Winter Tour: Beginnings – Edinburgh Not Edinburgh

Arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 20th of December.  Edinburgh was amazing!  The capital of Scotland is definitely a place I’d love to revisit.  Definitely wouldn’t mind living there either.  Although, I don’t think I’m pronouncing the name of the city properly.  If anyone could teach me how that’d be awesome; I’m guessing it takes on from some sort of Gaelic pronunciation.

I should probably first explain how I ended up there in the first place.  A month ago, I decided to take another trip to Europe again.  A couple of my friends moved to London and I thought I’d go and visit them for the Winter holidays.  I know, sounds awful, not spending the holidays at home, but my relatives and family celebrate early every year, so I’m not missing out on anything!

Edinburgh Anyway, I had my flight set on the 19th and ended up landing in London on the 20th.  However, since my friends were working during the week, I decided to visit another city in the UK until they were free for the weekend; Christmas holidays.  I picked Edinburgh.  It was an awesome pick.  Great scotch, nice cashmere scarves, and free museums! I spent four nights there.  The first night I spent it mostly setting up and visiting the local chip restaurant – that’s french fries for those who don’t know what chips are in the UK.  Ended up arriving in Edinburgh pretty late so that was to be expected.

Edinburgh Castle The second day ended up going around town.  Mostly exploring what was around.  For a small city it really does have everything you could ever hope for in the UK; castles, theatres, fish & chips, scotch, museums, and cathedrals.  Walked around the castle area and took some photos.  There’s a huge cemetery at the bottom.  Pretty mouldy and old looking but pretty epic.  Tried this restaurant called Nando. Food-wise it wasn’t all that special but the spice sauces they use were really good.  You can even buy the sauces to take home.  My friends back in London absolutely love them.  I found that a large majority of restaurants, chicken seems to be the most popular meat.  Definitely different than back at home, where beef steak is the most sought after, or Asia where pork is really huge.  The same day I ended up going to the Lyceum Theatre.  They had a stage play playing; Beauty and the Beast.  It was really amazing.  If you’re in town I’d definitely suggest checking it out.  Also, if you have a student card lying around definitely bring it so you can get tickets for half price!  I got home pretty late so ended up going to the grocery store and grabbing some food there.  Cooked up some dumplings!

National Monument The following day ended up walking around the city a bit more.  More wandering.  Ended up wandering to the East part of the city.  Found the mall; the St James Centre.  Didn’t really shop around since it all looked pretty boring and on top of that it was pretty packed.  I did pick up a bit of food at the food court, which was pretty interesting.  I got some lasagna and picked up a mini pack of my favourite shortbread; Walkers (that’s also a Scottish brand).  After that wandered a bit more around the area and found a really cool park; Calton Hill.  Calton Hill View Definitely a must-go-to if you’re ever in Edinburgh.  You can get a great view of the entire city and on top of that there’s this cool thing they call the National Monument that’s supposed to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens.  It’s technically gated off, but everyone climbs on top of it to take photos.  For dinner went to the local Tesco, their grocery store, and grab some stuff to make a great salad.

The next day I decided to check out the Christmas festival stuff that was around the castle.  But, that was a night.  During the day I went to the National Museum.  Surprisingly the museum was entirely free!  You don’t find too many large museums in Europe that have free admissions.  It was definitely worth seeing.  They had quite a few cool artefacts; especially the old Scottish artefacts.  You get to learn a lot about the history of Scotland.  At night eventually went to go check out all the Christmas stuff.  It’s pretty similar to what they have in London at Oxford Circus; if you’ve ever been.  There was an ice rink, carny games, street food, street vendors, and a whole lot more.  I ended up going for the food.  I had a bunch of German hotdogs, and burgers.  The burgers were so good; wild boar burgers, kangaroo burgers, ostrich burgers.  Although, to me they were more like sliders than actual burgers.

On Saturday, Christmas Eve, I left Edinburgh super early.  Had to leave the house by 4:30 to get to the airport for 5.  I miss Edinburgh.  Honestly wish I had more time to meet more random people there.  But alas, it was time to head to London to help prepare a very English Christmas dinner with my friends!  Like in the summer, enjoy the photos below!

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