After a very traumatic few weeks where I had been in to a coma and nearly died, developed a serious and rare dermatology illness and then spent 9 days in a cancer isolation ward and my immune system had failed, my hair coming out in clumps and required a central line, I needed a change of scenery. A place to mentally get my head around what lay in front of me. Something that would throw my life right in the air. I really was in no fit state to travel anywhere, I was fainting on a daily basis. I knew why and it was something I would have to put up with for a wile. I was also emotionally and mentally drained after splitting from my partner. I didn’t think it was possible to cry any more tears. A text message was sent to me after he had driven half the night to avoid telling me face to face after an ultimatum had been made. An ultimatum to pick me or someone else. I lost. I’d been unable to tell him something I so needed to but with him not answering my text messages it appeared my next journey in life was to be done alone and I needed to get away from all surroundings to process this in my head. I truly was alone and I needed time to think. So on a plane I jumped to Scotland.
Sitting at the airport was like waiting to have my fate sealed. Everyone around me was so happy and jolly off on their holidays. All I wanted to do was find a snuggly blanket, wrap myself in to it ad crawl in to a ball and sat there until everything went away. That clearly wasn’t going to work.
When it was time I made my way to the plane from Birmingham airport to Edinburgh. I hadn’t even booked a return flight and just wanted to go back to my earlier 20s where I’d book a one way ticket and a couple of nights and see where the wind would take me. I’ve had fabulous holidays in Egypt, Canaries Island, Scandinavia but just throwing caution to the wind and seeing where the wind would take me. These were all travels as a single person and you know what they were some of the best times I’ve ever had. Just what I wanted and needed to do. I’ve always been quite independent like this and was always very uncomfortable with structured activity dictated by others. I much prefer to go with the flow, Which explains my trouble with people interfering in my life. I am laid back and will probably take more than most but I do reach a point where I will take no more.
So there I was an hour later in bonny Scotland; Edinburgh to be more precise. I took the shuttle bus in to the city centre and jumped in a cab to mu budget accommodation. I was staying in university hall with the students being on summer break. I can’t recommend them enough, You can see my trip advisor review here. The price for the double room, en suite and shared kitchen was amazing. I stayed 7 nights and paid £250 for the week. The only thing I would fault would be the walls are a little thin and I was disturbed by other guests coming home in the early hours. There is a large sainsburys situated below the building and the halls a mere 10 min bus ride out of the city.
My first day in Edinburgh consisted of a ticket on the tourist bus and a visit to Edinburgh Castle, I was really lucky in that the sun shined. The views from the castle were spectacular.
For lunch I went to the Cannonball restaurant that is just at the entrance to the castle. Delicious is not the word and I will be writing a separate post regard the lunch here.
The city tourist bus tour took us down the Royal Mile to Holyrood. Unfortunately it was not open to the public as they had royal visitors present. If I ever return to Edinburgh I’d love to visit inside.
The streets are lined with pipers everywhere and do really bring a crowd together. But who doesn’t like a Scot in a kilt!
I was lucky to enjoy two afternoon teas whilst in Edinburgh. The first was at Browns on Geroge St.
The second at the stunning Palm Court Room at the Balmoral hotel.
As well as Cannonball, I also dined at the most spectacular restaurant called Ondine. Such a fantastic meal.
At the weekend I decided that I would love to see a little more of what Scotland had to offer and booked two separate day trips by coach. Saturday took in Saint Conan’s church, Lake Lomand, Inverary caste and Oban as part of our tour.
Day two was all about Loch Ness, Glen Coe and The Highlands,
Back home to this wonderful view across Edinburgh from my accommodation.
Whilst in Edinburgh it would be just rude no to come away with no tartan at all. I just fell in love with this wool shawl and feel so lucky that it came home with me. It is so warm and soft , I am literally praying for some cooler weather so I can snuggle up on the sofa wrapped in it.
Of course no shopping trip would be complete with out a trip to the local Cath Kidston store and some addition to my mug collection
Finally, while waiting for my train home a full Scottish Breakfast, minus the black pudding for meas its not a favourite.
And in no time at all it was time to say goodbye to Edinburgh and my first Scottish adventure but there will most certainly be more.