Great Scott! I made it to Scotland.
& its cold, damp weather was a pleasure.
This weekend I headed out on my first real solo trip. No meeting up with anyone, no guidance or even advice from anyone—just me, myself and I.
And a little help from Trip Advisor.
Right off the bat, the #1 thing I learned from traveling this weekend is I wish I was Scottish.
The people were too sweet and helpful, the food was outrageously good & gluten free, the architecture and ambiance was incomparable—Scotland blew my socks off, which is impressible since I didn't even think to pack any...nice Alex.
But there were a number of factors that mixed together this weekend that ended up churning up the best weekend getaway.
First off, those first 20 minutes where you all file onboard your flight are my favorite—where all you can think of is who's my seat mate going to be?! "I hope it's him, he's cute ...shoot he sat there. Maybe it's her, she looks friendly, she would definitely share snacks with me." Well, I sure happened to luck out on my flight into Edinburgh with a friendly local (who of course had that rugged, cute Scottish look + a killer Barbour jacket) who was willing to sketch up a rough map of town and scribble down some of his favorite pubs and spots to see—talk about an exclusive tour guide.
I had a full itinerary ahead of me for three days and no time to waste. ASAP I hopped off that plane onto the tarmac and couldn't help but look around at the green covered hills and gray sky and smile at myself—I was in Scotland.
After a quick tram ride into town I was spat out onto Princes Street—ask me if I knew which direction my hotel was and I would have pointed up, down, left and right—I saw an outstandingly beautiful building in the distance and made a b-line in that direction. After some gawking and turns I somehow ended up on the Pinterest favorite and famously curved, Victoria Street, which ended up swirling me down right down to the entrance of my Hotel on Grassmarket.
Scottish serendipity? I'd say so.
With the day still open and my wallet bulging with pounds of pounds it was indicative I had to go shopping. Edinburgh is known for all of its old book stores and vintage finds so I was on a hunt—for something special, something old and something that would make me smile about my trip time after time.
The shops were candy stores—old trinkets and books and prints from over 100 years ago that still managed to look elegant and flawless—it was a moment when I wish I had an at-home office to outfit with magnifying glasses, hand painted globes, compasses, books and watercolors.
The Scotts man, they just have this look to their culture that gets me.
There were Barbours, Hunter boots and chunky fishermen sweaters in nearly every window. There was wool & cashmere & knits galore—scarves and hats and wraps.
It was a blissful fall-wear wonderland & I wish I brought a bigger suitcase.
I shopped and strolled on Friday, I went to pubs alone and rub elbows with the locals. Saturday, I hiked and hung out at the top of Arthur's Seat and gazed out over the Edinburgh skyline in the silence of morning, in the peace of nature, and let it all sink in that I was in Scotland.
There is truly no other place like it—the spirit of Edinburgh, the warmth of the people, the magic in the streets, it resonates a certain feeling of fall & New England home that I had a hard time leaving behind.