Whilst I feel that I am fairly well travelled, in reality that’s a total lie. I’ve spent a lot of time in Spain, a few weeks in America and, besides a few other trips to Europe over my 22 years, that’s it really. In fact, until last week I’d never even ventured north of Cumbria. That’s right, I’d never crossed the border into sister Scotland. But being invited to see An Act Of Kindness at the Edinburgh Fringe gave me the kick up the bum I needed to take a trip to the capital and spend a mere 11 hours in Edinburgh.
Jack’s mum lives a couple of hours away from Edinburgh by train which was super convenient as we wouldn’t have to hunt high and low for an extortionately priced room during the Fringe. Sure, we had an early start to get a 7:15am train but we were in Edinburgh before 10am and could crack on with our day.
We started the day by wandering down Princes Street to find somewhere for breakfast. We settled on The Huxley at the end of Princes Street for a traditional full Scottish breakfast. Now my tastebuds can handle heat and flavour, but they were not a fan of haggis and black pudding. Maybe it’s just knowing what’s in it that grosses me out! At £9.50 per breakfast, that’s more than I’m used to paying for a fry up but I guess I can’t complain considering I was in the capital.
Next we walked over to the Charlotte Square to the Edinburgh Literary Festival. We’d have had zero idea this was on but Jack’s sister lived in Edinburgh for a few years so gave us a pretty comprehensive guide. After a mooch around and added a number of books to our wish list, we followed George Street down past a few Fringe sale booths. Whilst I could’ve happily strolled around here for some time, in typical British fashion, the heavens opened. Even my trusty Pack-A-Mack couldn’t save me for much longer so we nipped into the Scottish National Gallery.
I’m going to raise my hands up and say that I just don’t ‘get’ art. I don’t enjoy looking at it and I’ll probably be skipping the Van Gogh Museum when I hopefully go interrailing next summer. Jack was more than happy to take a peak so whilst he spent time looking at the varying works, I dried off and worked out where we were supposed to be headed for the Fringe later.
The weather wasn’t letting up, but we were on the clock and had to move quickly. After a dash through the rain we turned onto the Royal Mile. There wasn’t a lot going on, just a lot of wet tourists taking shelter in the Castle Hill gift shop. No, I didn’t let Jack buy a sword even though he was desperate for a second one. Naturally we took a trip into the Miltary Tattoo to see Edinburgh Castle on the same level, as opposed to on the hillside. This was as far as we walked though because as much as we love a castle visit, we whizz round in about twenty minutes and it seems like a waste of money.
Instead we camped out in The Scotch Whisky Experience for an hour and a half, which I spoke about earlier in the week. Once we’d spent some time there, we headed off to find a drink and bite to eat before seeing An Act Of Kindness. In the end, we walked down the high street and grabbed a cold drink from Cafe Nero – an Irn Bru for Jack and a sparkling water for me, I just can’t warm to the national drink of Scotland – then headed to C-Cubed.
After An Act Of Kindness, Edinburgh was our Oyster for the next three hours. We mooched off the beaten track before remembering about The Free Sisters. The Three Sisters is a pub that Jack’s sister recommended to use due to the free comedy nights they put on during the fringe. Here were picked up a burger and a pint of cider and waited for one of the freebies. Jack’s choice was to watch Darius Davies: Road to Wrestlemania.
Telling the tale of his life’s ambition to become a WWE superstar before a life changing injury, Darius was funny albeit a little cocky in places. Personally it wouldn’t have been my choice of show but it wasn’t bad for a freebie. We did leave a tip but I wouldn’t pay to see him again.
With an hour to spare we dipped in and out of shops and picked up a cuppa for the 8:15pm train back. We definitely packed in a lot and it just shows that in a city like Edinburgh – small and compact – you don’t need a full day. I’d love to go back again, and during the Fringe would be fine (although I’d love to stay and see some of the more popular comedians who tend to perform after 8/9pm). Everyone says how busy the Edinburgh gets during the Fringe but being a frequent visitor to London, Edinburgh seemed more like a day out in Leeds rather than a capital city.
I’m sure I’ll be on your streets again soon, ‘Burgh.