Last day in Edinburgh. I’d found 5 days to be a good amount of time in a place. You didn’t feel rushed, had time to unpack and unwind.
Anything less than 5 days in a city I felt rushed, like I had just arrived. I liked to unpack my bag and get laundry done every Sunday.
All the thing you normally don’t want to do are what you end up missing. Chores, errands, all the mundane, tedious activities that come with living in a home or apartment, that’s what you end up missing on a long trip.
I enjoyed a cup of coffee at the bar next to my hostel, which was surprisingly full of families, locals. I soon headed out and hit the streets.
Ascending the stairs yet again, I paused at the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde pub, based on a real Edinburgh resident, Deacon Brodie. By day he was a furniture maker and city councilor. By night he was a gambler and thief with several mistresses.
He made furniture and keys for people he eventually robbed since he had their keys and trust based on his good standing. The legend has it he designed the gallows on which he was hung for his crimes.
It is quite an interesting true tale should you care to read it.
Fringe Festival was still in full swing so I walked the Golden Mile pausing here and there to listen to a songwriter or see performers dance.
Such a bustling area, full of people walking, crowding around a performer and just having a great time. I do highly recommend if you are to visit Edinburgh, going during the August Fringe Festival is a great time
Had my final pies at Piemaker, another spot I’d recommend. A great way to start the day.
I took up a locals advice about a walk through the Princes street gardens, a green space near city centre.
It was a great, tree covered walk. They were setting up a stage for a performance that night and were playing some tunes on a towering rows of speakers.
I took at seat on a grassy hill and watched the workers building scaffolding for a bit. I turned my gaze onto some kids playing and saw a carousel, so I walked a bit further to get a good view of the carousel.
I don’t see many carousels in the US. I like that they are fun for kids so it’s a good people watching spot if I ever spy one. Round and round they go! They are finally free as most parents stand and watch or take pictures.
Soon I moved over to a bench and spied the castle from afar, perfectly framed between some trees, a Scottish flag flapping in the breeze.
It moments like this that while I knew I missed a lot of must see spots in the cities I visited, I needed to focus on enjoying everything I did see.
I doubt that anyone living in a city sees all the sites either, all the historic places of interest so why beat myself up over missing them too?
I was walking several miles per day so I was seeing a lot, but I didn’t have a top 10 list I was trying to cram in. I’d done that before and grew to dislike the hurried nature of pursing a list of must see attractions.
Pausing at another bench I watched a street bagpiper play. I’m pretty sure Scotland during the national tattoo festival is about the only time a bagpiper is tolerated on a busy city corner.
The lone piper was fully dressed up with tall black hat, jacket with belt strapped around his chest, and kilt. Lots of oddly placed buckles adorned his attire too.
You do get into bagpipes sound eventually, the droning repetitive nature of the instrument does lull you when played properly. Or perhaps I have some Scottish blood in me that makes these tones set off feelings and memories.
I watched the sun go down whilst the piper blew his pipes. A nice end to a nice day.
Winding my way closer to my hostel via the cobblestone streets. Upon arrival I was shocked to find the pub next door was full.
It seems while I thought this bar was mainly for people at the hostel, it was a locals spot on weekends.
The Doric next door, where I saw the live band, was also full, too.
On the corner in the other direction I recalled a big pub so I went in to check the scene there.
I was in the UK equivalent to a sports bar. Pool tables, shuffle boards, TV’s everywhere showed current and past sporting events.
Not feeling in the mood to walk into the night for another option, I saddled up to the bar and ordered a pint.
To this point, I’d had bad experiences with stag parties, aka guys bachelor party where they are only out to get drunk and screw chicks.
Tonight I encountered 2 hen parties, aka gal’s bachelorette party where they also just want to get drunk and screw guys…or gals.
Shortly after I sat down, a group of girls arrives, the bride has a shash that reads: brides just wanna have fun!
They proceed to order 2 rounds of shots, each time toasting ‘to finding some hot lads!’
The maid of honour encourages the ladies to “get out there and find some fit cock!”
I knew some girls did this just as guys do, we are all human with desires, we just express these desires differently. But, they didn’t even look my way, how rude!
Throughout the night another hen party came in and began taking shots at the bar.
These parties usually dressed up the same with same colored shirt, white letters spelling out their group’s name and the parties event name: “McKenna’s Wedding Party. There will be no surviors!” You know that sort of thing.
It wasn’t a crazy evening, no fights, no heated arguments, just a night on the town.
Edinburgh surprised me. I only picked it due to the affordable plane price. It’s wonderful, historic city. It was one of the most scenic places I went on my trip.
The Fringe Fest was another amazing bonus. People sure are talented and I saw many performers accomplishing many feats.
And hey, anywhere that in August, you had to buy a hoodie due to the cool weather, is a great escape from a place that regularly had August temps over 100.
Hooray Edginburgh! On to Glasgow.
Beer: Deuchars IPA
Song: Edwyn Collins A Girl Like You