Though I still maintain London was my favourite UK destination, Edinburgh takes a close second. And guys, it is close. Jess, Damien, and I spent four days in that gorgeous Scottish city, and it was really surprising just how different it was from London. Edinburgh has the same big-city feel, but where London is busy and spread-out, Edinburgh is quieter and more compact. It felt slower-paced and calm, yet the whole atmosphere has a much more dramatic, darker sense than London. The skinny buildings shoot straight up to the sky, and the gothic-influenced architecture is simply stunning. And then on top of all that (quite literally), the massive Edinburgh Castle sits atop a cliff, looming over the whole city. I enjoyed the bustling near-chaos of London, but strolling through the subtly imposing streets of Edinburgh was a refreshing change.
And before you ask, no, I was never brave enough to try haggis. Part of me wanted to, but then I saw pictures of it and I thought, How about no. But never fear, my Scottish experience was not lacking. We walked up and down the Royal Mile, toured old cathedrals like St. Giles, avoided questionable individuals in darkened graveyards, tried out the best coffee shops (Brew Lab and Peter's Yard), stumbled across an amazing statue of Sherlock Holmes, explored the National Museum and the National Gallery, listened to live bagpipe music, discovered random cute buildings and adorable little nooks, raced up a flight of stairs with something like thirty-thousand steps (not our smartest idea), and of course, ate lots of good food. I tried authentic shortbread and square sausage (of which Damien kept a copious supply) and whiskey fudge and Irn Bru. I toured Edinburgh Castle (Jess and Damien had seen it before, so they opted out this time), which is so ginormous that it took me about two and a half hours. The castle was definitely one of my favourite sites; it's overflowing with beautiful history and provides such stunning views of the city. At night we collapsed in our hotel rooms, tired and happy and usually a little cold (though we had a great mix of cloudy days and sunshine and NO RAIN YAY), and spent our evenings in the best ways; eating tiramisu and hoisin sauce duck wraps and the most amazing fudge we bought on the Royal Mile, watching Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Great British Bake-Off, and me gracing my two companions with a riveting reading of a favourite book, complete with dramatic vocals and stunning impersonations. Heh heh. It was very special, guys.
Our favourite parts of Edinburgh were Arthur's Seat and the John Knox House. Arthur's Seat is a
So while London will probably remain the crown of my England trip, I really really miss Edinburgh.