I’ve been delaying writing this post as I have mixed feelings about Edinburgh. I had high expectations of this historic city in Scotland but perhaps I painted too magical of a picture for myself. We did enjoy our time and I’m very grateful to be having this amazing experience (travelling around the world) but I’ll admit, Edinburgh wasn’t a favourite for me.
We arrived on a Saturday and it always takes me a bit to adjust to my surroundings especially if we are going from a small quaint place to a larger metropolitan city so I was a bit frazzled stepping off the train. I really don’t like crowds and definitely need to get used to them ;-).
Our Airbnb was located about a 20 minute bus ride from the center of Edinburgh in the Portobello neighbourhood. It was a lovely place. Our hosts were wonderful and we were just minutes away from the beach. Too bad the water was so cold! I did dip my toe in but it nearly froze and fell off ;-).
Getting to our Airbnb was pretty simple. The Bus literally drops you off in front of it. I wasn’t too thrilled with the grumpy bus driver! Oh and then there was the really cranky driver who started swearing at us because we crossed the street. And this wasn’t even a major street! Just a small residential street which to our surprise didn’t have a stop sign. Come to think of it, we didn’t see any stop signs anywhere.
We spent the first night in Portobello and went in search of dinner. Aside from a restaurant on the boardwalk, we couldn’t really find much on the main street. There are a lot of takeaway places but none of the restaurants caught our attention. We took a chance on a Chinese restaurant called Laura’s and it was fantastic! Food and service both were top notch. I can’t find a website to link but if you are in the neighbourhood, their address is 324 High St, Portobello.
Next day, after a lovely breakfast served by our hosts (Stuart makes awesome muffins!), we headed for a long walk towards the city. We decided to climb Arthur’s Seat and then to the old town for some sightseeing. We meandered through residential areas to Rosefield Park, Figgate Park then to Hollyrood Park up to Arthur’s Seat. Oh boy, was it ever steep but definitely the highlight of this city! We were rewarded with an incredible view of Edinburgh and were proud of ourselves for not giving up and walking up that crazy steep hill
The walk down was much easier and we spent the afternoon exploring the old town.
The history here is breathtaking and we loved seeing the ancient structures but at the same time disappointed how dirty everything was. The buildings are all covered in soot. I understand that it is a costly operation to have them cleaned but as a city that attracts so many tourists, shouldn’t they take better care of these historic buildings? And it’s not just the buildings, there seems to be garbage everywhere. I don’t remember seeing one city worker cleaning the streets.
You see now why I was a little hesitant writing about Edinburgh? I didn’t want to write anything negative but I need to be truthful as that’s what this blog is about, sharing our experience as we travel the world.
We ended up walking back to our Airbnb – it’s about 1.5-hour walk! Yes, we are crazy. We covered over 18 kilometers that day!
Next day was museum day! We took the bus. Our bodies would not have it any other way. The National Museum of Scotland was amazing. We spent close to four hours in there and could have stayed longer. You can also see Kasm’s post on the museum. It was his favourite part of our Edinburgh visit.
Once we got our fill of the museum, we went in search of tea and scones. We’ve become quite addicted to them! Or perhaps it’s the miserable weather! Only way to keep warm, DRINK TEA!
We found this funky little hole in the wall just off the Royal Mile. Tea and the scones were great but can’t say the same about the sandwiches.
We decided to spend the last day exploring around Portobello and enjoy the beach. It was a lovely relaxing day. We dined at Espy on the beach and Kasm had fun running around with a soccer ball.
We won’t love every place we visit but that’s ok. It’s all about the experiences we gather and the amazing people we meet. Sandra and Stuart, our lovely Airbnb hosts made us feel welcome in their home. Stuart even invited us one evening to have a beer and we had a lovely chat. If you are visiting Edinburgh, we highly recommend their place.
Walking around the old town was fantastic, just have to ignore how dirty everything looks!
Hike up to Arthur’s Seat was definitely a highlight. It is an absolute must.
Visit to the National Museum should also be another must. And it’s free.
Have you been to Edinburgh? Why not comment below and tell us how you felt about the city and your visit.