Scotland is just as beautiful as I imagined it would be. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. I backpacked through Edinburgh and Fort William (both surreal places) since my original itinerary with Glasgow and Isle of Skye in the picture had to be changed due to sudden circumstances. Nonetheless, it was a journey that opened my eyes to the beautiful aspects of travelling.
From London, it takes about 8 hours by coach to reach Edinburgh and the ticket was only for £30 since I booked 2 weeks in advance. But my excitement was short-lived to the day I actually had to travel. I missed the coach!
Because all of my trip had already been pre-planned with all the bookings paid, I had no choice but to catch the next trip to Edinburgh which was by train. I’d skip the train part because that wasn’t really a part of my trip had I reached the coach station on time!
Upon reaching the capital of Scotland at 11 o’clock in the morning, I was left breathless. Despite the shocking cold breeze (You’ll get used to it), I was in awe with the architectural designs of the buildings. It seemed as if I jumped straight into a painting of a medieval era. This was something I’d describe as love at first sight.
Since it was a backpacking tour, I booked a hostel. One of the world’s best hostel was in fact in Edinburgh and luckily, I booked well in advance for my 3 nights stay there. Budget Backpackers didn’t feel like a typical hostel at all other than the shared bedrooms, it felt more like a socialising place where you could have fun and relax at the same time. Although I was out for most of the days, I found many youngsters and even middle aged people gathered at the bar, chitchatting and enjoying their drinks! They also had a really friendly group of staff who even gave me suggestions for my Fort William trip!
After leaving my bags in the locker room, I went for the first thing in my self-planned “so called” itinerary. The Edinburgh Castle.
What a beautiful sight, unbelievable. I couldn’t have imagined something as gorgeous as that existed and yet the history it carried was just as beautiful as it looked. Did you know know that the castle is situated on Castle Rock which was formed after a volcanic eruption 340 years ago? The castle was then built during the 12th century when the Scottish and English monarchies had an on-going war. They had several sights within the castle itself such as the Scottish Gun Museum where they displayed collections of guns over centuries old.
I look so tiny in front of the Cathedral so you can imagine it’s size!
The second on my list had to be the St. Giles Cathedral. Just a walking distance from the castle and situated in the popular Royal Mile Road, the cathedral was outstanding. The intricate carvings on the walls were the highlights of it and it was what really caught my attention aside from the overall outlook of it! I took my own time to breathe in the serenity of the place and even said my prayers at the prayer room where you get to light your own candle and write down on a piece of paper what you’re praying for. As a souvenir, I bought a wooden cross and as well as post cards from the Cathedral’s souvenir shop.
By the time I finished touring the Cathedral, I had ample of time before my next trip so I walked back to the hostel passing by Edinburgh’s colourful Old Town and settled myself in the hostel’s allotted room. The room was for 6 people although nobody came back until the wee hours of the night. At 8pm, I had a booking for one of the infamous ghost tours. I went for the Double Dead Tour, a guided tour to the city’s underground vaults where people lived and died and as well as the prisons and graveyard at the Greyfriars. The story of the underground vaults still haunts me until today not because it was scary but because what happened to those people was simply horrible. Standing on the same ground where they spent their lives in misery, having to endure everyday without being able to move at all, made me feel all the more attached to their stories. They literally stood and did everything in a single position at one point of time where they were packed like sardines inside those vaults, skin to skin with one another. Some haven’t even seen the light of day until their last breath with an average lifespan of 18 months in agony after catching a disease!
The tour lasted for about 2 hours and by then most restaurants were already shut. Blue Maison’s, located at Old Town, were one of the few decent ones that opened until late. I ordered a Cod fish dish which was satisfactory.
I totally agree with the restaurant’s belief 😛
Cod Fish with Rice and Curry
Exhausted with the long day of travelling and sightseeing, I headed straight to the hostel and got into my sleeping clothes as soon as I reached!
More on my next post
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