It must have been travel day because the pub was full this morning, nowhere to sit and charge my phone.
There was a luggage room with couches I could use though so I started my day there.
I was not the only 1 in the suitcase storage room, there were 2 couches and one had a female with a sheet pulled over her hair.
No sense waking her up to chat so I put in my headphones. Within 5 minutes, a girl comes in and begins blow-drying her hair.
The sleeping girl rustles and makes a sound. She was trapped, can’t ask someone to be quiet in a room that isn’t meant for sleeping. Yet why of all the places to dry ones hair was this girl here though?
Also as a balding man, I don’t understand the need for blow-drying one’s hair. Is hair mildew an issue? I air dry my head hair, but it isn’t past my shoulders.
As it turns out the previously sleeping girl had arrived very late and had elected to forgo paying full price for only a few hours. It is a strange thing, all the rules about check in, out times but the biggest one is no discounts if you get in very late.
I mean, things happen, plans are delayed, roads get closed at night. I figured deals could be made, but in my experience, there is only 1 price no matter if you use a bed for 1 hour or 12 hours.
Today was a satchel day as I needed to carry water. I was going hiking up Arthur’s Seat, a small mountain near town.
Well it is much bigger than a hill or mound, but not a mountain.
If you are traveling, it is a good idea to get a messenger bag or some sort of over the shoulder satchel for carrying small items.
Inside your satchel should be a durable water vessel. You’ll save a lot of €, £ or $ on water, which you need during the day.
To maximize your savings, don’t buy water, tea or coffee. Little expenses add up.
Spending 2$ per day on water everyday for 30 days = 60$. That is 1 if not 2 nights cost of a room in a hostel. All you have to do is buy a water bottle…
Breakfast was at Piemaker again. They had quite a variety at reasonable prices. It was also quite filling food.
It was perhaps a mile walk from High St to the entrance to Arthur’s Seat. You have 2 entrance options, both lead up. I elected to take the route with stairs options.
There is also another route that has hills going up. It isn’t hiking per se, but it is for sure more than just walking.
The stair route took about 15min of non stop walking. I was definitely winded but once you’re on top, your breath is going to be taken away at the view!
Looking out to the west was the North Sea.
The wind whips by at great speed. It’s so fast that a couple times I felt I would be lifted off the ground or more realistically my hat would blow off.
It was so beautiful, so I sat down for a few moments, to my left was aerial view of Edinburgh, to my left was the North Sea.
Alls well. I’ll remember this for a long time. Be sure to visit Arthur’s Seat, it is a wonderful place.
There are trails in other directions around the seat, it is a large park. I saw several long worn paths in the green grass.
The path down just seemed like a steep decline, but there were moments where it looked like you had to grab on to pull yourself up. A light hike, I’d say.
I soon recognized I’d been in this area before once I saw the Scottish Parliament building.
It was a road that lead to High Street. It also passed a fish and chip shop. I felt being back in the UK, I should have a proper fish n chips meal.
The entire menu was fried items, pizza, cookies, vegetables, most anything you could think of they’d fry up.
The size of the fish and chips I received was intimidating. Felt like a pound of thick cut potatoes, chips with a big fried fish that was cut into 2 halves, a few inches of both ends of the fish jutted out of the styrofoam box.
It wasn’t too greasy, nice flaky breading. I added a brown sauce the guy behind the counter said I should have. It was like vinegar-y ketchup.
So much food! Too much food, I had to throw a lot out. I wondered if fish and chips warms up well as a leftover? Maybe put it in the over vs. microwave.
Now full I made my way to catch as many performers as I could.
I saw a singer songwriter with a guitar. A sword swallower. A fire breather. Groups of dancers. A drum group who pounded out rhythms while chanting. A contortionist who fit through a tennis racket.
Why there was even a guy yelling bible verses at everyone, but maybe he was just a local who was there every week.
The long street was blocked off for cars so there was lots of room for performers. It was quite a remarkable spectacle!
I found the stairs that lead down to my hostel. There seemed to be several ways to get to High St. I usually followed a road, but there were now 2 sets of stairs I could use.
What made this set of stairs cool was the fact there was a small restaurant on the left and a covered walkway. Looks like someone had a room up there!
Tonight I opted to try the nice pub a couple doors down from my hostel. It was a good thing I did.
The place was full, seats along the walls to the left and right, and in the middle were 5 musicians facing each other and a table. They played acoustic instruments: guitar, fiddle, pipe, a drum and mandolin.
I got a pint and a place to sit just as they began a new tune. A small lady played the violin standing up for the first few measures before holding it to her side. She sang a mournful tune.
They played several tunes alternating from slow dirges to faster tempo hoedowns. I heard a lot of jumping off points for bluegrass in this style of music.
They played for a couple hours. I noticed that as people left, they tossed in a coin or note into a bowl on the table. Ah ye old tip jar.
I made a point to drop some £ soon after I finished my pint. What a wonderful evening of music!
And they weren’t a band, they were just individuals who played there!
I popped into the pub next to my hostel to see if anything was going on. I knew nothing could top what I just heard but you never know.
There was a few people hanging out there, one guy motions to me and then the bartender. He had just bought me a pint.
The bartendress just smiled and poured me a pint, “He’s just arrived, been buying anyone who comes by a pint. He doesn’t talk much tho. Cheers!” she said as she plopped my pint onto the bar.
The guy who bought me the beer never spoke to me, just acknowledged me while dancing with his girl. He bought me 2 pints that night and I don’t know his name or where he is from.
Thanks mystery guy wherever you are!
Beer: Tennent’s lager
Song: Big Country Big Country