Over the past few days, I explored Edinburgh with a friend of mine. We decided to leave Cambridge for a few days before starting our revision for our final exams. It was definitely good for us to leave our College for a while because whenever you are in College, it feels like you should be studying and this makes it hard to take a break from working. We had no idea what to expect from Edinburgh, but after having been there, I would highly recommend it as a travel destination!
If you would like to experience the journey with us, here is my travel vlog from the vacation:
We had to take a very early train to make our flight and we therefore only walked around a little on our first day. On our first full day, we visited the Scottish Parliament and I would highly recommend visiting it if you get the chance! You can sign up for free tours and the tours are very useful because they explain many interesting facts of the architecture of the building and the history of the Parliament. When I first walked into the rooms of the Parliament, I did not see much in the architecture, but once our tour guide pointed out all the symbolisms that were hidden in the different rooms, I saw a lot more meaning behind all the rooms and I was honestly very impressed by how accessible they made architecture through these tours.
Opposite the Scottish Parliament is the Palace of Holyroodhouse (which is also the Queen's official residence in Scotland). We walked through the palace and it was a very interesting tour because you walk through a half-destroyed Abbey, rooms filled with art and other rooms which are remembered for the murder of David Rizzio in 1566. There is, in fact, a red stain on the floor in the room where he was murdered which is alleged to be of his blood (though there is no way of being sure that this is true). We came across an amazing pub called Kilderkin on our way back from the Palace and I had the best Mac'n'Cheese of my life at this place!
Speaking of food, we tried a lot of different things on our trip! From Five Guys (the best fries and milkshake I've ever had) to street food to different cakes. We went to a few different markets where we tried different foods. The Edinburgh Farmers' Market is great for locally-sourced food and home-made products. It is quite small, but definitely worth a visit and it is right under Edinburgh castle which makes the view from the market amazing. We also went to the Stockbridge Market which is a little bit bigger and offers a greater variety of products. You can have anything from vanilla-flavoured marshmallows over dumplings to Spanish paella at this market! When visiting another market, we came across Mary's Milk Bar which sells home-made ice cream. This place is a must-visit for any ice cream lover! They have a variety of unusual flavours and I wish they had a store in Cambridge! We also discovered a wonderful café for reading. Caffè Nero feels like a library when you sit inside. They have books lying around everywhere and you are welcome to pick one up and read in it while drinking your tea or coffee. We spent a good hour there while we read in our books.
We also went on a Whisky Tour at the Scotch Whisky Experience and we (surprisingly) loved it! Neither one of us knew a great deal about whisky but we thought that the tour sounded interesting and so we signed up. It was absolutely worth it! You learn a lot on the tour and they are well-organised at the Scotch Whisky Experience, meaning you usually do not have to wait and they really make the experience worth the entrance fee. Also, don't forget to say that you're a student when booking this since they offer a student discount!
No vacation of mine would be complete without a little book shopping. We went to Waterstones and I picked up a few interesting books that I am excited to read: *The Establishment and How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones, *How Democracies Die: What History Reveals About Our Future by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, *The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything that Comes After by Julie Yip-Williams, *Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side by Dr Julia Shaw, and *American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I also picked up *Fierce Fairytales and Other Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill and finished it on the way back. Fierce Fairytales is a great book to take on a holiday since it contains many accessible poems that are based on fairytales. The author takes you on a journey through the stories of your childhood, but makes you look at them through a feminist lens and thereby teaches you some real-life lessons.
Huge thanks to my friend for travelling with me and for always being there for me - it was amazing to explore Edinburgh with you! If you would like to contact me, you can send me a message here!
Lots of Love,
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