Edinburgh and the Royal Mile

After a long day of travel, the plane finally touched down in Edinburgh. I couldn't have been more elated to get outside and into the cool, fresh air. Even parking lots seem picturesque when you've been crammed in an airplane for fourteen hours (so worth it though).

It was early afternoon by the time my travel companions and I cleared customs and baggage claim. We drove straight to the heart of Edinburgh where the goal was to explore the Royal Mile and the historic quarter of the city surrounding it. At the top of the Royal Mile, we were greeted by the sound of bagpipes echoing off stone walls and streets. The sidewalks were teeming not only with tourists, but thousands of rugby fans who had come to watch that weekend's match .

Due to jet lag, we didn't see and do everything that we could have in the old town, instead focusing on just stretching our legs, getting our bearings, and enjoying our first day in Scotland. Some of the sights we took note of along the Royal Mile included Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles' Cathedral, Canongate Kirk, the Scottish Parliament building, and Holyrood House. These sites are interspersed with plenty of shops and pubs, making for one of the most relaxed historic walks you will go on in your life.

We took this brief introduction to Edinburgh as an opportunity to enjoy some non-airline food (no offense, airlines; keep the snacks coming). For a light lunch, we stopped by The Edinburgh Larder and then had coffee at Procaffination. I highly recommend both of these spots. 

At The Edinburgh Larder, I had the cheese and chutney sandwich. There were also delicious soups, salads, and fresh baked goods (above) being served for lunch. 

Before long, it was time to get back on the road and drive to our hotel. After a mix up with our Edinburgh reservations, we chose to stay in the smaller town of Dundee (about 1.5 hours outside Edinburgh). Working to find a comparable room in Edinburgh would have certainly had its advantages, but we were already in the road trip mindset and more than happy to see the Scottish countryside that lay between Dundee and Edinburgh. 

We would pass a relaxing evening at our hotel before venturing out to explore Edinburgh's "new city" the next morning.