Edinburgh: Friends, pubs, and lots of walking

For the past year, I haven’t updated this little blog with anything of much importance because I haven’t felt like I’ve got anything important to say. Through the labour pains of birthing a monstrous Master’s thesis and the struggles of coming to grips with a new field of study, the imposter syndrome has hit me pretty hard. That being said, I want to  shake things up and get my head back in the writing game – so I’m starting gently with some of the best bits of our recent and soul-renewing trip to Scotland! First up – Edinburgh.

Planning for this trip started last spring, when Jess announced her upcoming nuptials. She’s like a sister to me and I had always wanted to visit the Scotland – so stars aligned and the trip planning began! After some serious research (my second favourite part of taking a vacation), I came up with a fairly intense highland roadtrip itinerary. But first, we spent three days in Edinburgh.

Day 1 involved fatigue (thanks, Aer Lingus), food (at the Dublin Airport, Teuchter’s Landing and BrewDog), and nighttime wanderings around Old Town.

The time we had the Royal Mile to ourselves at 10pm on a Thursday

Day 2 started with wonderful coffees and catchups with Jess at Willams and Johnson Coffee Co. Then we moseyed up Arthur’s Seat for a stunning, sunny (!) view of Edinburgh. We popped by Dishoom for tasty Indian food and rosewater cocktails with the lovebirds, then struck out on our own for a pub crawl through Old Town and the Grassmarket.

The view from Arthur’s Seat

Fighting fatigue, Day 3 took us to Toast for breakfast by the Water of Leith, then to the Princes Street Gardens (past a disturbingly loud, mid-morning EDM festival), Dean Village, and New Town. We collapsed at Jess and Murdo’s flat in Leith for some homemade pad thai, scotch, and cat cuddles.

Along the Water of Leith
Dean Village; possibly the most charming place on earth

Even though they were fighting an early morning washing machine-related leak, Jess and Murdo graciously drove us downtown to pick up our noble highland roadtrip steed on the morning of Day 4.

Everyone is terrified about my driving and this is an unflattering photo

After almost side-swiping a Merecedes-Benz and a lot of deep breaths, we bid a temporary farewell to Edinburgh (on the wrong side of the road).

10 minutes into the roadtrip, I’m still surprised Aaron had time to take this photo in between screams of sheer terror

Up next, I attempt to summarize a huge swath of the western highlands in a single post and spend way too much time trying to decide how many panoramic photos of mountains is reasonable. That’ll be Days 4-6; Loch Lomond, Glencoe, the Isles of Mull and Staffa, Glenfinnan, and Camusdarach Beach. Stay tuned!


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