Hello from Edinburgh!
This week I am beginning my Easter break by trekking around Scotland, which will hopefully produce some blog-worthy adventures.
For now, I’ll settle on recapping my Tuesday in Edinburgh, which was both eventful and uneventful all at once.
After arriving via train from London, we settled in our hotel and went exploring. Specifically, we were looking for Edinburgh Castle, and in a city so small, how could we miss it?
Very easily, apparently, as we ended up in the opposite side of the city at once of its many castles.
Finding ourselves lost in such a small city was slightly embarrassing, especially after we saw the “real” Edinburgh Castle, which is impossible to miss from the street.
But, the “smallness” of the city was one of Edinburgh ‘s best points.
You could walk one side of Edinburgh to the other in about 30 minutes. Perhaps I’ve just lived in London too long already. But, as it takes me 30 minutes just to walk to class, I was thoroughly impressed with the ease of Edinburgh. Everything you needed was within walking distance.
Students I’ve met since claim the entire city is that way, making it a perfect place to live for students on a budget. I love London (obviously), and I think it’s a wonderful place for students to live. However, that love could never mask how expensive it is for anyone to live there, let alone a student — especially in Zone 1, or the center of the city where I live.
Edinburgh is just a very friendly place for tourists especially, despite some minor construction in New Town, where our hotel was located. There are plenty of souvenir shops everywhere and adequate signage to get you from one place to the next. Some attractions, like the Edinburgh Castle, were a little pricey (£16), but others, like all the parks, monuments and national galleries were completely free. There is also a great shopping center right in the middle of town, which is extremely helpful when you’re looking for some last-minute items before you begin trekking the Highlands.
Perhaps my favorite part of Edinburgh, however, really has nothing to do with the city at all: the cliffs.
Edinburgh is surrounded by immense monstrosities of cliffs covered in grasses and heather. They are visible from almost any point in the city, and some points have views of rivers and the bay as well. The nature surrounding Edinburgh is so breathtaking that it’s difficult to focus on the beauty of the city at times.
I’ve never visited Scotland before, but just taking a look around Edinburgh, I can see why the Scots are so proud of it. It’s really a beautiful place, even if it is so hard to get to because of the mountains and cliffs. It made me want to spend more time in the city, just to see what else there was to gawk at. But alas, I had to set off for a tour of the Highlands, which really isn’t anything to be sad about, if Edinburgh was any indication.