Following a trip to Scotland's capital, Sam shares a few of her top exploration tips.
Though I spend half of my life on trains travelling to different cities – mostly for concerts – I’ve never actually been to Edinburgh. So when my friend suggested I go up there to meet her whilst she checked out the university, how could I resist?
Once I arrived, the first touristy thing we did was visit Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, where we were given an explanation of how the rooftop camera obscura works before being let loose on their six floors of optical illusions, warped mirrors, and a vortex tunnel that probably gave me vertigo.
For dinner we chose the City Café. It’s a cute little American-style diner recommended to us by a friend, and it didn’t disappoint – both the food and the décor are lovely. My favourite part of the experience was the Shrek Forever After pinball machine they have in the corner. Genius.
After we’d stuffed ourselves with chilli and mac and cheese, we checked in to the Edinburgh Backpackers Hostel, where we had a cheeky nap. Trying not to waste precious hours when we could be exploring, we went back out at midnight to locate the closest cinema, which turned out to be the biggest Vue I’ve ever seen in my whole life.
Tuesday was started off with some Scottish sausages in Southern Cross Café to energise us for another nine hours of walking up and down hills. We managed to ram in a ton of visits to museums and galleries in the next few hours, spending most of our time in the National Museum of Scotland, marvelling at the fashion exhibits and giggling our way through all the interactive areas like kids on a school trip.
Both being big fans of true crime and anything gory, we couldn’t skip out on a visit to the Surgeon’s Hall Museums. Photos aren’t allowed in there, so if you want to see the oddities it beholds you’ll have to pop down yourself. I highly recommend it (if you’ve got a strong stomach).
On my way out of Waverley train station the day before, my eyes had been drawn to the gorgeous exterior of Brewhemia, so it only felt right that we stopped in there for something to eat before I begrudgingly boarded the train back home.
All in all, it’s a lovely city, and I’ve definitely got a return trip on my agenda before the year is out.