As I was pretty much impressed full stop with Sandeman’s New Europe Tours in London and Munich, I decided to go with them again on my trip to Edinburgh. This time, my expectations are extremely high. Sky high. And you know what? It didn’t fail to disappoint me…
Stepping off the Caledonian Sleeper, I waved goodbye to the attendant who ensure I had a delightful stay on the train – (click here to read more about it) and set off fully in sight of Edinburgh Castle ahead of me.
I was totally excited. Edinburgh has a lot to apologise for.
I did come to Edinburgh when I was 14 in the company of my parents and my gorgeous dog on our Summer Scottish Tour, but only for an hour. We were hounded out. We might as well said we were related to King Edward I of England who hammered the Scots and Mel Gibson. Why did we get hounded out? The clue is in the description. The dog. No where we could go inside for a drink or a bite to eat. Understandably, the establishments do not want a canine in their premises but I think it’s a bit much that they refused to serve us even if we said we would sit outside in their outdoor areas. Oh, did I tell you it was raining? So in disgust, we hightailed it out of Edinburgh. Since then, I refused to go back on principle. Until today.
I blame one of my best mates for this. Why the hell did he have to move here and why did he convince me to come? But it doesn’t matter anymore. It only took one morning to fall in love with the Capital of Scotland. Don’t worry, Edinburgh, all is forgiven!
After a quick scout of the Royal Mile running from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, I espied a cosy cafe and quickly ordered a tea and some banana cake. It’s my second breakfast! Also, it was a good time as any to get my bearings and find out where the tour was due to start. As Mike, who I originally came to see, was away working for the day, I jumped aboard the free walking tour bandwagon and booked it there and then.
But first of all. I need a hat. A Scottish Hat. Unfortunately, my Wally Hat wasn’t up to combating the cruel cold winds of February and I was beginning to suspect that the Scots are clocking onto my Englishness. Pretty soon, I found one immediately. I shall call it…Scott the Scot Hat! Suits me sir!
Finding the start off point for the Free Walking Tour, you couldn’t really miss it with the huge crowd there shivering in their underdressed clothes, I sneered at an American who was wearing a Kilt, backwards. Thankfully, he wasn’t in my group. We immediately set off and got to the Royal Exchange and introduced ourselves. To my utter surprise, I was the only English person in the group, and the other British person was the tour guide who happened to be Scottish. After explaining to the huge percentage of the group that happened to be Americans the difference between England-Scotland-UK-Britain, I immediately sidelined myself with the South African. Surely the Commonwealth would help me out. He shrugged and pushed his sunglasses up his nose and folded his arms in just a t-shirt. It was cold man! Ergo, upon explaining the history between England and Scotland, the tour guide and I glared at each other. Uh-oh, would Edinburgh chase me out again?
Luckily, the tour continued without a hitch. I do not want to go through everything that went on the tour as I think it was absolutely amazing and I believe that you should go on one yourself to experience the history and culture of Edinburgh itself. But see below all the photos that I took on the tour to see how beautiful Edinburgh really is.
At the end of the tour, the tour guide took the Americans off for some Haggis and Neeps. But I stayed behind in the glare of the sun, realising how utterly gorgeous the city is. I’ve never felt that way about a city I wasn’t a resident in.
Edinburgh. I forgive you. And more importantly, I love you.
What was your impressions of Edinburgh?