Latest Travel: Edinburgh, Scotland

Any time I come back from visiting someplace new, I claim it’s my favorite place I’ve ever been.  Such is the case with Edinburgh, Scotland.  I’ve explored the United Kingdom quite a bit, but this was my first time to Scotland, and I fell madly in love.  Everything was perfect, from the apartment I stayed in to the sights and sounds the city had to offer.  Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

  1. Accommodation: I booked everything as a package through Expedia, and accommodations were with a company called Stay Edinburgh City.  This company owns various apartments of differing sizes along the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare for tourists.  Each apartment is unique, so I can only speak for the one I stayed in.  I absolutely loved it!  The windows opened up to the Royal Mile, it had a kitchen, spacious living room, separate bedroom, and a toilet/shower room.  My only complaint: no place to hang towels, and no storage for toiletries.

    This apartment was at the top of four flights of spiral stairs, so if you have any mobility issues, I would address those with the property manager at the time of booking.  I used the stairs as an excuse to eat like a pig, which is easy to do in Edinburgh.

  2. Sights & Sounds: Edinburgh is an old city with amazing architecture, attached to interesting stories.  Some of my favorite sights were Edinburgh Castle, which inspired Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, as well as the various museums, many of which are free to enter.  The National Museum of Scotland is one of the free museums I visited, where I got to see the taxidermied remains of Dolly (the cloned sheep) among other interesting things.  The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official Scottish residence, was also a fun attraction to see…although, it was a quick tour and you don’t really get to see much. If you’re looking for a deeper connection to Queen Elizabeth II, head out to the Port of Leith to take a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia.  It was the Queen’s favorite mode of transport when on state visits.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan like me, you won’t be able to help but notice all the influence the city had on J.K. Rowling.  She lives in Edinburgh, and wrote all of the books in various coffee shops around the city.

3.  Getting Out of the City:  I almost cancelled because I was so in love with the city, but I had booked a tour of the Highlands and Loch Ness.  I could not get over how beautiful the Scottish Highlands are, and they are NOT to be missed!  When I make it back to Scotland, I plan to spend less time in Edinburgh and more time exploring the Highlands.  I booked this through Rabbie’s Tours, who accommodate small groups on these epic journeys out of the congestion of the city.

If Scotland isn’t on your list, you may want to include it.  The people are amazing, the sights are abundant, and everything is just so perfect.  For more pictures, head over to my photography website.

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