Edinburgh + London

Edinburgh

I am head over heels in love with Edinburgh.

We stayed at the Castle Rock Hostel and it was in the perfect location (as you can tell by the picture).The rooms were cozy, clean, and the staff were very helpful.

Our room was the Clans of Scotland– OF COURSE!

They had a ‘groove’ room that was filled with old records, psychedelic posters, and comfy pillows to relax in.

They also had a movie room where they showed two moves every night at 7 pm and then again at 9 pm. The breakfast is less than £2 and includes unlimited juice, milk, cereal, toast, and spreads (INCLUDING PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). The reason there are over 10 exclamation points is because peanut butter does not exist in Italy, and if you can find it, it is most likely to be over 5 euro for half a cup– Mr. Skippy is rolling over in his grave.

If you can plan accordingly, try to hit up the world famous Music Festival that they have in September!

Also…you MUST take the free walking tour! It is exceptional, informative, and free (though I highly recommend you tip your tour guide– as they will kindly remind you at the end of the tour). If you stay at the Castle Rock, you only need to meet your tour guide down in the lobby and they will lead you to the proper meeting point– about a five minute walk from the hostel.

Besides being free, the tours are so much more fun than your average museum tour. Usually the tour guides are very young, full of energy, and you walk throughout the city, taking in the sights as well as the fascinating background stories behind what you see.

Luckily, the weather was gorgeous: very chilly for only being end of September, but mostly crystal clear skies and the sun helps thaw the crispness of the air.

One of my favorite spots of the walking tour would be the graveyard. We happened to spot a certain grave for all you aspiring witches and wizards..

Oh, hey Voldemort.

And of course the Elephant Cafe, where J.K. Rowling began the adventures of Harry Potter..

Endless green as far as the eye can see. It’s so refreshing!

Some toe rubbing for good luck…If only you could actually see his toe (it’s a sparkly bronze!).

I think I was most surprised by how eccentric the food options were. Nothing was too pricey and everyone was so kind to us!

Not to mention the endless whiskey, wool, and plaid never got old. 🙂

A few recommendations:

In terms of drinks, I would stick to Grassmarket area! It was very easy to meander through and they had some of the best drinks, and very interesting clubs…

Indaba

3 Lochrin Terrace | Tollcross, Edinburgh


I wish I could somehow put every dish of food in this blog because everything was so outrageously delicious. However, I have no pictures of said delectable dishes, but trust me when I say you MUST GO. A mix of African, Venezuelan, and Spanish– you can’t lose. Order a couple of tapas (usually all are under £5) and your tummy will thank you for the yummies.

Dragonfly Cocktail Bar

52 West Port, Edinburgh

Very swanky, very classy, and very unique cocktails. The Dragonfly was able to restore my faith in bartenders– these guys know what they’re doing. You can pretty much get any of the bizarre, yet delicious cocktails any style you please because they are more than happy to change things up for your taste buds. Drinks were around £5 to £10 and worth every penny (pence?).

Yes, those would be goblets of booze. Thanks Dragonfly!

I am happy to say the least. I ordered a goblet of Long Island Iced Tea sans Coke, with Pineapple Juice–much, much better.

1780

167 Rose Street, Edinburgh

Haggis, haggis, and more haggis! 1780 was recommended to us by our tour guide. They also had vegetarian haggis, which contained god knows what, but it was fabulous!

P.S.- Don’t eat the biscuits. They are supposed to be for digesting and they taste horrible (unless of course you smother them in cream sauce..then the the look and taste will be unrecognizable).

Hula’s Juice Bar + Gallery

Victoria Street (West Bow) | Grassmarket, Edinburgh

So fresh and delicious! Lots of different smoothies and treats!

Best gift to give:

Whiskey Flavored Condoms

If you are interested in the free walking tours, they offer they in many major European cities and it was hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had. It’s a great way to start your time in a new city, it will help to familiarize yourself with the land and get to know your surroundings much better. Not to mention you can ask your tour guide pretty much anything and they will be happy to help! http://www.neweuropetours.eu/

London

London will be quite brief since I was only able to really spend a full day there. However, it was quite a full day!

First, was of course the Free Walking Tour at 11 am:

Our tour guide was bubbly and fabulous and took along the ‘Royal’ tour since we saw the classics: Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, the Eye, etc.

There was also a lot of random, but very cool art and statues:

Shout out to the Ladies:

Damn Straight.

We were lucky enough to have enough time to swing by Notting Hill! Unfortunately, Hugh Grant wasn’t working that day. Bummer.

Time for some real talk. I was unimpressed and underwhelmed by London. After all the hype, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. Also, the prices in London were beyond absurd– I’m pretty sure that the city ate my wallet. After having traveled to Dublin and Edinburgh and being so blown away, I was expecting a lot more than I got. However, I did only spend a little over a day there and then moved onto Canterbury (which rocked), so maybe the city would have grown on me. The lack of sun and constant grey was also a bit of a depressant. On a plus side, the parks are breathtaking and the people we met were so lovely–especially the kids, all so polite and adorable with their ‘mummy’ calls! At least the accents are bloody brilliant and the metro system, aka ‘the tube’,  is probably the best in Europe. Another great thing about the city was its endless variety of different restaurants, which was very refreshing! Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to see a matinee showing of a play/musical–huge regret and if I go again, that will be the first thing I do!

xoxo,

Paper Writing Zombie

(…in a bit)

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One thought on “Edinburgh + London

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