Destination: Edinburgh, Scotland!

Edinburgh was the only thing that mattered, I had that destination in the palm of my hand! Calton Hill had my morning alarm set before the birds made their song, nothing would keep me from sleeping in! I wanted to know what Edinburgh could show me, I was ready for more! Haggis was on my mind and also another castle visit had been confirmed! Edinburgh was ready!

Edinburgh knew that if you stay ready, you don't have get ready! Now, I said what I said because I was up, ready to see my first full day in Edinburgh, Scotland with the intention to see eight destination landmarks. Four will be featured within this blog post and then the second section of four will follow accordingly. Calton Hill had me pushing those feelings of vertigo right away as I marvelled at the view from up above, the view capturing Edinburgh's Dugald Stewart Monument had been a vantage that I had wanted to capture since Lockdown 2 happened in October 2020! With border restrictions chilled within the United Kingdom, I scaled that hill to find a crisp morning's view without any disruptions present. I saw a perfect Edinburgh skyline with the Castle in fairview. I was feeling accomplished, I had a reason so be busy and seeking adventure in any destination stood as desperate as it has always been for me! No mistakes made, no imperfections could be seen from that Calton Hill destination viewpoint. Oh, I felt very content! 

I spent a good twenty minutes with the view of Edinburgh to myself, only a few people passed me by and they were either on their morning run or walking their dogs. I had no problem with the height, well it was a little unnerving but I tried my best push those feelings into a box until I had my photo. Getting things together, it still felt mad to be away from my home location, back on the travelling flex that I had missed severely! I felt very thankful to be at the top of that vantage point. I wasn't interested about the history, selfishly I just wanted to soak all of that view in and get the photo that I had longed for! Once I secured those two mentioned desires, I made my way back down into Edinburgh's New Town to find some breakfast because Calton Hill came before any food decisions could be made! A Sainsbury's 'Meal Deal' would suffice, I had the Castle to rediscover and I wasn't prepared to miss that time-slot, no McDonald's delay would be factored into my organised morning schedule. Oh please, Edinburgh knew I had things covered! 

The Coronavirus Pandemic continues to halt travel in many ways but Historic Scotland had my back! Due to several parts of Edinburgh Castle being closed off due to 'social distancing' concerns, a certain discount had been placed on those admission tickets! Making the most of that helpful addition to my already cash-strapped status, I was very grateful for that price reduction! My feet had firmly stood in front of Edinburgh's formidable fort like Castle in 2011 but myself and my Portuguese friends decided against checking the castle out form the inside, the external view seemed to be enough during that second visit to Scotland's capital. 2020 and 2021 had taught me to grab every offering by the untouchables and run with them, booking those tickets was never a question after my Edinburgh flights and hostel had been booked! No, I wasn't about to let anything pass me by during that third and final visit to the city! Arriving at little before my allocated time on my ticket, the steepest way up had me gasping for breath! Oh!

Masked up, I made my way into the Castle with much excitement! Proceeding up the cobblestones in an ascending direction, I was unknowingly about to see Edinburgh from its highest vantage point! No concerns could be felt because the staff at Edinburgh Castle had the visitors knowing they weren't about to take any messing from none of us! That view went on for miles, at the top of the world is where I felt that I was! Getting back to the programme, I saw the 'Great Hall' and the glittering 'Scotch Crown Jewels' without any hassle. I wasn't going to lie, I had RuPaul's Drag Race Season 13's Rosé in my head because her 'Snatch Game' character had been 'Mary, Queen of Scots!' Well, the castle looked f**king great! I felt a sense of completion, I had bitten the bullet and made things happen to visit the Castle because it was my choice and it needed to be done! Edinburgh Castle knew I wasn't up for playing any games! I'll forever pair that Scotch Ru-Girl icon with that fortification because they're both iconic Scottish figures! Aye!

