Sunday, May 3rd – Day 8
The depression and loneliness were still heavy on my chest as I woke up this day. I decided to try and conquer it by getting out of bed and doing something. Although Edinburgh Castle was on my list to see, my host turned me off from it. She said that it was a waste of money and definitely better looking on the outside. Plus, I was kind of tourist-ed out and tired of paying for a ticket to enjoy a place. I just wanted to enjoy Edinburgh and the culture and scenery.
So, the Royal Botanical Gardens were a perfect fit for what I was needing – and it’s free to enter! I never realized how much plant life is out there and especially native to Scotland. I slowly walked around the gardens trying to take in the atmosphere of “vacationing”.
Honestly, the longer I walked, the more I wanted to go home. I was really missing my people. I hit the gift shop and started heading back to the flat. I turned on some Netflix and relaxed. I prayed that the remainder of my trip would still be enjoyable.
I didn’t take many photos after I had gone to Arthur’s Seat, but I’m glad that I journaled about my experiences. I was really down about the fact that I was here alone.
Monday, May 2nd – Day 9
On this day, I decided to sleep in in order to feel like this was more of a vacation. Today was going to be a day of wandering before I had to board the train to my next location. Regretfully, I didn’t take many photos – I was wondering if that was part of myself feeling pressure to document it all. Either way, I did some great exploring.
I decided to first stop at a place called the Elephant House for brunch. Someone told me about it and that it’s where JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter. I got there just in time for breakfast: waffles with bacon and maple syrup. Oh.My.Lanta. It was so delicious and very sugary.
Afterwards, I ended up roaming up the “royal mile” where a ton of little shops are as you walk to the Edinburgh Castle. Then I stopped into a pub for lunch. Seriously, the mac and cheese in this country is amazing. The cheddar cheese that they bake on top is to die for. They also serve it with garlic bread, which was another surprising but perfect choice. What they say about people in Europe is true. They are unapologetically open and friendly. I was sitting at a table alone and these two gentlemen asked if they could sit in the unoccupied seats. I loved it. They weren’t annoying, but merely wanting a place to sit, chat, and have a beer.
As I got back to the flat to grab my things to head to my next location by train, the doors were locked with none of the keys working. A HUGE freak out because I didn’t have service to just text my host. I tried for about 30 minutes before the door finally gave way to the key I had. PHEW!! Crisis adverted and I can make my train schedule to travel to Dumfries, Scotland.
The train rides were breathtaking. Rolling hills with sheep scattered throughout were everywhere. I honestly thought that it was a stereotype of Scotland, but it is very much real and beautiful. Pictures didn’t do anything justice – especially since I was on a moving train. I finally got to Dumfries and I felt like my spirit became more alive again. Tomorrow I would get to explore an abandoned castle with a moat!