The first weekend of April, Mr G and I headed up to Edinburgh to meet up with friends that were visiting from New Zealand. It’s the last time they’ll be over for a good few years, so we decided to make the most of it and do a bit of sightseeing as well as catching up. Sadly, both friends had managed to catch the plague (a bad flu-like cold) on the plane journey over and weren’t feeling 100% so I haven’t taken as many photos as I would’ve done.
We booked into the Travel Lodge at Cameron Toll (cheap and cheerful) because we’d stayed there before and it was within our price range. There were plenty of buses into the center (Mr G loves a good bus ride) and with Cameron Toll shopping center across the road we could stock up on hangover cures the morning after a big night. The beds are comfortable, the rooms are quiet (unless you’re near us. Sorry. Not sorry) each room has a power shower – because everyone hates weak showers – and the breakfast is delish.
We met up with the others, got freshened up because 5 hours in a car leaves you feeling a bit gross, and jumped in a taxi into Edinburgh center, much to Mr G’s dismay (he loves the buses in Edinburgh – go figure). We immediately headed to the Grassmarket and I made a beeline for Dragonfly Cocktail Bar because the cocktails are incredible and relatively reasonably priced. Because I’m a bit stupid (read rushing out the door) I left my ID back in York so we couldn’t make a huge night of it, but we ended up back in the hotel bar drinking, laughing and catching up. I have to say I think it was the best outcome for the first night.
I didn’t really sleep that well (but I haven’t been recently) so Mr G and I were up for breakfast before the others and enjoyed a leisurely chat and chance to wake up. One of our friends had gotten a bit worse overnight and decided to spend the morning in bed while we headed to the castle.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen Edinburgh Castle but it’s certainly the first time I went in and I have to say if you’re a lover of history like me (or fantasize about living in a castle) it is most definitely worth a visit. Even if you’re not a history lover, you should still take a punt for the breathtaking views if nothing else. We were even there for the 1pm gun.
Our missing friend rejoined us around lunch time still feeling a little worse for wear but not wanting to miss out on anything else. We’d heard about the Edinburgh Vaults and were desperate to go so we booked on the City Of The Dead ghost tour. Uncovered in the 70s the vaults were layers of chambers underneath the North and South bridge which housed criminals and the poor in the early 18th century. Part of the tour, of course, was ghost stories and despite a few jumpy moments it was a really interesting afternoon.
After dinner we went out for a few drinks and met up with a few other friends who happened to be in Edinburgh from the North East. The results were rather messy – as most of our nights out are – but it was great to see everyone.
I love visiting Edinburgh and I think given the chance I’d love to live there. Have you been recently, what were your favourite bits?