Warning: text heavy post!
So for the long awaited Edinburgh report. This was supposed to be a video report. Something different isn’t it? We have been wanting to make video’s and vlogs for a long time and in Edinburgh we finally did round to doing some properly. We had so much fun doing it and felt a bit like real bloggers. But, of course there has to be a but, otherwise you would already have laid eyes on these said videos. After hours of editing (I have a tendency to ramble), it just won’t compile, render out or however it’s called. One or two have made it onto YouTube but more about that later.
So I’ll do it the old fashioned way: the typing way.
We left for Edinburgh at around 11am. Quite early considering we only had our flight at 18.45 pm. That’s because we flew Ryanair and that airport is quite a way away from our house. We, that is Lilly and I. We met with Laure at the station in Ghent and so the trip began. We had lunch on the train, had our transfer to Charleroi in Brussels and once in Charleroi we took the bus to the airport. It was a long but quite fun trip. We were early, a lot early as we had taken into account that we could miss our train in Brussels. So we hung around. Shifted some stuff in our suitcase and I handed out Laure’s ticket as I’m the one who usually books the trips.
We were kind of weary of Ryanair. In all honesty, that flight company hasn’t got the best track record. But follow their many and strict rules and you’ll be fine. We had a breeze flying with them. One bit of advice: Don’t take a backpack or a soft suitcase with you. Lilly and Laure both had suitcases on wheels, I had a kind of overnight bag/ backpack hybrid. I placed it in the overhead compartments but for some reason the personnel both times wanted to move it to a totally different part of the plane. (On the trip back they wanted to put it at the front while we were sitting in the back) Don’t agree with this. I took mine underneath my seat, wise descision because they want you to deplane in a specific way, that being the ones sitting in the back via the tail door and the ones sitting in the front via the first door. I would never have gotten my pack back. I also told them my laptop was in there but that didn’t stop them from almost throwing it around. So my advice: take something that looks firm and non-squishy. Big chance they’ll leave your luggage alone.
The flight was uneventful but when nearing Edinburgh it’s definitely worthwhile looking outside. You start seeing some islands at first and then the main land comes into view. Quite the view!
We arrived in Edinburgh, suitcase and all and went in search for the bus. They are large blue double-deckers. You buy your ticket at a small desk and off you go. You have a nice view of Edinburgh and surroundings on your trip into town. It takes about half an hour.
We arrived on a Bridge. From there it was only a couple of meters to our hostel. It was at the end of a street that wound its way up a hill. As I’m not an avid planner I only found out then that we were just yards from the Royal Mile (that’s the street where The Royal MacGregor is. We raved about that pub in this post).
The staff was very friendly and helped us out straight away. We had booked a 4 bed room and as it turned out that’s one of their penthouses! Hold your horses and don’t expect something fancy and totally extravagant, it’s still a hostel. But none the less we had a very nice room. It wasn’t the cleanest room (That price goes to the hotel in Notting Hill we went to a couple of years ago) but it was ok. There was a huge stain on the sheet that covered the bed. Not the sheets themselves. Those were sparkly white, but the sheet on which the matrass rested. I was a bit afraid to check out the matrass itself but I don’t think I would have been impressed. Also there was a hole in the wall. Laure nicknamed it Boozy as she said it must have been done by someone with a lot of strength, a lot of rage and a lot of booze. Sadly the UK isn’t the place to go to find spick and span modern rooms so all in all, we were very happy with our room. Even more so with the view! It was amazing!
The bathrooms were communal, sadly no cubicles but curtains. However there were only 2 showers on our floor so we opted to shower late at night. Only advantages: most of the time we had the tiny bathroom to ourselves and always hot water!
Once settled we went to a nearby Tesco to get some supper. Edinburgh by night is really beautiful. We went at the end of august and caught the aftermath of the tattoo and the fringe. I was so sad we missed it but the atmosphere was still there.
That was it for our first day as we flew so late.
Next day we just did some shopping and some exploring of the city. Edinburgh has a fantastic shopping street, Princess Street. No big news if you’re from the UK, most of usual shops alternated by some souvenir shops, but for those non UK residents the time to stock up on tea at Whittard, accessories at Primark and tons of make-up and beauty goodies at Boots and Superdrug!
Debenhams is definitely worth a wander through (Yankee candles on floor 2 or 3!) but Jenner’s is a must see, it is the Harrods of Edinburgh. And even though it might lack an Egyptian staircase, I prefer it to its London counterpart. It feels more like a real store that cherishes its own history and less like a glorified overpriced tourist attraction (That being said, I have bought stuff in Harrods that was cheaper than in the cheapest stores in Belgium and the sales people were great).
In Edinburgh I also had my very first John Lewis experience. And how sad I am we don’t have one here! That seems like the ideal store for me where I could drool over all the amazing products and still be able to afford some on a one off. People there were also very friendly and not pushy at all. That is actually true for the whole of Edinburgh. People are friendly, generally not stuck up as shop people in Belgium can be but at the same time not pushy at all. They won’t harass you the minute you walk in the door but turn to ask someone something and they will try to help you the best they can. But that actually was on another day.
The rest of the day we hung around Princess Street Gardens: a lovely park flanking Princess Street with the best view of Edinburgh Castle. We sat around taking pictures and inspecting our shopping.
When twilight came we returned to the hotel, dropped our shopping of and headed to Tesco’s again for our supper. We bought two 5L bottles of water. We nicknamed them our water babies because they weighed about the same as a (admitted very big) baby.
We settled in our hostel room and started shooting videos; hopefully you’ll see one of them someday. These were the very first proper videos we ever did and there was some uncertainty and some nervousness involved but we did have a ball shooting them.
I’ll leave it here for now. I guess I’ve rambled enough. For the brave souls having made it to here: congrats my little troopers. Leave a comment below saying you made it!
Lots of Love