Day three in Scotland was spent exploring Edinburgh. I visited some new to me places, as well as places I had been before. Pam and I started the day with a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a new to me location where the Queen spends her time when she is in Scotland. The weather was nice while walking to Holyrood, and continued to stay nice with breaks of sun when we finished with our tour.
From here I ventured off solo to climb up to Arthurs Seat, something I wanted to do last time I visited Edinburgh, but did not have time for. I gave myself a window of three hours, which turned out to be two hours too many. The sky was clear as I began heading up the hill, but the higher I got the sketchier the path became.
There were spots of thick ice, so I literally grabbed onto bushes and climbed up the sides of the path. This seems to be a theme for me.
Then with the snap of a finger, the weather changed for the worse. I was more than halfway to the top and I’m too stubborn to quit, so I kept going. By the time I made it to the top the snow was so heavy I felt like I was in a small blizzard. Had I not been surrounded by handfuls of other idiots like me, I would have been more concerned.
Needless to say, I didn’t have a summit view and I didn’t stay at the top longer than a minute. I snapped a photo of the summit marker and quickly scooted back down unsure if the weather would continue to get worse. When I say scooted, I literally mean scooted. I crab walked down the path sliding as I went and laughing to myself imagining how ridiculous I looked.
Alas, in typical Scotland weather fashion the storm blew through in less than an hour, and the remainder of the day was dry with sun breaks. I was annoyed at first, but then I realized this just gave me yet another excuse to return to Scotland. As if I needed a reason to return, I’ll go back and climb this again in nicer weather.
After this true Scottish adventure, I headed back towards the Royal Mile to find Pam. We (and by we I mean ME) needed Kaffee und Kuchen, aka a German afternoon tradition of coffee and cake. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, it was a place I had been once before.
A place with delicious cake, hot espresso, and one of the birthplaces of a famous novel series you might have heard of.
The Elephant House is a fun cafe in Edinburgh, known for being one of the birthplaces of Harry Potter. I came for the history of the cafe, and stayed for the delicious cake. After filling our veins with sugar and caffeine we spent more time walking around the city.
Around 1600 Pam and I split off again and I ventured towards Calton Hill to watch the sunset.
For dinner, Pam and I had another grocery store picnic date in the hotel we were staying. My dinner included grilled chicken, veggies, and hummus, as well as a new to me food that Pam bought for me on our way to The Elephant House earlier in the day. I’d heard of Scotch Eggs before, but wasn’t sure what they were exactly.
After being in the U.K for four days without consuming ANY black pudding, this was the perfect opportunity.
Basically this is a hard boiled egg, wrapped in black pudding, and fried. Wow. Just wow. This was literally one of the best things I have ever eaten. My tastebuds danced like sugar plum faeries. (I’ve been doing better lately eating any and everything and handling the repercussions without spiraling. I used to get extreme anxiety if I felt my autoimmune disease flare up from something I ate, but now I just let it pass. It always passes.)
This was a great trip to Scotland with even better company, and a perfect way to welcome turning 31. I hope to continue the tradition of spending my third decade of life in Europe for my birthday.
I’m still just as in love with the U.K as I was the first time I visited in 2017. Something about this area of Europe makes me feel calm, and this trip was a long time coming for my friend Pam and I. Sometimes the universe brings people into your life you’d never expect, and Pam is that person for me. What started as a “business relationship” (I watch her adorable kitty) turned into a friendship I will cherish forever.
Thank you to Pam for spending my birthday with me, and for coming all the way to Scotland.
Q: Do you have an unexpected friendship like Pam and I?