19 January 2020

Second day in Edinburgh and we woke up late! Late enough to have our breakfast at The City Cafe at 10:30 AM. We ordered all day breakfast and a stack of pancakes to fill our empty stomachs for a whole day of exploration both in New Town and Old Town. Although the weather forecast that day was not promising, we still went through the itinerary.

After brunch, it started to rain. Thankfully, I came prepared with my umbrella and Carla was already wearing parka. We took the bus to go to New Town. It was really easy to get around the city whether on foot or through public transport. Just tap your contactless card and you’re ready to go anywhere. Carla’s a good map reader or shall I say geo app user. She would definitely pass and become a tour guide in Edinburgh. Hahaha Anyway, back to our adventure. 

First stop was Dean Village. Despite the Scottish weather, this quiet and picturesque little village was worth the visit. The cobblestoned roads were a little slippery but the changing landscape at different angles were reminiscent of English houses I have only seen in children’s books. This is a residential place. So respect the tranquility of those who live there. 

The rain picked up and we decided to go back up the road and found shelter to a nearby cafe, The Dean Bridge Deli. We had coffee and tea and a slice of chocolate cake. 

It was only after one customer ordered a rice meal when we realized we wanted to eat rice. But since we were already full, we decided to go to the Royal Botanic Garden by bus. It was not the perfect time to go to a garden. Hahaha It was winter and raining. But since we were already in the area, we had to visit it. At the West Exit of the Royal Botanic Garden was the Gateway Mall. There were exhibitions of different arts inside this beautifully designed building. 

The exit point was just a walking distance to the bus stop going to the Cameo Picture House.

The Cameo is an iconic movie house in Scotland. It was built in the 1914 which makes it as one of Scotland’s oldest working theaters. I felt like I was in the set of American Horror Story, the Hotel with Lady Gaga. And there was an old lady next to our table with a flower head dress and chiffon dress sipping her tea. She was definitely a sight to look at. How I wish I took a photo with her instead of this empty cup of coffee. hahaha

Then we got sidetracked to a Thrift Shop! Hahaha Ukay-ukay is life even in Edinburgh.

It was already 5 PM when we went back to the Old Town to grab some dinner. It was a toss between pizza or barbecue! So while we contemplated on what to get for dinner, we strolled around the Royal Mile and saw One Man Dancing perform. Well, he’s actually a singer/musician. You can check out his social media. He was really good and then he sang waiting in vain. At that moment, I wanted to have someone hold my hands and slow dance under the starry night in Scotland. It was really romantic but sad to say, there was no one to hold my hands. Of course Carla was also busy feeling the song. Hahaha Watch her YouTube (Lea Carla) video to know what I mean. :)

Then it was time for dinner. Barbecue won and we had them in Bubba Q. We ordered baby back ribs and cider for drinks. The sauce was really good but I would still prefer Casa Verde back home in Cebu. :)

It was a Monday night. So, there were not a lot of tourists in the area. We wanted to go to a pub but decided to just wander around before hitting the sack. A pubcrawl was being organized at the hostel we were staying in but we were already tired. Hahaha 

Day 03 - We woke up an hour early because check out time was at 10AM. We had breakfast at the in-house restaurant of the hostel and received discounts for the vouchers they gave us when we checked in. The pancakes were perfect. They were a lot better than the ones we had at the City Cafe and they already came with coffee or tea. 

We decided to drop our bags at a different hostel (Edinburgh Backpackers) which was closer to the train station. It was 5 per luggage.  But I think it really depends on the receptionist on duty that shift. Funny thing was we had to pay them in cash because their machine was not working at that time. So, I had to withdraw some cash but I forgot my PIN. To my defense, most transactions in UK are made cashless. So, I kind of forgotten what my PIN was because I don’t use it that often. Hahaha

And then we were off to our last day in Edinburgh, Scotland. The list of things to do and places to visit in this city was quite long but we can’t leave Edinburgh without going to Circus Lane. There was not much to say about this place. It was just a lane of small houses and offices. But a beautiful and magical one. Perfect for prenup photos. Hahaha

Lunch was fabulous! We had buffet at the Cosmo Restaurant. The food selections were amazing. It felt home. Hahaha And we also saw other Filipinos eating in the restaurant. Out of the 3 days of exploring Edinburgh, it was the first time we saw other Filipinos in Scotland’s capital. If there’s good food, there are Filipnos. Tama? :)

Then we headed to the birthplace of Harry Potter, The Elephant House. JK Rowling began writing the first chapters of the Harry Potter books inside this little cafe. Just across the street to the left side was the National Museum of Scotland. The museum looked very different from the inside. I expected it to be very rigid and formal but it was totally the opposite. Although the installations were very grand, it did not feel intimidating at all. My favorite room was the Fashion and Style section. It housed some of the masterpieces of the late visionary Alexander McQueen and the history of fashion in United Kingdom.

After more than an hour of just walking and exploring in the museum, we decided to get coffee and tea near the hostel we dropped our luggages. We planned on going back to the Wall because we love it there but since there were a lot of coffee shops in Cockburn street, we resolved to try a different cafe this time. Thus, we ended up in Cockburn Bistro just across Edinburgh backpackers. We waited until 7 PM before we claimed our luggages and then walked to the train station with heavy but grateful hearts. Heavy because we’re leaving and grateful because we did a lot in Edinburgh.

All in all, my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland was beyond what I expected. In fact, while I was taking photos of the city, I felt like the photographs did not give justice to how beautiful Scotland’s capital was. This blogpost is just the first of many that I will write about Edinburgh or Scotland. Because I am definitely going back and will never get tired of her beauty and history. I hope that one day, you will experience to walk through the cobblestoned roads, take photographs of beautifully painted buildings, eat haggis, watch the city lights on top of a hill, and  live in the moment in Edinburgh, Scotland. I hope this post will not only spark your interest to travel but it will help you to dream and to strive hard to reach that dream. I was just a simple person with a simple life in Cebu, Philippines but I had big dreams. It only took a single step away from my comfort zone to finally realize some of my dreams and I have no regrets.

Cheers to more travels in 2020 guys and I hope you continue to support this little blog even when I am now at the other side of the world. Thank you and have a great day! :)

Click this for Day One!

Train Tickets (2-way) - £27.5 
KickAss Hostel (Accommodation) - £25 for 2 nights
Byron - £16 
Coffee at the Wall - £3 to £4
Wings - £11
Breakfast at the City Cafe - £9
Day 2 Bus - £4 Day rider
Coffee at the Dean Bridge Deli - £3 to £4
Dinner at Bubba Q - £11
Breakfast at hostel - £4
Day 3 Bus - £4 Day rider
Lunch buffet - £11 with bottomless drinks (Bring NHS Employee ID to get a discount)
Coffee at Cockburn - £4

Total £135, It really depends if you like to eat all the time. There are a lot of restaurants around the city. Some attractions may also require admission fees. St. Giles Cathedral will ask for a donation before you can take photos inside. But most of Edinburgh's famous tourist attractions are free and can be reached by foot. Enjoy your next travel and don't hesitate to comment or message me. :)

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