After a 13 hours flight, and 7 hours overnight sleeper train from London, we finally arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland! We arrived at Edinburgh Waverly Station at about 7am, energetic and awake, all thanks to a good night sleep on the Caledonian Sleeper train!
Edinburgh is part of our Scotland trip itinerary, but we had 1 day here only. What can we do in Edinburgh for just 1 day? Not a lot, but we did maximise our time around Edinburgh.
This is our first time to Scotland. I knew very little about Scotland. Ok ok… I knew about their famous Scottish bagpipes, their costume, and their football clubs – Celtic FC and Glasgow Rangers. That’s all.
But we still did some research of the places we can explore. (mostly done by Valerie!)
While we arrived at the station at 7am+, we can only check in to our Airbnb at 3pm. Hence, we deposited our luggage (2 huge bags which weight probably a total of 40kg or so) at the Left Baggage Centre at the Waverly Station. This makes our morning trip so much easier.
To make our trip easier (because we need to collect our luggage again), we decided to just tour around the station. And the 3 places we decided are Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill and Arthur’s seat!
Calton Hill is the nearest so we head over there first. We followed our Google map and walked past these colourful graffiti wall.
Then to Jacob’s ladder…
Climbed up the stairs, and arrived at Calton Hill!
It’s a small hill right beside the Wavely Station, but it’s high enough to give you a glimpse of the city.
Alongside the station is the Arthur’s seat, which we will be going up later (see below).
The Calton Hill is like a small park for you to enjoy the scenery, get some fresh air, and see the city from a higher ground.
And there’s this tower which looks like there’s a princess trapped up there. May need Shrek’s help to save her.
We also found something that looks like the famous Athen’s Acropolis.
We walked to the other side of Calton Hill, and wow, another amazing scenery. This side is probably the residential area of Edinburgh.
And with the clear and bright sky, we definitely need a photo of the whole scenery.
And one more with a jump ! (We tried almost 10 times to get this one right!)
Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle
Next up is the visit to Edinburgh Castle, probably the most famous castle in Scotland (there are lots of castles here…).
We walked along the Royal Mile, which will lead us to the castle.
The whole stretch of road is packed and crowded, and probably because everyone is making their way to the castle.
And finally, we found the iconic red UK phone booth!
Along the way, there’s also street performers entertaining you.
That’s a guy in the traditional costume playing the Scottish bagpipes.
And a flying witch. Really?
No. The witch is holding to the rod which is a support for her to sit, and seems like she is floating. You can’t see all these, because it’s hidden under her dress.
Wanna take a picture? Be prepared to give some tips! (they’re doing this for a living anyway…)
And we continue to make our way up…
Lots of people, lots of tour buses.
No surprise this castle is part of the itinerary of all tour packages.
We made our way in, till the point we need to buy a ticket. We decided not to proceed further as there were simply too many people. Not something we would enjoy though.
We spent about 20+ min, and decide to make our way down.
And we found some ice-cream.
Weather was cold, so what? At least it doesn’t melt so quickly like eating in hot Singapore!
As we walked back, we came across this cherry blossoms. Are we in Japan?
And for some reason, we walked in the backyard of some cool Scottish cottages. We never seen these houses in real life before.
Worth taking some photos here.
Almost half a day’s gone, and we were still walking! Now we’re going up Arthur’s seat!
Arthur’s seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh. It is quite visible wherever you are. (We saw it when we’re at Calton Hill earlier)
It hill looks ‘quite okay’ from the outside.
We thought it’s something like Calton Hill too. A few flight of stairs, and you’re at the top.
The few flight of stairs is just good enough to bring you up to the starting point of the slope upwards.
It’s a long gradual slope upwards.
We walked up step by step, taking off our jacket but not forgetting the scenery across.
The Arthur’s Seat is probably the best place to see the entire Edinburgh. Calton Hill is just a glimpse only.
At the end of the slope, we thought we reached the top!
But no, we walked downhill again, and up again…
After an hour… we reached the Arthur’s seat!
Below is the photo we took from Arthur’s seat. We crossed over this small hill before we arrived at the real one.
At the top of Arthur’s seat!
Clear blue sky again.
The wind at the top is crazily strong. That’s me trying to prove how strong it is.
Is the wind so strong that it can support me?
No matter how strong the wind is, I’m still heavier. 🙁
Wind is strong but we won’t complain. We loved the cold weather.
Where We Stay In Edinburgh
This is the 2nd time we’re in Europe, and without any surprise, we chose Airbnb again! Previously we used Airbnb for our trips in Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Munich, Berlin… and all hosts were amazing.
What about our Edinburgh’s Airbnb?
See that green door? That’s the entrance to our Airbnb!
Not easy to find that door. We had the address, we have Google Maps. But finding the entrance is hard!
Oh wait.. that’s not all!
We opened the green door, and had to make our way up 5 stories to reach our apartment at the highest floor!
Imagine climbing 5 stories with about 40+ kg of luggage?
While I’m stomping up the stairs with the luggage, our host, Brian is already waiting for us. Our first friend in Scotland!
We chatted a little, and he showed us around the house. He’s easy going and helped us to feel at home.
When I told him I support Arsenal FC, he told me he witness the building of the current Emirates Stadium when we worked at London many years ago.
He supported Hearts FC in Scotland, but support Arsenal if he’s at London!
So here’s our room…
Cosy and homely.
Not only that! There’s a TV box in the room, showing all the Sky Sports Channels that show English Premier League matches.
If you’re a football fan (like me), you definitely want to stay at Brian’s Airbnb in Edinburgh! Check out his Airbnb listing here!
What We Eat
Before we came to Scotland, we are already prepared to have western cuisine our entire trip. We’re foodies, but we are fine with anything!
The most common food you can find in Scotland, is Fish & Chips!
(Throughout our whole UK trip, we lost count on the number of times we had Fish & Chips)
Fish & Chips are really common. However, from what I learned, the best Fish & Chips can only be found in places where they are near the sea. That’s where the fish are the freshest.
Coffee and beer are common too.
Not forgetting Scotland is famous for their whisky too.
(Funny posters we saw in a cafe where we had our fish & chips)
For dinner, we had pizza, and probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. We had chicken doner kebab too. It’s a small kiosk just opposite our Airbnb.
Here’s a close up of the pizza.
It is thin. It is crispy. With an egg on top of it.
This is the first time I ordered a pizza, and the chef prepared the pizza by making it from scratch! After taking my order, he turned to his table, rolled the dough, and start making the pizza. Wow.
And the doner kebab. Too much meat. Too generous!
Our breakfast the next day?
We had BIG Breakfast!
The weather on the next morning is really cold and we’re freezing in the morning. Luckily we found a simple cafe to have our breakfast before we set off to our next destination, up to the Highlands.
How To Travel Around?
As what our Airbnb host Brian shared with us, Edinburgh town is quite small, and you can go anywhere by foot. And that’s what we do. We just walk.
And by walking, we discover different parts of Edinburgh.
Like a building where a cow got stuck inside.
Or this street where each shop painted its own colours.
With Google Maps, you can walk around Edinburgh yourself. If you got lost, somewhere somehow, you will find the way. The roads here are connected.