Diary: Sunny Edinburgh, start of our road trip!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

Sleepy do we get off the plane, only a few hours ago we were in a pub (we both had a bachelor party) and now we are here in Edinburgh, Scotland! For the next ten days, we will be travelling through this beautiful country. Last December was the first time we visited Scotland, a short weekend trip to Glasgow and Glen Coe, among others. This time we have more time and we make it into a whole road and camping trip! We start this trip in Edinburgh.


What it means to have Ries as a boyfriend: hiking a mountain with our luggage…

It is still warm outside when we get off the train. The last few days it wasn’t only summer in the Netherlands, also here in Edinburgh, the weather was good. Ries has already visited the city once and as soon as we walk through the fancy streets above the Royal Mile, he takes the lead. Whether I don’t mind walking a short distance on our way to our Airbnb? The sun is almost down and Ries knows a nice viewpoint.

And so I find myself fifteen minutes later, sweating with two heavy daypacks, halfway up a high climb. Internally I curse at Ries since his ‘beautiful viewpoint’ lies on top of a large hill, Calton Hill. We get a lot of strange looks from tourists who also hike up. Add to that the fact that Ries is sprinting instead of walking up the mountain, leaving me heavily sweating and breathing behind. You understand, my cursing is not only internally anymore.Scotland Edinburgh

Calton Hill

Once upstairs, after I catch my breath a bit (I still feel the wine from yesterday) I take a look around. Calton Hill is a hundred-meter high hill in the centre of Edinburgh. There are several monuments, such as a half-finished pantheon (they wanted to reconstruct the pantheon in Athens but the money ran out), a building that looks like a telescope (Nelson’s monument) and a city observatory.

From here you have a beautiful view of the city and with the sun just setting, the sky turns bright pink. Okay, maybe Ries was right and it was a very good choice to go here. After half an hour of photography, we walk to our Airbnb in the twilight. Totally worn out, we are asleep a bit later.Edinburgh

Summer in Edinburgh!

We wake up early, and after breakfast at the Tesco, we walk up Calton Hill again. Ries wants to take some photos with daylight. The weather is beautiful and we stroll through the city, with the feeling that nothing has to be done, everything is allowed, I love it! We see a part of the Royal Mile and then walk to the ‘Harry Potter’ street (Victoria Street) with cute bright coloured shops. This street is said to be the inspiration of J.K. Rowling for Diagon Alley, where Harry bought his magic supplies.

Ries is looking forward to coffee, which we get from the vegan coffee shop Pumpkin Brown. Their smoothies also look delicious! Then we climb the hill on which Edinburgh Castle stands. It is too busy and we do not feel like going inside with this beautiful weather. So we continue to the park around the castle. Here you can relax under cherry blossoms full in bloom!Edinburgh

Picnic on Arthur’s Seat

We spend the following hours in different parks, enjoying the sun while we recover a bit from the busy days before. At the end of the afternoon, we decide to get a bottle of wine, baguette and some tasty things to have a picnic on Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is the highest of a group of hills in Holyrood Park, a large park on the edge of Edinburgh city centre. The hills are part of an old volcano and with 251 meters you can see the entire city, sea and surrounding islands from here.

It is a bit hazy, but the view is still beautiful. After a big hike, we find a sheltered spot where we lay down. After dinner, we walk around in Holyrood Park for a while, from hill to hill, until I get too cold and we decide to go back to our Airbnb.Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

Fight with public transport & meet Agent Dunham

Unfortunately, it is a bit colder when we walk to the bus stop early in the morning. The city is awakening and we see men and women in suits rushing to work. We are leaving Edinburgh today to embark on a road trip through Scotland. But before we can start, we have to pick up Agent Dunham, our campervan and our house for the next eight days.

Agent Dunham is waiting for us at the Spaceships rental office, just outside the city. After fussing about tickets in two different buses (in the first bus we could only pay with cash and we bought the wrong tickets, in the second bus the knowledgeable bus driver told us that we had to buy tickets again), we arrived there. Ten minutes later our backpacks lie in the back and Ries pushes the gas pedal. Agent Dunham is quite big, it’s manual and we are of course driving on the “wrong” side of the road in Scotland. Let’s see how that works out…Edinburgh Victoria Street


Where did we stay?

We stayed in Edinburgh in this apartment via Airbnb. The apartment is a bit out of the centre but is well priced at 45 euros per night.

Where did we eat/drink?

↠ Coffee at the vegan cafe Pumpkin Brown.
↠ We ate lunch at Pret a Manger.
↠ We got brownies and coffee from The Milkman


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