On Friday 22nd January, Ash and I, mad as we must be, jumped on a 4.58AM train and headed off to Edinburgh. After a complete annoyance of a journey (thanks replacement bus service) we made it (albeit almost three hours later than planned.) We navigated our way to our hotel, which was about a fifteen minute walk from the station, to drop off our bags before heading out to see what Edinburgh had to offer.
On the first day, we tried to get our bearings a bit by walking into the centre. We stopped off at Yo! Sushi, with it being Blue January and all, for a quick early lunch before hitting up a couple of museums.
Around where we live, there aren't too many museums or galleries so it was nice to be able to pop in a couple. We went into both the RSA and Scottish National Gallery. The National Gallery wasn't really either of our bags, but the RSA was really cool! It was full of contemporary art and sculptures. They even had a quirky little shop that sold cute little cat broaches, and Ash treated me to one - he only ever fuels my cat lady appearance. Both of these things were free which was a nice surprise and it filled some time before we were able to check in to our hotel too.
Once 2pm arrived, we headed back to the hotel, Holiday Inn Express if you were wondering (as an IHG member it works out as the best deal for us, plus free breakfast- no brainer!) We chilled there for a little while as we were both tired (despite Ash having a good two hour nap on the way there) before getting ready to head out for tea. We decided on Tapas and headed to Cafe Andaluz which was about a 20 minute walk from us. The food was insane (you can see the obligatory Instagram shot over on @lauraseed_), I had never tried Tapas before and wasn't sure I would like it but my goodness, I cannot wait to try some again a bit closer to home. After food, we headed back to the hotel.
The following day, we got up early, consumed as much food as we could physically handle and headed out to the local markets. They're on every Saturday and I do love a good market so we had to have a look. We arrived to see that all the stalls were all food related. Not at all an issue, and Ash even tried Haggis. There was a vegetarian and vegan stall which looked SO nice but I was still stuffed from breakfast, otherwise I may have eaten it all.
We then walked back into the main shopping area, had a quick mooch around the usual suspects, came out of Urban Outfitters £25 lighter but with a new old Lacoste cord shift (very nice FYI) and hopped onto a bus to the zoo.
The zoo was only a short bus journey away, once we found the right bus, that is and was one of my favourite parts of the weekend.
We saw lots of different animals, but the pandas, penguins and koalas were my favourite. Oh and the Scottish wildcat which was impossible to take a picture of as it was just lurking around the top of the enclosure, much like a normal domestic cat.
We spent a good few hours roaming the zoo, and even caught part of the penguin show, then we moved on to Our Dynamic Earth, with is part museum, part time machine.
You travel through different periods in history to see how we got to where we are today, and then learn about the habitats that different species inherit. Sounds geeky and it is, but it was also lots of fun. In one room there was even a massive slab of real ice.
We then walked back into civilisation, and then back out of it again to a little Greek restaurant called Spitaki. We hadn't booked but the lovely lady who owned it managed to squeeze us in. The food was great and the restaurant was really cute and homely.
We had planned to pop back to the hotel and then head out to a jazz bar, but when we arrived back, I may have taken a lie down for a couple of minutes and then fallen asleep completely.. at 8PM. Lucky Ash had Take Me Out on TV to keep him company and he wasn't too far behind me into the land of nod.
The Sunday was another jam packed day. We went down early again for breakfast and then jumped on a bus to Princes Street, to take us as close to the castle as possible, before we began the uphill trek. It was tricky as my legs aren't the best but once we reached the top, it was totally worth it.
The castle had the most beautiful view from the top and was full of history. There were war museums inside, and prisons and grand buildings such as the Great Hall. It was really nice to spend a few hours wandering round and learning about the events that happened at the castle through the years.
Once we'd finished at the castle, we walked straight out onto the Royal Mile and grabbed a bite to eat at good old Pizza Express before heading to Camera Obscura; a building with six floors of illusions. I loved this place! On the first floor was a mirror maze and a tunnel, which seemed to be moving as you walked through it, it's hard to explain but I'm sure if you Google illusion tunnel, you'll get a better idea. Other floors houses morph booths, where you could change your face to that of a baby, make it older, make it more masculine or feminine and even turn it into a cartoon. There were holographic images, an illusion which made it look like your head was on a plate (if you want to see that it's over on Ash's Instagram @ashxwilson) and even a room where you could play with electricity (you can see more of that over on my Instagram.)
Once we'd finished with Camera Obscura (whihch by the way is located just a minute's walk from the castle) we headed back down the hill, and made our way back to Princes street once again. We had a second helping of Sushi before going back to the hotel, grabbing our cases and heading to the station.
The journey back was horrific and a three hour journey spanned six hours, but that doesn't detract from the fact that we had a lovely weekend away.
I would whole heartedly recommend visiting Edinburgh if you've been thinking about it, or even if you haven't Unless you take your car, there is a lot of walking involved and if you're not the best with walking, you may find yourself with sore legs, and my gosh were they sore, but we had a wonderful time regardless.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh?