We traded in the lovely sun on the coast of Portugal from our last adventure for the raging winds in Scotland. After a long work day and happy hour drinks with Erin's colleagues, we hopped in the car and drove an hour and a half to Frankfurt Hahn airport in Germany - a warehouse in the German countryside. We landed at 11:30 pm UK time, so we quickly picked up our rental car and drove into town, planning to explore the city at first light.
With only one full day to check out Edinburgh, we woke up early and got started on a 10 mile walk around town, starting with an uphill urban hike to Edinburgh Castle, a 12th century fortress atop a rocky plateau in the center of town called Castle Rock. We took time in the characteristically wet weather to explore the structure before heading to a brunch of acai bowls, smoothies and chocolate cake in a cozy cafe set along a winding cobblestone street of multicolored buildings.
The Royal Mile
After getting our fill, we walked along the Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of town connecting the Castle to the Royal Palace, dotted with shops, churches and pubs. We stopped in to the St. Giles Cathedral, dating from the 14th century, and we admired the detailed stained glass. We attempted to visit the famous Holyrood Palace, but it was closed for Good Friday, so we did some shopping in the modern area of town across the valley from the castle.
We took an afternoon break at our hotel and ventured out again for a long walk to catch the sunset atop Arthur's Seat - a moss-topped peak at the edge of town. We wound through various neighborhoods, finding Edinburgh to be very livable and cool. After about 45 minutes of walking, we reached our destination - the main peak of the hills surrounding the city and a great spot to watch the sun set over the city, with the bay in the distance.
We hiked as high as we could, taking in the views, before heading down and catching a ride to dinner. For dinner, we decided to get something that we can never find in Luxembourg, good Asian fusion cuisine. Although obviously not local, we had a great dinner with a hip young crowd that felt much more in the moment than the spots around our European home.
We emerged into a classic Scottish downpour and ran the 10 minutes back to our hotel before retiring for the night. We planned to wake up just after dawn the following day to journey away from civilization northward to the famed Isle of Skye in northern Scotland.
Check out our Edinburgh Travel Edit
Our Adventure Continues to the Isle of Skye
Expat Adventure Blog