Day 1: Welcome to Edinburgh
29 August 2017
We landed and boarded an airport bus to customs. Everything looked different - the trucks (lorries), buses, all of it. Customs was funny. We told the man that we were both freelancers and he adamantly reminded us we could not work: "You can not work, and you MUST leave. Welcome to Edinburgh."
We went to the bus and got tickets from a few good-hearted guys in the booth who joked with us:
Man: "-----, you make the best cup of tea."
Tesysia: "Is he making tea for eveyone?"
-----: "Oh aye, I'll bring it to you, where'll you be sittin'?"
Teysia: "Oh! Wonderful, --"
1st man: "No, but there's a free bar on the bus."
Teysia: "Oh, there is?"
1st man: "Aye, right at the front, it provides a firm grip if you're standing when the bus starts moving!"
We got up on the second floor and rode through the country, then suburbs, then city of Edinburgh. It was just as I'd imagined, and a bit more. Fences in the ditch, overgrown grass and tiny flowers everywhere, bald hills, stone houses with plastered fronts, kept gardens, etc. A few surprises: all the twinned row houses that look like an optical illusion, and the stout doors, as well as the very basic store signage for most places, which felt like a South American country or something.
It was early, but we'd already travelled at least 14hrs, so we got off the bus and walked along the gardens, stopping for a moment at the crepery for a bit of fish n chips. We decided to walk a bit, and went up the royal mile over the gardens and up to the castle and down around to get a good lay of the city.
It was time we could check in to the AirBnB, so we got on a bus to Leith and were greeted by Trevor, Ondine's husband. Cute little front room on the bottom of a townhouse. We struck out again, heading to Trevor's recommend Teuchters Landing (pronounced "tchook-turs"), a fine pub in an old ferry loading building, with several cozy rooms, the main with a pointed glass dome and lots of windows. The name basically means foreigner's landing. Felt very authentic, and we got the seafood platter to satisfy us. It was a struggle to finish between the two of us, but we made it (barely). I'm not used to eating breads, so I got filled faster than expected upon consuming the oat cakes at a risk.
We headed into centre city again and walked to Arthur's Seat behind the palace. Despite hunting for one, Teysia couldn't find a bathroom after arriving in centre city, so she had to hold it this whole time as we hiked up the face and round towards the back of the trumpeting rock. We decided to shoot from the face, rather than try to get up on top (to give a better angle of the sun behind the steeples of the skyline). I set up and tried a few different spots, finally finding something I was ok with. It got chilly quickly, and the dust from the trail made me tear up painfully, but the photos were made and we got down.
We walked up centre city and Teysia got a 4quid coffee to use the bathroom at a little café on the way, next to the museum of childhood. We made our way back to the buses and back to Leith for a night of rest. I had my hat on my lap when falling asleep on the bus, and when we abruptly stood up to get off at our stop, I'd forgotten it. First day I wore it even. We were a stop early anyway. I'd been pissed about it that night, but let it go eventually.