Okay, so we didn’t need to be up quite so early today which was good as we slept in till about 6am. We got up, packed, put a few photos up on Facebook for our families and friends then went down for breakfast. We had some of the yummiest croissants ever with a nice hot cup of tea and then ordered a cab to take us back to the Luton Airport so we could catch the bus to Edinburgh. It was a 9 hour drive so we wouldn’t be arriving until the evening. As much as it felt a bit like a wasted day, to be honest, it was nice to have some enforced rest. We hit the ground running when we got into London and up until this point, we hadn’t stopped so I was sort of looking forward to the slow pace. The bus tour was uneventful. The bus wasn’t overcrowded so we had a seat each to ourselves to be able to gaze out of the windows and just look at the countryside going past us.
And what a countryside it is. Winding our way up through England and into Scotland was just gorgeous. What amazing scenery. The little stone houses and tiny villages had us gazing hungrily out the window, both wishing we’d hired a car instead so we could be stopping where we wanted. There was one town along the way to Edinburgh that I desperately wanted to stop at.. That was Berwick on Tweed. I have to go back there sometime and spend time. It won’t be this visit but I will certainly come back here again. I would love to spend more time stopping at all those gorgeous little villages, having a pint with the locals and finding out what makes them tick. My imagination is running wild here.
Finally arriving at Edinburgh, this time we knew the name of the place we were staying but not the address. Surely a taxi driver would know? We walked out into an arctic breeze. This place is freezing. It is also one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Everything around is old. Imposing old stone buildings all lit up with soft colors that give the whole town a warmth which even the cold breeze can’t lessen. I didn’t know which way to look. I wanted to see it all. I was in thongs as we’d been on the bus all day.. Mmmm bad mistake when I got in. My feet were ready to fall off in the cold lol. We made our way to the taxi rank and got the most lovely taxi driver who had no idea where West Port Pads were. This was where we were staying. He knew where West Port was though, so took us there and then let us out. He had tried phoning the hostel for us to see where it was. He couldn’t be more helpful. He was just lovely…. (and not bad on the eye either lol)
He let us out past the seedy district just up the road and as we stood on the footpath wondering what to do, we looked across and there was the place we were staying at. We went to open the door and it was locked. They ‘d left a note on the door for me but with the light on behind it I couldn’t read what It said. As we were trying to read it, a head popped up from behind the counter and we were pleased that someone was in there. We signed in and then went up to our room. We knew this was backpacker accommodation but what I didn’t know was that it was up a flight of stairs. Lugging my heavy suitcase up the stairs was a nightmare but once we were in, we tidied up and then went looking for somewhere for dinner.
We went to the pub next door to where we were staying. We ordered chicken nachos and garlic and cheese Ciabatta bread. The Nachos were lovely.. the bread was just a slice of bread, spread with garlic butter and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on top.. That bread cost the equivalent of about $8 Australian. It was ordinary and pricey. Still, the atmosphere was great. There were two huge screens showing two different games of football with a smaller one showing a different game again. It was nearly all men in there. When a bucks party came in, the buck wearing a Scottish kilt with an oversized, fake appendage hanging down, we decided it was probably our time to leave. Don’t get me wrong, they were totally inoffensive and funny but we wanted to have a good look around at night anyway.
It seems Edinburgh is the place to go of a Saturday night to celebrate your hens or bucks night… People dressed up in crazy clothes were everywhere.. Not just on the Saturday night either.. Sunday morning, the dress ups were still happening. We met a group of cheerleaders in skimpy outfits.. I asked them if they were cold and they agreed they were freezing… yet they didn’t rug up.. They must breed them tough up here lol.
We started to walk up the stairs to Edinburgh Castle which was right behind where we were staying. After the first lot of stairs, another tourist walked past and said.. only another 700 stairs… It honestly felt like that. It was so steep but when we got up there, it was certainly worth the walk. The whole castle was lit up in pink with a cold orange colored night sky behind it. What a sight. The city lay below us, spreading far and wide and it was magical. This is such a beautiful city by night.. and I have no doubt it will be as beautiful through the day. Sleep was much needed by this point though, so we headed back to the backpackers, managed to use the code to get in and looked forward to having a look around in daylight hours in the morning..