After seven and a half years of living in the UK, I FINALLY ventured north of the border into Scotland. This trip to Edinburgh was definitely a long time coming, and spending only 72 hours in this beautiful and historic city was enough to convince me to go back again (and again, and again). It also happened to be my birthday weekend, so it felt twice as nice! Yes, I am a 31 year old (?!!) who still gets excited about her birthday and long may it continue.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn on Corstophine Road which was great for two reasons. It was 1) only a 10 minute bus ride from the airport and from town 2) right next to Edinburgh Zoo. We got there on Friday afternoon, and after leaving our things at the hotel, ventured into town. It was a beautiful day, cold but sunny, and the city centre looked gorgeous in the golden sunlight. We spent hours walking around the many cobbled streets, stopping at the occasional pub. Special shout out to Tiles Bar, where we somehow managed to get a table at 5:30pm on a Friday evening.
Saturday was my birthday, and has luck would have it, it was pouring down with rain pretty much the whole day. So we hopped on over to Edinburgh Zoo next door, where we spent all morning (and a lot of the afternoon!). As someone who loves animals, this was my happy place. They had a couple of lions, a tiger, koalas and a giant panda (!!). It was rainy and grey and cold but also amazing.
This was followed up by an afternoon at a couple more pubs (sensing a theme here?) and my birthday dinner at Dishoom, which is one of my favourite restaurants. If you love Indian food, get yourself to the nearest one. You will not regret it.
Then we come to Sunday – our last full day in Edinburgh. The weather had cleared up, and there was still so much left to see! We decided that it was unrealistic to try and do everything – otherwise you end up seeing too much without taking anything in. So we spent most of the day at Edinburgh Castle, which has the most beautiful views over the city. In the evening, we did the Edinburgh Whiskey Experience and I came away enlightened (and maybe a tad lightheaded).
All in all, I had a wonderful time. I had heard so much about Edinburgh before I visited – from friends and family who had visited/lived there, and just from watching travel shows and reading about it. It did not disappoint. From an architecture point of view, it is magnificent. The buildings take your breath away, and everything has such a sense of history and character behind it. It also had so much vibrancy in it. We visited at the beginning of February, so I can only imagine what it’s like in the middle of summer with the Fringe Festival or on New Year’s Eve, even! But I think the fact that it still managed to be awe-inspiring despite nothing “going on” so to speak, actually ends up saying a lot more.