So for the next part of our Edinburgh adventure:
We went for a walk in the lovely greenery they have there. Edinburgh might be a big city, but they also have some amazing nature slap bang in the middle of it. You can already see it when you arrive by plane. For us Belgians where every little bit of nature never seems complete with a road or two and a villa or 20 in it, it really felt like we arrived at a place where they respect nature and leave it unspoiled.
We started heading to the hills. The plans were to walk all the way up to Arthur’s Seat. Bring good shoes! I already rambed about it in this post but really: bring hiking shoes when you are planning to do this and you have no experience hiking. I brought my everyday shoes but those weren’t up for the job.
We started of wandering through the streets in the general direction of the hills, coming across some beautiful architecture and this peculiar sign that made us giggle a little. Really anti climb paint? Is it a real thing or is it to just discourage drunks? Guess we will never know…
I was surprised by the stark contrasts in this city. The center of the city is old and beautiful and grand. Then the further out the more modern and tall the buildings become. And right when you aren’t expecting it anymore there are these majestic hills appearing between buildings. It is rather amazing and fairytale like. It somehow feels like another world is calling you from your everyday modern life. Even now months after I went I still feel like it’s quite surreal, and beautiful, and amazing, and….
We had our breakfast here. Not bad he?
We stopped at a pretty little house next to some really fancy building. We were told the snazzy building was the Scottish parliament. Being from the country where building crazy contraptions passed off as houses or public buildings is part of our genetic makeup, we believed them. It seemed quite amazing to me they managed to integrate the building into the greenery. The picture above seems to be a bit too concrete -y but the picture above that I like more. I like the fact they embedded the benches into the hill and followed the flow of it.
Got sidetracked: back to the quaint little house that held a log of people who walked the hills. There was this folder with forms you could fill in giving recommendations and so on. Worth taking a look at, some people rage about the weirdest things in there. This bronze kind of sculpture of the hills showed interesting points to visit in 3d, useful and it looked pretty nice too. Also it’s just a lovely little house, well I say little but I guess it’s not that small. But very homely and authentic feeling none the less .
I was ready to move in then and there. Sadly no pictures. For some reason I didn’t take any.
We had stopped at Tesco before heading out on our little exploration as we decided we would have a picnic among the green. Great idea but the execution didn’t go entirely to plan. For one, it had been raining on and off and secondly, don’t picnic near a swan lake. Definitely not when there’s yoghurt involved. Apparently swans have a weak spot for the stuff. Who knew right?
But sitting at a swan lake is a good pastime. Very funny and entertaining to see them wash themselves or in some cases each other and so see them take off and land. The most proficient yoga-ists would definitely be jealous of the stuff these swans get up to when just washing themselves. Because of the shoe issue Laure and I stayed at the lake with the shopping as Lilly went up the hill to take pictures of a ruin. She said it was a little more challenging than she expected and she had a little help from some lovely hikers getting over some of the rougher terrain.
When she got back we decided to start our picnic but were rudely interrupted by 2 swans hungry for yogurt. They came in stealth mode, pretending the were just having a wander about. We didn’t fall for it. Those things are huge so we kind of hot footed out of there. The followed us for quite a while but finally gave up and walked another way.
We had our lunch a little further back up the track after some brisk walking to shake those 2 yogurt fanciers. There was the tiniest river and water fall I’ve ever seen. I like the sound of rushing water so I was pleased to have lunch there. A very nice place all together; just a bit annoyed by the constant drizzle. It soon stopped however and we just started wandering about a bit. We headed back to the city not really decided where we were going to go or how we were going to get there.
We stumbled across this intriguing graveyard. We walked through it and came across some still legible stones. All of them tell stories of great loss and hard lives. Lots of them where broken off or lying flat on the floor. We were kind of upset by this as we thought this was vandalism. It wasn’t they do this so the old stones won’t break off and fall on someone. It still remains a strange sight and I kind of feel sad for those people. Not seldom there are names of children that died very young. For some reason it feels weird that their eternal resting place is somehow torn down even though it’s for safety reasons. I think it might be a cultural thing too. I was partly raised by my grandparents and they had a great respect for the graves of their loved ones. The week before All Souls day we would feverishly clean it and weed the surroundings and put flowers on it and repair damage…
Lilly wanted to see another park while Laure and I were feeling the heat on our feet already. That lead us to take the short, but hard way up the hill and while Lilly meandered up the hill, clicking away, Laure and I were sitting exhausted atop a couple of boulders randomly left there with no other apparent use other than being quite sturdy seats. There was another nice house/small castle up that hill and I wanted a look at that. I walked around it and it appeared lived in!!! How amazing must I be to live there with such an awesome view!
We ended our wandering in St. James Shopping Centre in search for some Origins Products. We saw a ton of interesting shops among which a John Lewis. I still wish we had something like that here. We have Galeria Inno but the brands they sell aren’t nearly as interesting.
We ended the night again in the Royal McGregor again. We had a lovely meal and a nice evening.
Our last day was a day of packing, wandering around and waiting. We packed, left our bags at the hostel reception and had a last wander around. We ended up in Jenner’s again and who wouldn’t. Before we knew our time was up, we took the bus back and then the plane back home.
We came back home tired but very happy and with amazing memories.
Have you been on a trip you have fond memories of?
Lots of Love