During my breakfast moment I had been informed about a key location that I needed to visit during my day of destinations in Edinburgh, little did I know that West Bow & Victoria Street would lead me to that mystery landmark moment! I lived for those simple yet amazing additions to my day! From the Castle, I proceeded to take the steps down towards the 'Grassmarket'. After a brief pit-stop for a can of Irn-Bru, I stumbled upon W Bow & Victoria Street. I really wanted to see 'Victoria Street' during that final visit to Edinburgh because its winding style and colourfully painted shop fronts had me living for those historic moments! I saw what I said, I loved every moment walking up Victoria Street because I was effortlessly ticking off those destinations markers from my eight part list! Almost at the half way point, 'Victoria Street' reminded me why I had flown the short distance from the West Midlands in England to Scotland's showcase capital, Edinburgh. Of course, I was living for the 18th century Realness that stood before me! 

I felt because I hadn't travelled for longer than an overnight trip since my 2019 USA trip, I wanted to take time to make certain my photos were looking professional for the blogs they would feature in. As I walked up Victoria Street, I took in every single detail that went from the colours of the shop fronts to the towering stone buildings that oozed the same 'Old Town' nature! That attraction didn't cost me a penny to seek, I didn't plan on spending any coins at the shops because my budget was tight and not for unwarranted purchases. It was a trip to enjoy a few local treats and to capture the sights on my list with care and attention. This edition of 'Destination:' feels time-honoured, it harbours a definite sense of gratitude because the thing that had given me the most life before the pandemic landed had been taken away in the most abrupt of ways. I wasn't able to envisage another 'Destination:' post because my hometown region doesn't meet landmark standards! I didn't need to pinch myself, I was in Scotland! Slay! 

I won't tell a lie, during my second visit to Edinburgh I really wanted to try haggis! People were telling me pure lies, how did they not know where to find some? Third time, I wasn't playing any games regarding haggis! Googling some places before Sturgeon had lifted the ban on non-essential travellers to Scotland, I had been looking for a place that would guarantee me a serving of Scottish haggis! Alright? Haggis Box had me wanting more, clocking the locations and social media links, I knew that independent Scottish business had plans for me during my time in Edinburgh. Able to fly up to Scotland, I headed for the Scottish Storytelling Centre to sample Haggis Box's offerings for myself. I had experienced a lot during the first of my day, working up an appetite I ordered the haggis, neeps & tatties that was served with a whisky sauce. I opted for a can of the 'old faithful' Irn-Bru because I couldn't get enough of that orange looking pop! I had seen on their socials, during their open market pop up events, wait no! Miss Rona, get tae f**k! 

Oh yeah, that someone had posted their 'Haggis Box' meal with a 'Tunnocks Caramel Wafer' and I wanted a slice of that mastery! After being in Lockdown for umpteenth months, I was going to have my haggis, Irn-Bru & Tunnocks treat because I wanted to do that! Everything that has been captured above tasted absolutely amazing! The restrictions meant that I had to stay seated whilst I wasn't wearing a mask, all of the rules made sense and the staff at the Haggis Box were such a light, they were so friendly. Conversation about Scottish popular culture did make us laugh, all we get in England is Lorraine Kelly! Love ya, Lorraine! Anyway, I would highly recommend spending a few pounds at the Haggis Box because it will be a tasty experience! Edinburgh put the cat amongst the pigeons, that whirlwind day was hitting different! I felt refuelled and ready to forge ahead with my packed day in Edinburgh, I still had a lot more to see! My destination had almost been fulfilled, I saw Edinburgh through a new pair of eyes! Where to next? Och, aye! 

Happy As Larry!

Joseph Harrison

Comments

  1. Edinburgh Scotland seem like it has a lot of rich history and fun places to visit. Never taught of going to Scotland, you blog has persuaded me to add to my list of places to visit. I lave those caramel wafers; you find them mostly in the ethnic isle of the supermarket and at the Korean stores in NYC. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It was fun reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edinburgh is a wonderful city that is full of historical finds and delicious Scottish foods!

      Thank you so much for your comment and taking the time to read this blog!

      Joseph - Desperately Seeking Adventure

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  2. I've never tried haggis and reading how it wasn't particularly easy to find makes me even more curious👀😅

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    Replies
    1. It was a really interesting taste, I would say go for it!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Joseph - Desperately Seeking Adventure

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