Today I am waking up in Edinburgh, Scotland…..aye, tis going to be a great day! Not quite used to the European way of coffee set up in the rooms (aka…not much) I rig my tea kettle to make what resembles a coffee. I’ll just find a coffee shop later. Again I will be walking into town to conquer more of this lovely city. And conquer I must! A “wee little hill” a friend tells me about. Arthur’s Seat which is in Holyrood Park. “Wee hill” my ass. Well maybe it IS a wee hill and maybe I’m just a “wee” bit out of shape. Don’t tell anyone I said that….
Perusing into the city center there are just so many buildings I can not help but look at in awe. The architecture is pure gothic heaven! Half way I find this tiny little coffee stop. Literally the size of a red phone booth. The dude who runs it is quite the funny chap and makes the BEST lattes with oat milk! A new non-dairy option for me! Not too sweet…just right! Thank you dude! (I really wish I remembered to get his name and take a pic. Next time. But he is right near the park going into town, btw.)
Getting further into town I passed Princes Street Gardens and the Scott Monument.
Talk about wow! Lush gardens and towering statuesque monuments.
First stop…Calton Hill.
Edinburgh’s first public park off Regent Road.
You climb yet another 1,000 steps and ascend about 10,000 feet…ok maybe not THAT much, actually it’s 143 steps, but that’s sure what the heck it felt like. Once you get to the top, the 360 view of town is spectacular. Now again, I am afraid of heights but I was NOT going to let that prevent me from getting that view. The best view is climbing up the National Monument, a pillared structure which looks straight out of Rome. Be warned…it’s not easy hopping up on this structure. It’s literally about 5-6ft of bricks. Nothing to grab on to. I studied it for a bit and noticed a nice English gentleman helping his lady friends up by joisting them by the hiney…literally. Well wouldn’t you know but this kind Englishman offered me a joist. HMMM…. I thought for a quick moment and thought, “I could spend a better half of the day scraping the shit out of my hands and knees trying to get up that monster looking like a dang fool, or I could let this dude feel my rear for a split second and get some amazing views.” Well guess what won? Beautiful pictures, thats what won. Don’t judge me man….don’t judge me.
It was windy…really windy. That didn’t help with my heights issue at all. I must have looked super silly inching my way around this monument hoping not to plummet to my demise. Which really wasn’t too far up, but my luck I would’ve roooooolled all the way down that massive hill.
I hop off the monument and head to the food truck! Weeee! I’m looking forward to a hot cup of tea. Everything looked great but they only took cash…bummer. I did however meet the most ADORABLE Husky named….NEEKO! My kid has a dog named Neeko so I felt we must bond. Heck I will bond with any kitty or doggie that crosses my path. No joke.
Another beautiful part of the park is Nelson’s Monument. A gorgeous stone structure up on another hill on the hill. Time was passing fast on me and I needed to get to my main destination today…..
But before that I had to refuel! Grab a flower for the hair and chow some dee-licious vegetarian asian cuisine.
Here we are…Arthur’s Seat!
Only an 823’ elevation this is actually an ancient volcano. You can take 1 of 2 routes to get to the top. To the right is quicker but much steeper and rocky. To the left is longer but not as steep. But still rocky. I chose to go left. I’m glad I did. Kick ass scenery! Patches of flowers and even the ruins of a chapel.
Doesn’t take too long after I get pretty far up and I’m greeted with what looks like a very steep turn that goes, I don’t know where. My unfortunate vertigo is seeming to get the best of me and I sit and ponder for a bit, ultimately being defeated and having to turn back to go down. I’m pissed. Really pissed. Eff you vertigo. Eff you fear of heights.
When I go back, and I will, I’ll make you my bitch Arthur….you watch. Ugh…I need a beer. Frosty pint of defeat, here I come, to drown my sorrows.
Heading back towards my hotel I pass a few interesting goings on around town…
Secret passageways everywhere!
Hungry, thirsty and defeated by Arthur, I stop to get my grub on. WhistleBinkies it is! Ordered myself a nice frosty half pint of Guinness and a veg wrap and begin to munch away when low and behold a large troup of…well….nice looking gentlemen all in kilts come-a-strolling in. Somehow the wo’s of the defeated day seem to melt away with each lad that fills the joint.
Reluctantly I finish up, pay the bill and sloooooowly head towards the door. Only to be greeted by the line-up of said kilted gents. The daylight is filtering away so I take one last picture and begin to head out. I snap the pic and wonder why they are all lined up….
Well friends….if I had snapped that picture about 2 seconds later. I would NOT have been able to post it. Yes…they ALL LIFTED THEIR KILTS. Ummmmmmm…..Ever wonder what’s under there? Well, not underwear that’s for sure. These dudes were in true Scottish fashion that day.
I think I giggled half in shock the rest of the way back to the hotel.
Tomorrow starts my tour with East of the Hebrides venturing up to the Orkney Islands.
STAY TUNED!!! I have a “ghost” experience to tell you about. No joke…