Two nights in Edinburgh

12 June 2010

Holly and I haven't had much time to be online updating our blog. The internet is rather expensive, and it's hard to get online for longer periods of time. Plus, we'd rather be out exploring while we're here. I'll give a short rundown of Scotland and how our love for this country began. But please note that our shortened version was difficult to create. We have grown to love this country more than we ever imagined.

Day 5: Edinburgh - Sunday, June 6th
We put our faith in Ryanair and boarded a small plane to Scotland. Flying with Ryanair is a little like being at a carnival. People stroll the aisle with random items such as smokeless cigarettes and lottery tickets. It's a concept we, as first-timers, were not aware of.

We were only in the air for about 30 minutes before hitting the landing strip at about a billion miles per hour! I honestly thought that was the end of our trip, right there on the runway.

But despite our racing hearts and fear for our lives, we landed in Scotland ready to explore. An hour later, Holly and I were hiking steep hill after steep hill to our humble abode of Castle Rock Hostel in Edinburgh. These Scots must have killer calf muscles.

The AirLink bus ride into the city had us "oh!"-ing, "ah"-ing and "that's so cute!"-ing everything in eyesight. Our anticipation of discovering Edinburgh was bursting at the seams.

Truthfully, Edinburgh lived up to every expectation and more, It is the most fabulous city! All along the cobblestone roads stand beautiful buildings depicting Gothic architecture. We instantly fell in love with Edinburgh and felt at home from its warm, welcoming feel. Every other shop displayed tartan scarves, cashmere accessories and tasty Scottish shortbread. We couldn't clear the smiles from our faces all day.

Although the weather wasn't ideal, we took a three-hour walking tour with Sandeman's New Europe Tours. About 30 minutes into the tour, we ached for something more adventure and decided to explore the city on our own. It's a good thing we did! We met a few Scots who recommended a delightful lunch at the Deacon's House Cafe on the Royal Mile. Soon after, our new Scottish friends taught us how to sneak past the guards into the Edinburgh Castle and costly museums. But don't fret, we didn't take their tips. Instead, we paid our share and fell in love with Edinburgh more and more with every passing minute.

Museums and shops filled our afternoon until we fell upon the craft market along the Royal Mile. Holly and I gawked at Scottish marble rings and so badly wanted to spend our well-saved pennies on some high-priced jewelry. With great will power, we dismissed our temptations and promised ourselves the savings would be more meaningful in the end. In retrospect, we lied to ourselves. Upon arriving back to Chicago under budget, we really wished we would've splurged! I suppose it gives us a reason to return, right?

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