If you would have asked me a week ago where my next travel post would be from without blinking an eye, I would have informed you about my travel plans to Belgium. But, even the girl who loves nothing more than to plan understands that itineraries fall through, that budget airlines aren’t so great, and that sometimes it is better to quit while you are ahead. After figuring out that Belgium was a no-go I was a little frazzled, but I must say that I am eternally grateful for a best friend that understands and embraces change as she let me crash her already planned trip to Edinburgh.
With Thanksgiving being less than a week away and as Sarah and I plan our own ‘Friendsgiving’ the Danes – and Europeans –who obviously don’t celebrate this holiday have channeled all of their energy into Christmas. The excitement for the winter months has been marked by the official opening of all the Christmas markets. And there was no better way to get into the holiday spirit than combining three amazing things: Scotland, Glühwein (mulled wine), and Christmas!
I started my trek with the all too familiar backdrop of the Copenhagen airport. After catching my flight out, I met up with Sarah and our friend Kelly. Together we have created a fun ~ META~ trio making for a fun traveling dynamic. After arriving we headed to our hotel to rest so that on Saturday we could find our own Christmas miracles.
As per usual with our resident foodie, Sarah, we started Saturday by eating at a delicious south-African café for breakfast. From there we walked — which honestly felt like a short hike — to the Edinburgh castle where we realized how truly flat Copenhagen is and proceeded to the royal mile! While we explored the mile we made our way through hot chocolate cafes, shortbread bakeries, and argyle shops galore. Sarah and Kelly strategically picked this weekend to come to Scotland since Saturday (The 18th) is known as the ‘lighting day’ where all the Christmas Lights in the city are turned on. So it was only fitting that we logged about 10 miles walking as we spent our whole day exploring and taking in the Prince’s and St. Andrew’s Markets. Now, I know I may be in the minority when I say that I have never truly witnessed or walked around a true Christmas Market. But, with the sun setting at 4pm I embraced the constant shine of the multicolored and twinkle Christmas lights and loved spending hours getting lost in the joy, handmade gifts, and festive treats! We finished our night recapping in the hotel about our day while ruby softly played in the background. You could say that we took living like the Scott’s very seriously.
Sunday we rose with the sun and made our way into the city to hike the highest point in Edinburgh – Arthur’s Seat. We opted for the short and rigorous trail which cut the normal hike of 4 miles into 1 — straight up the mountain. The whole trip took about 2hrs where we took in everything Holyrood Park has to offer by exploring the dormant volcano which happened to be the path for our hike. Our terrain consisted of rocks lots of rocks and we were constantly surrounded by magnificent cliffs until we reached the top which as any travel blog will tell you had the most incredible views of the city. With one glance you are able to see the mountains, the city, and the mountains. WOW! This experience was probably my favorite of the whole trip.
This trip was nothing short of magical, I visited Edinburgh 3 years ago and it just keeps getting better. I will never be able to get over the constant sound of bagpipes and the multitude of kilts. We had beautiful days and there was truly Christmas magic everywhere!!!