After a quick flight from Syracuse to Newark, we took a second flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. During the flight, I saw faint auroras (northern lights) in the night sky. We had a brief layover in Reykjavik before taking our third flight, and landing in Edinburgh, Scotland! (We booked with WOW air, which allowed us to have a week long layover in Reykjavik on our return flight). I love flying: I watched the clouds for hours and captured a stunning sunset from my plane window.
Though sleepy from the time change, we had a full day ahead of us starting with a musical cabaret. A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) was an emotional story that tackled the topic of depression. The performers were talented actors and singers, and it went on to be our favorite show of the day.
We checked into our room at The Inn on the Mile where we found chocolate covered strawberries in our room, and a note congratulating us on tying the knot. We felt quite welcome, and then set off to explore the city before our second show.
We walked along the Royal Mile. Due to the Festival Fringe, it was more lively than normal with street performers and actors advertising their shows.
An absolute must on our list was The Elephant House, one of the cafes where J. K. Rowling penned parts of the Harry Potter series. We grabbed a hot chocolate and a tea, and I slipped into the bathroom to see the infamous graffiti marking the walls. Fans from around the world write on the bathroom walls, whether it be their name, their favorite Harry Potter quote, or a sketch of the Deathly Hallows. We also visited the Diagon House at 40 Victoria Street, a shop with all things Potter. We picked up a set of four coasters, one for each of the Hogwarts houses.
The second and last show we saw was called Secret Life of Humans. The first half was brilliant, but the second half of the narrative got lost in its own philosophical musings.
After dinner, we watched the fireworks signaling the end of the Festival Fringe from the vantage point of the bridge, then enjoyed a complimentary bottle of champagne back at the inn.
The next morning we walked the Royal Mile to the Palace of Holyrood which we viewed from outside. Then we explored Holyrood Park and hiked up to Arthur's Seat, an ancient volcano. The view offered a stunning view of the city, including Edinburgh Castle. We saw some ruins, plenty of pretty violet heather, and several of the Queen's swans.
To finish our afternoon in Edinburgh, we visited the Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock which greatly reminded us of Hogwarts. We learned about Scotland's history, tried a sample of whiskey, and viewed gorgeous stained glass windows in St. Margaret's Chapel, the oldest building in the castle.
While sad to leave Edinburgh, it was then time to get on a train to Inverness, which will be the topic of our next entry. Check out the video below for some highlights during our time in Edinburgh, and thank you for reading! ~ JA & JM