“Is there a special way to say hello or good-bye in Scotland?” I asked my friend who is my expert on all things Scottish.
“TA!!” said my friend. “You can say ‘ta!’ as a way to say good-bye.”
And with a little “ta!” to Philly, my husband, Charles, and I were off to enjoy Edinburgh for three full days courtesy of our dear friends who generously let us stay with them during a family visit to their home country.
Since we got back, I have been telling everyone that if Edinburgh is not in their top 5 cities to visit, they must make put it on the list. We were thoroughly delighted with the whimsical nature of the city combined with the history and architecture and food scene. And by whimsical I mean unicorns. That’s right: Scotland’s mascot is the unicorn. We took 1,000+ photos and whittled it down to a few dozen for you here. If you want to see more and a unicorn or two, check out our Pixieset album here.
For our first day in Edinburgh, we just wandered around with a few key spots in mind. Like Philadelphia, Edinburgh is a very walkable city and, honestly, my advice for people visiting the city is to just pick a spot on the map and start from there — you can’t mess it up.
A trip to Scotland would not be complete without Scottish shortbread, would it? Our caloric deficit of just espresso for breakfast was quickly replenished with an amazing artisan shortbread (or FOUR) from Pinnies & Poppy Seeds in Old Town here.
Want a lunch date before desert? Vegetarians rejoice! Right next to Pinnies is the David Bann Restaurant, which you can find here. We had an amazing meal here to help balance the buttery goodness from the shortbreads we were going to devour.
Ramsay Garden, which is right next to Edinburgh Castle here, reminded me of Waverly Street in Philadelphia with the elevated house entrances. (Of course, Game of Thrones’ fans may think of Ramsay Snow/Bolton as I did. Ramsey would never live here — too bright and full of life and light.) Be prepared for a hike in order to check out the view.
On our way back down to the city, we also got amazing views of Edinburgh Castle
The first full day of our trip was incredibly sunny — so sunny that I felt like people might not believe our photos. But on the second day, we were treated to what I called “free facials” aka Scottish mist and rain. What to do when it rains in Scotland? Visit a castle, fortress, cemetery, ginormous horse sculptures, and/or monument, of course.
What I loved most about Scotland was all the flora and fauna growing in every little nook, rock, and cranny.
LOL — here’s what I really look like when I travel — because I’m going to keep it real: A little jet-lagged, hanging with the tourists in a not-very-photogenic location, hair is wind-blown, and face is post-Scottish mist facial… And here’s Charles’ “cliffhanger” moment where he looks… awesome. As usual! That’s us in a nutshell, folks. 😉I also could not stop taking photos of foxglove, also known as digitalis (yes, the same digitalis used for heart conditions).
We made a stop at the Kelpies, which I highly recommend visiting when construction is done. Sadly, the mist started coming down heavily and the wind was pretty fierce so we only got a few photos of these guys. Crazy sculptures, right?
Our last full day in Scotland! We did another walk-about to the northern part of the city. Again, we were treated to our “free facials” aka the rainy mist and then bright sunshine all in one day.It’s worth mentioning that Edinburgh is a progressive and diverse city — open minds and open hearts is the best way to travel, right? 😉
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN
While we were planning our trip to Edinburgh, I saw multiple posts on Instagram of the Royal Botanic Garden, which is Edinburgh’s version of Philadelphia’s Longwood Garden.
On our way back to the city centre, we saw the most amazing homes that reminded me of South End in Boston. Look at the little nook that’s underneath the stairs! It wouldn’t be Scotland if the front door wasn’t on fleek. I seriously wanted to re-do our front door and iron work of our home immediately!
Thank you, Edinburgh! “Ta” for now!