Edinburgh


Most people dislike travelling for work, but it’s quite the contrary for me. Especially when the reason is training on cool new technology and the trip backs up to a 3-day weekend. Perfect scenario to stay in Scotland and finally get over to Edinburgh. Since the training was a two-day course in Glasgow, a colleague and I flew up Wednesday night and were put up at a boutique hotel just next door to the office. Given the cold spell, this was ideal for avoiding the chill when walking to work.

Friday evening after training ended I hopped a bus to Edinburgh, where Joe was waiting for me after taking the train up. I had received a call several hours earlier that the room would not be ready for us and they were going to be moving us to another, nicer hotel for one night of the stay. Not the idea situation, but we did end up being upgraded for the following two nights along with free breakfast so I can’t complain. Most things were closed by the time I got there, so we made our way to dinner at Burgers and Beers Grillhouse, a rather hipster restaurant that had good food, a good atmosphere, and was nearby.

We managed to get a reasonably early start the next day, moving hotels and heading up to the castle just after they opened so we could beat the crowds. The castle is huge, enough to keep anyone busy for a couple hours easily. We wanted to stay until the 1pm gunfire, so we made our rounds to all of the buildings and displays, with time left to grab a coffee.

Managing to beat the crowds leaving after the gunfire, it was onwards and upwards. Literally. We climbed up to Arthurs Seat, which is no easy feat. We thought it would be a nice afternoon walk based on what concierge at the hotel suggested, but we were way off. That’s a straight upwards climb, and pure rock at the top. But the views were well worth it once we made it up. The next stop was the Holyrood palace and then back to the hotel for a much-needed rest. Dinner was at another hipster place nearby called The Whistle Stop Barber Shop which is a bar and restaurant upstairs, and literally has barber chairs downstairs.

After a good nights sleep, and rejuvenated legs, it was time for The Whisky Experience tour, and some perusing the other side of the city, New Town. That took us to Calton Hill & observatory, and Prices Street where all the shopping is. Basically the equivalent of Oxford Street in London and Michigan Avenue in Chicago. That evening we finally got around to doing a ghost tour of the city, as well as the underground vaults. Creepy to see but no ghosts on our tour there, sadly. The history of the city though…

It’s too bad Edinburgh is so far north and rarely much warmer than 70f/21c. It would be such an amazing summertime city. Overall, a huge success and trip we had been meaning to take for too long.