Wedged in the middle seat of a packed RyanAir flight is definitely not my first choice of where I'd like to be before 7am any day. But for a 10 euro flight to Edinburgh, I kept reminding myself how worth it getting up at this time would be. And holy magical-castle-cobblestone-Scottish city—it wasssss.
The castle sits proudly perched atop a giant mound you can walk right up and around while the rest of the city rises and falls with (what I imagine to be) San Francisco-esque hills. I thought the cobblestone streets would surely break off my suitcase wheels but they also provided a certain 'queeny' feel as only a place in the UK could.
I loved getting to the top of a hill and catching glimpses of the clouds hovering over the sea. The sudden rush of Scottish-filled zen I'd get is something neither myself or camera can properly articulate—all I could do was mutter "aye" in a sort of acknowledgment and wish I had a wooden pipe to puff for a second.
It really is easy to see how this is the city JK Rowling was inspired by when writing Harry Potter. (Another obvious clue: The names Tom Riddle and McGonagall are found in a local cemetery). Sitting in The Elephant House reading HP5 was a bucket list dream come true.
My more-than-welcoming Couchsurfing host brought me to a poetry slam—which I now believe to be the best way to sample both local accents and artists.
I found a bar playing The Big Lebowski at three in the afternoon.
Monet's "Haystacks" at the National Gallery had me feelin emotional.
There were moments I thought I knew where I was going only to be debunked by a faulty/delayed blue dot on Google maps. But it wasn't anything a beer (or five?) at Brewdog Brewery with some familiar faces couldn't fix.
And I think I figured out what haggis is.