Standing in the train station with my phone in one hand and bag in the other, I tried to figure out which exit would be our best choice for the walk to our AirBnb. The first person who walked in our direction immediately stopped and asked us if we knew where we were going. “Kind of”, I sheepishly told him.
I didn’t plan to fall in love with Edinburgh. The plan was to fall in love with London and maybe Oxford but Edinburgh definitely stole my heart. John and I originally planned to just tour England but decided shortly before our trip to add a trip to Edinburgh so that we could visit some of the sites that J.K. Rowling used to frequent while writing.
Of course I assumed I would enjoy all of the Harry Potter related sites and I was certainly right but Edinburgh has a charm that goes even beyond the Wizarding World. As soon as we stepped off of our train, we started to experience a bit of what makes Edinburgh so magical.
After being set on the right course by the kind stranger at the train station, John and I soon learned why so many travelers choose to Uber from the station, even if the location they are headed is only 15 or 20 minutes away. On earth there are hills, there are mountains, and then there is Edinburgh. The streets heading toward the Royal Mile in Edinburgh are incredibly steep. So steep in fact, that at one point, the street were hiking up had an actual guard rail!
Journeying through the winding streets with two rolling suitcases and two large heavy bags was a bit of a disaster. Moving that amount of luggage can be challenging on a flat surface but through streets steep enough that some of them actually have guard rails?! It felt impossible! Luckily, I’m incredibly stubborn and once I set my mind to something, I will do it. I won’t say I didn’t dream of the warmth and ease of sitting in the back of an Uber with our luggage but John and I do a lot of squats at the gym so we were able to make it through the cobblestoned streets, even if we were somewhat slow. I will suggest that anyone who isn’t looking to take a hike should just call an Uber.
Once we arrived to our AirBnb we quickly put our things down and headed to Edinburgh Castle. The view from the castle makes the trip up with luggage completely worth it. I would carry 20 bags and take that hike again to see that view. Standing up there, you see so much of what makes Edinburgh a fantastic city…enormous mountains, historic stone buildings, modern chic buildings. There is so much history and culture in this amazing city.
John and I spent the next few days exploring museums, trying new foods, writing in coffee shops, exploring old buildings, and meeting new people. The people we met were my favorite part of our trip. From our hilarious and charming AirBnb host Darren, to the lovely people at coffee shops who jumped at the chance to tell us which U.S. cities they have visited, to the strangers all over the city who asked us how we were enjoying our holiday and invited us to move to Scotland (this really happened often), the people in Edinburgh are reason enough to visit again. I can only hope that our next trip is that much longer.