So after my fun at The Loony Dook, it soon became pretty apparent that what I thought was just a moderately severe hangover turned out to be me coming down with a case of the flu.
I had completely lost my voice and my throat felt like razor blades had been shoved down it. Fun.
So after I got back to Lighthouse after dooking, there was only one way to spend the day; ordering pizza and having a movie marathon in the lounge area with a kiwi girl who was a fellow resident in struggletown.
That day alone made my choice in hostel perfect. In some hostels there are no common areas, no entertainment facilities and just nothing to make a day spent doing nothing enjoyable. It was a day that I definitely needed to recuperate, and after a day of rest and a good nights sleep, I still felt like shit but I also felt well enough to get my ass up and do some exploring again.
This was my second time in Edinburgh in the space of a year, and I was really keen to climb Arthur’s Seat again. It gets really windy and really slippery, so my only advice would be as follows: don’t try to climb on a windy or rainy day, and the minute it is mildly sunny and clear weather, GO! With weather as notoriously bad as it is in Scotland, there may not be a second chance while you are there. Trust me, the views are well worth the climb.
For those not familiar with Arthur’s Seat, it is a now inactive volcano that overlooks the entire city. There are a couple of different routes to get to the top, a few that take longer but are less physically demanding, and one that takes about 20 minutes but it is steep and requires a bit of quasi-risky climbing on some cliff faces. I prefer the latter, I think the views from that side of the mountain are better, and scrambling up rocks is fun!
If after spending enough time trying not to get blown off the summit (I am not joking- do not wear a hat! It will get blown away forever) you have worked up an appetite like I did, climbing down on the opposite side (the Holyrood Park side) you may be lucky enough to come across the Sheeps Heid Inn. This little pub/restaurant serves some of the best haggis in Edinburgh!
Trying haggis is something everybody should do; I was somewhat hesitant myself, and much to my surprise, it is actually really delicious! Considering that this is coming from someone who really doesn’t like many meat heavy foods, that is really saying something. If the idea grosses you out, just try not to think about what you are actually eating, bite the bullet and try it!
After leaving the inn, the walk through Holyrood Park is definitely worth taking, and on a sunny day it is pretty darn gorgeous.
Another of my favourite parts of Edinburgh is the Elephant House Cafe, also known as ‘the Birthplace of Harry Potter’. The story goes that back before JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books she was too poor to afford heating in her home, so she would come to this cafe and order one coffee to drink for the whole day and write Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The food was not bad at all, but it is the bathrooms that make this place really worth visiting.
I couldn’t resist getting my Harry Potter tattoo out for a photo op!
Edinburgh I love you! If I have it my way, one day I will come and live with you for longer than a week or two.
Getting to Edinburgh: One of Scotlands largest air and rail hubs – you’ll have lots of options
Lighthouse Hostel: This is a well located backpackers, dorm beds start at £10 per night
Camera: Images captured with an iPhone 4S
Remember: If you fancy yourself a big Harry Potter fan, then you simply must visit Scotland!