On the plane from England I watched on the map as we crossed the line over into Scotland. Words will never be able to explain how special it was for me to go to this country. I teared up when I looked out the window and saw it and I still get emotional to think how I felt when we landed. It became apparent right away on the bus to downtown that Edinburgh is the most beautiful, magical city I have ever been to. It’s no wonder that it’s where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book! Very old buildings loomed over the streets, and in the distance I could see water and hills.
The bus dropped me off pretty centrally downtown then I lugged my backpack uphill to the Royal Mile in search of my hostel. The first one I stayed at was called High Street Hostel and the second one was Castle Rock. These are cousin hostels both right in the Royal Mile and both wonderful! Out of my whole trip, Castle Rock was my favorite hostel, complete with scavenger hunt (which was a great way to get to know the city and even earned me a bottle of wine)!
I think of this city a lot. I can still close my eyes and see the streets and know which way to go for certain destinations. Unlike cities such as London, Edinburgh is more of a manageable city to walk around. When I wanted to go a little farther, public transportation was also pretty cheap! I did take day trips (to Stirling and Glasgow), but I stayed in Edinburgh every night.
After exploring Ireland, England, and Scotland alone, a couple friends met up with me in Edinburgh. This changed the trip from traveling alone and pinching every penny to being around familiar faces- ones who even took me to nice dinners and museums! I love the variation that I experienced on this trip. From hitchhiking and sleeping outside to meeting people who took us in and fed us amazing meals, to traveling alone, to drinking in pubs with friends from back home. And there are many pubs in Scotland! All with live music and exuberant people happy to talk, and even happier to drink. I loved the sense of humor that seemed to run through everyone. You just can’t beat laughter and music.
In a way, going to Scotland felt like going home. I felt like I belonged walking along those streets, gazing at those hills, sitting on the bus watching horses graze and greenery go by. It was everything that I hoped it would be and more. I was sad to leave, and ever since I did I’ve wished that I could go back. One day I will and I greatly look forward to that day. Hopefully next time I’ll have some of my fellow Wallaces with me because now I really want to show my family around!
Of course I took a lot of pictures, and of course they don’t do the place justice but I hope you enjoy them anyhow. For more pictures of enchanted Edinburgh, check out my post on a few of the city’s graveyards and the amazing views from Calton Hill.