This post is part of my EuroTrip 2016 series on the blog.
What a phenomenal trip! Now that I’ve woken up at home in Harlem after a great flight back on Virgin Atlantic, I’m opening up the travel journal to reveal the best of the last leg of this trip: Edinburgh, where my sister, E, is studying abroad. She gave us a fabulous tour of this lovely city that doubles as a college town; it is special in that it is as much one as it is the other.
Here are the sights I saw, the art I experienced, the food I ate, and the libations I drank!
Royal Mile + The Castle – On our second day, we took a very long walk up Royal Mile to arrive at the Castle. After a fairly expensive admission fee, we explored the premises of the castle that seems to have maintained its original state except for the fact that the canons that decorate the periphery are likely modern replicas. That, and, many of the vast wings of the castle are now museums dedicated to battle and dress of the time. The highlight was getting to see the Scottish Crown Jewels. A large theme of this trip is that there is something to say for living history – history that is still in use today. The Crown Jewels are excellent examples of that phenomenon.
The University – The University of Edinburgh contains within its grounds the oldest student center in Europe! It even includes a library bar!
Calton Monument – This huge statue of pillars located a short climb up a many-stairs park looked practically two-dimensional because of the lines along it.
St Giles Cathedral – It wouldn’t be a EuroTrip without visiting quite a few breathtaking cathedrals. St Giles was a newish cathedral with some remnants of old times. Our lovely guide took us into the Thistle Chapel where royalty prayed. While the cathedral was made / renovated in 1911, though parts remain from the 15th Century.
Arthur’s Seat – On our third full day in Edinburgh, we hiked the famous Arthur’s Seat. The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking.
- Bread Meats Bread – It’s the Bareburger of Edinburgh for sure.
- Checkpoint – We became regulars at this delicious establishment that has really good vegetable dishes.
- Grey’s on Greenmarket – Delicious salad + salad boxes + wraps for under five pounds!
- Farmer’s Market – You must visit the macaroon lady! And the record booth owned by a Beatles collector who bears a strong resemblance to Paul McCartney.
- Loudons – The last food stop on this trip had the most delectable flat whites!
Lovecrumbs – I am legitimately obsessed with this cafe. It has amazing flat whites + teas. I went there for teatime, to write my postcards, and just to get the morning caffeinated libation.
Hula – This was the first cafe E introduced us to in Edinburgh. We all got flat whites, and their date-sweetened “Snickers” bar is delish.
Panda + Sons – Whiskey…because Scotland. I got a cocktail called the Birdcage. It was brought to me inside a huge glass cage and, as the bartender lifted the cage off the drink, smoke emanated from it.
Meadowlark Cafe – This cafe located to the left of the Meadowlark Yoga Studio (post forthcoming) and has freshly-pressed green juices.
Anteaques – E smartly made a reservation for us here as soon as it opened. It is tucked away in a very non-touristy neighborhood and hit the spot immediately after that big hike up and down Arthur’s Seat. It is what it seems: a spot for afternoon tea inside an antiques shop. It was super old-fashioned in the best possible way; no technology whatsoever, and it truly encouraged us to pause, sip our tea, out our unbelievable scones (with their signature rose petal jam!) and relax.