Our flights was at 6:30, which meant we had to wake up at 2. This was not excellent. But I love airports, and terminal 1 in Dublin has a Starbucks and a Pandora, so I found a way to live with myself. Sinéad and I bought one another friendship charms for our Pandora’s (I got her a lotus flower, and she got me a crystal palm tree), and then coffee. All the coffee.
When we landed, first thing we did (apart from leaving the airport, of course), was go for breakfast. We went to the City Diner, and got waffles and pancakes. Not particularly Scottish, but who cares. After that, we had a wander around the city. First stop, Greyfriars Kirk Yard. Easily the coolest cemetery I’ve ever been to. And you could see if from our room. Double win.
Nest, we walked up the Grassmarket, where you could see Edinburgh Castle right in front of you as if it was no big deal! The Grassmarket is where the gallows of the city stood in olde times, and the Last Drop pub is where the men had their last pint before they were hanged. Also there is Maggie Dickinson’s, the pub opened by a woman who survived her hanging, and allowed to live her life as if nothing happened!
At 1, we checked in and Sinéad had a nap while I wandered around exploring for a couple of hours. I walked up and down the Royal Mile twice (which nearly killed me) and went down random closes. The closes are small lanes, most of which are staircases, that lead off the Royal Mile. Fleshmarket Close, which I unwittingly walked up twice, felt like it was going at a right degree angle. Another, Anchor Close, is where the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was printed. The parents of Sir Walter Scott, of Scott’s Monument, also lived here until 1771.
I saw The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter, Greyfriars Bobby, the National Gallery, St. Giles Cathedral, Scott’s Monument and Jenners department store. It turned out to be a far more lucrative wander than I had anticipated.
For dinner, we went to a really cool restaurant called ‘Wings’, where they sold chicken wings. That is all. I got a Gin & Tonic for £3 and we ate an inordinate amount of chicken, and it cost less that £10 each. I absolutely recommend it!
Pubs of the night:
Dropkick Murphys and The World Famous Frankenstein & Bier Keller.
The Frankenstein Pub was visited first, and it was awesome. We got themed cocktails first that looked like excreted bodily fluids, and then I moved on to the Long Island Iced Tea. Needless to say, I was tipsy post haste.
After that, we visited an Irish pub, as every Irish person must do at least once when they’re abroad. It’s in the Constitution, I think. This time, we were literally the only people in the whole pub. Not an exaggeration. There were 3 owners, and me and Sinéad. It was like walking in to an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
After that, we had an early night and slept for 10 hours. Once again, not joking.
Come back to read about Day Two tomorrow!