remember the name of the place but the full Scottish breakfast was damn good.
The contents of a real full Scottish breakfast are as follows:
- grilled tomato
- a rasher of bacon (not present in the picture)
- tattie (you can see it under those two pieces of toast), which is kind of like a bread made of potatoes. In Ireland you get a similar one, only it’s actually soda bread.
- banger (sausage)
- sautéed mushrooms
- baked beans
- black pudding
- a bit of haggis (optional)
If you are in the UK, do try it, and as a side drink I would suggest you go for a normal black tea with a bit of milk, and the tea should be the right colour! I mean of course there is no right or wrong colour, I’m not a tea racist, but I was taught how to make proper tea but a true Englishman, so I might let you in on a few details on how to get the right tea texture and colour. (in a future post). I’ll just say that you need to see the strength of your brew and figure out how to make it this beautiful tan colour and not overmilk it. Yes, I just said “overmilk it”. Although everyone has their own preferences of colour, for example, I couldn’t understand how you drink tea with milk at all. And then I moved to England, and the situation has changed. I never looked back.
This time we were in the city in August, the month of the famous Edinburgh Fringe, where you can see the emerging artists: musicians, comedians, painters, and just some lovely nuts right in the streets , rain or shine, it is a sight that must be seen and felt. You can see some shows for free, get into clubs and bars, listen, dance, contribute with your own festival energy, just do not forget your I.D. You won’t be able to get into premises of anything that sells alcohol, or simply has a door. They take it seriously here, and all over the UK, and especially on EdFringe.
We walked all day in the city, saw a few shows, out in the streets and in some dingy club/hotel/city hall, which featured a magician and lots of bubbles and confetti canons. All this while sitting on a sticky floor and trying to see those bubbles. It was fantastic.
We left the venue and were met with a torrential rain, as we headed to meet our friends from UEA, who were also exploring Scotland that month.
The shower stopped after about twenty minutes and suddenly it was a dark evening. We met our friends and went for some coffee and cakes in the nearby Patisserie Valerie, where it was ridiculously cold and we couldn’t hide from the A/C. But we had fun and a few laughs.
It was time to say goodbye and we were off to get some food.
The only place that was open at that time of night, was quite a fun place, not far from the Royal Mile, called The Filling Station. In a few words, if you’re American, and are missing your culture, come here. It was nice, actually. I enjoy going to restaurants like that, but only when I’m not travelling. But… as we didn’t have another choice, this was the place to be. We had a sharing platter and a round of Irn-Brus.
Irn-Bru is a must-have drink where you’re in the land of Scots. Yes, it’s orange, and it tastes delicious, if you’re into fizzy drinks anyways, and no, it doesn’t taste like Fanta.
This was the end of a long day and we had to get back to our humble hostel.
The next day we went to The Highlands and the Loch Ness, and the famous Calton Hill in Edinburgh, as well as the Edinburgh Castle. See my next post.
Thank you for reading x
** The photos in this post were taken by me and my three friends. I was not a sole contributor of the photographs.