August 4-8, 2022
For two years my sister Jennifer had been planning a trip to the UK, but Covid kept getting in the way. Finally, 2022 gave her the break she had been waiting for. She threw some dates at me of where she’d be and when, and I kept a third eye on those as the year progressed. And then the dates came closer and I realized that they corresponded with the dates that Dan was going to be off in the mountains on some climbing expedition. Perfect! I could pop up to Edinburgh that weekend and spend some time with family! I bought my ticket for a flight the next week and arranged to stay at the same Hostel as my sister. Spontaneous trip!
And then Dan decided to join me.
The weather had turned bad in the mountains and besides: who can resist Scotland? He bought a ticket with the same departure date, but his return was delayed by a day. Lucky him! He also found an AirBnB, as the hostel couldn’t take him in. And since he was already paying for a nice bed in a private room, I decided to join him and ditched the hostel. Ha!
There was another good reason to go to Scotland:
We had an early departure from Basel
Our Thursday departure flight was really uneventful and it wasn’t long before we were on the train and in Edinburgh. It is so easy to get to here – why don’t we visit more often?
The choice in available places was slim so I was pleased when the AirBnB I managed to snag us turned out to be really nice. There was some misgivings when I saw that the last review was in 2017, but it was a good review and like I said, there wasn’t much choice.
Our AirBnB’s street
In talking with the owner we learned more about the building and a bit about him. He had been out of the country for five years and was just getting back into the room rental business The building itself was built in 1840 and is part of a large building project of the era. Our floor wasn’t in perfect condition, but pretty darn good for something 182 years old.
The building staircase – with Dan!
The other room, rented out to a French family
The view of Edinburgh Castle from our room
Momma seagull with kids
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I’d heard the name before, but never really knew what it was. I guess I just assumed that it was a music festival like the Glastonbury Festival. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Fringe is (in their own words) “For three weeks in August, the city of Edinburgh welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe. Artists and performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.”
Learning that the Fringe would be running at the same time as our visit was at first met with dismay. There would be so many more people than usual – and there are already enough crowds at the key tourist points. Oh well – I was going to see my sister and would deal with whatever else was there.
The three of us met up in Princess Park and began to wander aimlessly around the city. This was Jennifer’s first time in Edinburgh, but it was our third time. It was good to be back.
I love the UK’s pub culture
University of Edinburgh
I love the old grave markers
We spent most of the afternoon and early evening just wandering from place to place. Some things I’d seen before, but many that were new to me. There is a lot to see in Edinburgh, and I know that there is still so much more that I’ve missed.
The University of Edinburgh – Old College
Our own Fringe troupe
We found something to eat and then headed to Sandy Bell’s pub. Jennifer was hoping to find some local musicians to sing and play with and heard that this was a good location for it. She was right.
When we showed up there was already a crowd in the small place, but we wedged our way towards the back where the musicians were playing. Jennifer scored a seat close by while Dan and I were content to sit back and just watch.
Our evening ended shortly after that so that we could be ready for the next day. There was so much to see and do!