The year is coming to an end and so are my last days of holidays.
My day to day is managing, scheduling, analyzing and budgeting all day long. Although I love what I do, when it comes to my holidays, I sometimes do not manage them well. This one was an example of it, I booked last minute and in a hurry.
In Brazil, we have a saying: “Em casa de ferreiro espeto de pau”.
In English, it would be something such as : “The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot”. This is not a direct translation to the Brazilian proverb, but they do express the same idea.
I sometimes rely on luck to have a good holiday experience and I have to say. It hasn’t disappointed me as much.
This time, I had 2 days to enjoy and I decided to go to Edinburgh… during the winter. Ask me if it was a good idea? The answer is: well…
I have to say, I did hit the jackpot on the location of the hotel, I choose York Place as the area to stay and it was a great location. It was walking distance to everything I chose to visit.
When I got to the hotel, (you can get a tram from the airport to York Place) I started to plan my trip.
As I arrived early and had not had any breakfast, I went to a restaurant to have a typical Scottish breakfast. Dear Lord! It was a lot of food, but enough to keep me going for the rest of the day.
The Scottish do know how to feed people!
With my tummy full of meat, eggs and other things that I am still not sure what they are, I went to the Botanic Gardens.
I was very lucky to get a couple of sunny yet cold and windy days. At the same time, I missed an attraction in the Botanic Gardens as they were still making preparations for the annual Christmas Lights.
I do enjoy walks outside and the greenery, so to me this was a beautiful time to relax. After that I just walked until I saw an art gallery that for the life of me I don’t know the name.
No planning, remember?
On the second day I had an amazing omelet with ham. I have no pictures of it because I am not taking pictures of an omelet, please …
I headed to Calton Hill by accident because I had no idea it was there and that it was walking distance from me. I just decided to go up a hill and see the view of the city. I had zero clue it was THE hill.
And what a nice surprise, from there not only I could see the view of the city, I could see that I was also walking distance to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle and pretty much all tourist attractions Edinburgh has to offer.
So down the Hill I went to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This palace is still one of the official residences of the Queen and holds tremendous history behind its walls.
I am one of those people that imagines those who used to live there and what they had to go through. Not gonna lie, I left creeped out, specially when I heard Queen Mary’s story on my audio guide.
You have to go through some pretty narrow stairs to reach the room where conspiracy and murder happened. Creepy, but worth it if you are a history buff.
Next, was another happy accident, as I was opening my map to figured out where the Royal Mile was I looked up, there it was, the very beginning of the Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile is made of coffee, souvenir and quilt shops which is alright for me as I just wanted to be there. If you are interested in the real Edinburgh maybe skip all of this and this blog post!
The Royal Mile finishes in front of Edinburgh Castle, I went there at night 5-ish. This was their first Castle of Light extravaganza. A new event created to most likely attract more people into the castle during low season. And you know what? They did a pretty good job.
Of course I was expecting more for the 20 pounds I paid. That being said, I am not sure what else I wanted from that, a hug from the Queen?
I left the city on my third day during lunchtime, so the only thing I did was eat some scones with jam and head to the Prince Street Gardens until it was time to take the tram back.
The interesting part of not planning is that you end up having many surprises, most of them were happy ones.
The downside is that not planning will make you go to an already cold place during winter and folks, not even 7 layers, yes I said 7, of clothing will stop you from getting sick on the way back. Atchuu!