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.

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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.

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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.

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Along the Water of Leith
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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.

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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).

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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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