This weekend we took our first trip to explore Scotland! We’d done a couple of day trips to surrounding towns, but this was our first big exploration. We had been waiting for a time when I had off work on a day when Jared didn’t have school, and this weekend it finally worked out. It ended up working out quite well because Jared is just finishing his first 6 week session of classes, so he was done with most of his work and was able to relax! We left Friday morning and took the train to Edinburgh, where we ate amazing food, drank beautiful, warm, delicious coffee, and explored this beautiful city. We combined doing some of our favourite city things–good food and coffee–with the touristy exploration of the city.
Doing anything here is just so different. At home, if we wanted to go to the city for the day, we’d just get in the car and go. Here, we had to buy train tickets online early to get them cheaper, make sure we knew what time to catch the bus to the train station so we didn’t miss our train, and do it in reverse to get back on Saturday in time for me to get to work! We’re getting pretty good at public transit, but its still different depending on someone else to get us where we need to be when we need to be there! Here’s a little of what our weekend looked like:
Friday when we arrived, our first priority was coffee (of course). We went to this perfect little cafe called Leo’s Beanery. Their coffee was amazing, Jared said he thinks it could be the best cappuccino he’s ever drank (we have been deprived of good coffee for a while, so it’s hard to tell). We also had this delicious little cheese scone, that we could have eaten like 500 of. We spent some time there planning out the rest of our day and just relaxing.
Next, off to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh! While the gardens were beautiful to walk through, we decided they might be more spectacular in the spring or summer when there are actually flowers. This time of year it was more like a perfect park to walk through, which was great too! It also had some great views of the city.
By this time we were getting hungry, and ate an amazing burger from Cross & Corner, a little restaurant we stumbled upon while walking around.
We stumbled upon the Royal Portrait Gallery next, and spend some time looking at the faces of the famous people of Scotland. One of the great things about Edinburgh was all of the free museums! We didn’t pay to get into anywhere all weekend!
Throughout the rest of the day we explored the quintessential tourist spots: Calton Hill, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Mile, and The Castle. We didn’t actually pay to go into the Palace or Castle, because we’re cheap, but they were cool from the outside!
Sometime in the afternoon we used this app called HotelTonight, that Bethany told us about a while ago, and booked a super cheap hotel to stay in. It ended up being pretty nice (our standards may be pretty low at this point) and a really good deal (but it better be really cheap for us to call it a good deal). We were really please with the app and will totally use it again!
Friday night we got a burger from a place that Jared found with “the best burgers in Edinburgh,” it was pretty great! Of course our next stop was a coffee shop, Brew Lab, seriously one of the coolest coffee shops we’ve ever been in. And we finished off the night be seeing The Fifth Estate, the first movie we’ve seen since being here! We really went all out 😉
Saturday we spend some time doing things we could only do in the city, such as finding a surf shop, shopping for warm clothes, and finding bookstore upon bookstore. Sadly, the surf shop was a little out of our price range for now, so we’re still on the hunt for a used board for Jared! Someone had recommended this store called Primark for cheap, warm clothes, and we loved it! I seriously wanted to buy everything in the store. We were able to control ourselves and just buy a few sweaters and other essentials (like slippers for Jared so he stopped wearing mine!) We also found some local farmers markets to explore, and of course more good coffee and food.
Overall it was a lovely weekend away exploring a new city. We love it here so much, and this weekend was no exception!
A couple of more every day things…
- Jared finally starts work at the pub today! We had a hold up waiting for our tax ID numbers, and then he had to wait for a new schedule to start working, but it ended up alright because he was able to finish off his first six weeks and we were able to get away!
- I’m finally working full time! I was starting to think I might need a second job because I was only getting 20-25 hours at the restaurant, but I just asked him if I could work more, and he has me on as full time now!
- Its been raining constantly here, so I have been putting off laundry since I knew it would take days to dry inside… Yesterday it was finally sunny! So I quickly (haha) did two loads and hung them outside. I was so proud of myself because I figured out just when it was about to start raining, so I hurriedly brought the clothes inside to finish drying. It never did rain again yesterday, and my clothes are still damp in our living room. Gotta love life here 🙂 UPDATE: I wrote this blog yesterday (Monday). After writing the blog, it looked nice and sunny outside, and so I decided to hang the laundry up for the 4 hours we would be gone. It wasn’t supposed to rain at all yesterday. The laundry is now still hanging in the living room since it started pouring while we were gone yesterday afternoon. Trying out our neighbours little heater fan to see if that dries them any faster… I’ll keep you all updated. I know you are very interested.