In November I had the chance to realize a dream: Go to Scotland.
We landed with Mary in the beautiful city of Edinburgh in the middle of November.
I have long searched for articles that could give me good addresses, places to visit, and I always came back to the same ones, so I will try to give you a 4-day overview in Edinburgh to have the best possible experience.
Let’s do it! Let’s do it!
Day 1: Arrival in Edinburgh, let’s go for the discovery!
When we arrived at the airport, Marie had the good idea to suggest withdrawing money, we didn’t want to pay any exchange in France.
We took the 500 bus to Edinburgh, what is convenient is that you can pay by card or cash, but paying for his ticket for other trips requires a little caution, but I will come back to it later.
I advise you to download this application which will allow you to travel by transport in Edinburgh 😉
As soon as we got off the bus, we were greeted by a typical Scottish weather, and we crossed the castle at the corner of a street. I think that at that moment, I was really impressed and I thought that this city had 1000 things to surprise us!
We went to drop off our luggage, we were eager to discover the city!
The choice of accommodation
We had chosen to take an Airbnb, this one was located in Tollcross (about 20 minutes walk from the center), in addition it was located next to a nightclub, we thought it might be convenient to have a party ✨
But this choice was also financial, because I suggested to Mary that we make her breakfast throughout our stay. We had paid Sainsbury’s £18.70 for our breakfasts, and in a pub or café, it costs about £7 per person (if you just have benedict eggs for example).
To help you calculate this, you save £41 (47 euros), which is enough to crack in a thrift store, or a store dedicated to the Harry Potter universe!
And our airbnb cost us 150 euros together, which I found very well budget.
Let’s go for the discovery!
So we had a vague idea of the program, we are like that with Marie, it’s the adventure!
We knew there were things not to be missed, but how and when we were going to do them, we thought “we’ll talk about it on the plane” which gave us “we’ll check on the spot”
I hadn’t said it until now, but I love the historical anecdotes about the place, I think I was a guide in another life. You have been warned!
This place is interesting for two reasons:
– Its history
– Its relationship to the Harry Potter books
Let’s start with Bobby’s story, it may remind you of the story of Hachiko, his Japanese counterpart.
John Gray could not find work in the field, so he went to Edinburgh with his family to find one. He became a policeman and was assigned a dog: Bobby.
Every day at 1pm they went to the restaurant next to the cemetery to eat, and Bobby received bones and brioche (a real dog’s life!)
Unfortunately, two years later, John died (bloody tuberculosis), the faithful little dog accompanied the coffin, but did not go with his late master’s family. Instead, he went to his master’s grave and every day he would fetch his brioche and bone to the restaurant and then return to the man who was his master.
Some people tried to welcome him, but he did not want to, preferring to leave his homes for the cemetery. However, he became friends with a soldier ringing the bell, but never left his master’s grave after more than one meal.
However, he died among the restorers who had welcomed him. A statue was erected in front of the restaurant where he used to be, and he is a figure of fidelity in Edinburgh.
What does this have to do with a cemetery and Harry Potter?
The names on the graves, of course!
Indeed, legend has it that JK Rowling’s daughter couldn’t sleep, so she left the Elephant House to walk her to the cemetery, and by reading tomb names like William McGonagall’s, Tom Riddle, it inspired her to create Harry Potter.
The IndependentTravelCats blog has created a map to help you find your way around.
Let’s go shopping!
Newly arrived in the city, we understood that for shopping there was Prince’s Street which brought together several brands like Lush, Primark, New Look… But we wanted to discover “typical” stores and different from what we know. So we went to Victoria Street, the city that inspired the Traverse path and we quickly understood why.
The fronts, the colours of the shops, the shape of the street, it’s really atypical and just what we were looking for!
Not surprisingly, you can find two shops dedicated to Harry Potter, we took a look at it but we didn’t buy anything.
With the price of the pound, and the fact that it is very popular, I found the prices much higher than in France. In addition, I did not find any product exclusive to Scotland (although I would have hoped to find a product that I would never have seen before)
However, this street has allowed us to make some beautiful discoveries:
The thrift store down the street where you can find tartan scarves, beautiful dresses and sweaters, the bookstore that had superb book editions including that of La Belle and La Bête designated by Studio Minalima and the Howies restaurant which is located “on the floor” of Victoria Street and where I could eat my first Haggis which was absolutely wonderful <3 !
To know: Many restaurants in Edinburgh make deals for seasonality, Homies for example offered a full meal at £12
First evening in Edinburgh
What was also important for Mary and I was the night life ! (By taking an Airbnb over a nightclub you suspected it well!)
I had spotted by chance on the internet a hidden cocktail bar:
Panda & Sons
I wanted us to have fun for this first evening and to be in a quieter place. It’s in front of a small red window where we are greeted by a retro dressed man, we wait a moment then we are invited to go down and we are in front of this library which once opened gives way to a subdued atmosphere where people are dressed casually (which is perfect, considering that we didn’t plan on dressed clothes)
The cocktails were very good, the presentation very nice, the decor too. I was curled up on a nice chair in a pile of cushions!
The menu, the details of the decor make this place a beautiful discovery!
I advise you this place if you want to meet again, it is less friendly than a pub, so it is not here that you will necessarily meet people (unless you make beautiful eyes at the waiter)
We did not dine there, but in a pub-restaurant on Lothian Road, which had not been spotted and which had been advised on the guide of our Airbnb, the Hanging Bat.
The place was full, but since we had come to eat, and not to drink, we were quickly given a place!
This time it was simplicity, a beer and a burger please! The service was fast, very friendly, we were already very tired, so we went home, we had to be ready for the next step!
See you soon for new Scottish adventures!