Edinburgh Travel Diary

This was my first time in Scotland.

I still remember four years ago when I was still studying in London, a friend of mine asked me at class if I wanted to come with her to Edinburgh on the weekend.
I haven't reached the UK legal age  yet (which is 18) that time, so the school was monitoring every single thing I did. Like for real, every single morning before the class started, I had to go to the reception desk to sign a paper, which meant that I really attended school for that day. One day I forgot to sign, the reception guy came up to the class and made sure that I was actually inside.
I know, mental, isn't it? 
So, when I told my host-mum that I would be going away for a weekend, she said I could go, but the school would be asking for a letter from my mum (my mum in Indonesia, my biological mum), so they could give me a permission. 
Why so complicated.
So, then, because I was still a careless teenager who was too lazy to ask for a letter for Edinburgh - I decided not to go.
And... give me another four years, I've finally made it to the magical, mystical city named Edinburgh!

Edinburgh Castle
Walked there too early in the morning and since I still had no idea about the city, I spent almost an hour looking for the location (where I actually could only spend around 20 minutes)!!! It was a very very bright yet cold morning, I still remember that it was 14 degree..... and I kept questioning, "Isn't it supposed to be summer?!!?!" BUT I LOVED IT. I loved the castle. I loved Edinburgh. The view of the city was super-super-super stunning from the castle, which was my absolute favorite. It was magical. Edinburgh is so magical. I have no idea how to explain that, but looking at every direction in Edinburgh gave me that mystical, mysterious feeling, and just full of magic. Wether it's the all-grey coloured buildings, the winding roads, or the cobbled-stone street, they all looked like just came out straight from Harry Potter book. 
I just spent around an hour in the castle because since I was alone it was easy to move around.

Royal Mile
The most crowded, filled with tourists part of Edinburgh which will remind you a lot of Oxford Street. It was probably because of Fringe Festival which was held in the entire August, so the city was totally packed when I was there. I walked along the street after visiting the castle around noon and it was so so so crowded. But, I enjoyed it tho. There were a lot of cool buskers, and adorable cosplays along the street. I even spotted Pikachu!!!

Cockburn Street
One of my favorite winding street!!! I loved it so much that I walked past it for almost 10 times of three days in Edinburgh. Really, if you haven't been there, let me tell you; just go to Waverley Bridge (and witness one of the most magical view of the city), then just go straight, cross the road at the end of the bridge, and walk up to Cockburn Street which will take you to Royal Mile. You would never think that you're actually at the year of 2016. 

Ramsay Lane
I was SO in love with these houses. They are all so so so gorgeous. Just super gorgeous. Like, just look at them. Imagine living there, behind the red or blue or black door. Imagine coming home from a very hectic day at school or campus or work and you can't help but complaining about what a messy life you have, but once you arrive home and.... just, "Holy crap, it's still a great life. I live in Edinburgh and I also have such a cute house."

Scott Monument
Right after taking (countless) pictures of Ramsay houses, I walked down the street and went along Princes Street Garden and made decision on climbing this monument. It was only 5GBP and I once saw on instagram that the view of Princes Street from the monument looked so beautiful, so why not?
And!!! I was right! It was completely worth-it, the view was so on point. I spent around 20 minutes, took a lot of pictures and then just stand and staring at the view. I could see Edinburgh castle, Ramsay House, the station, everything. Oh my God, I don't think I will ever get enough of seeing Edinburgh from above.

Bathroom stall. Literally the WHOLE bathroom is covered with writings to JK Rowling from the fans all over the world. 

Elephant House Cafe 
Soooo, on the first day at lunch time I accidentally found this super famous cafe during my walk to Scotland National Museum, I was super stoked when I read the board infront of the cafe, "The Birthplace of Harry Potter" and without further thinking I just went straight to the front door, but once I opened it, the door even slightly hit the back of a person. It was a long queue! And when I looked around the cafe, no empty seat.
I thought, well it was lunch time. I didn't want to waste my time to queue, so I left and came back the following morning. And yeah! It was pretty empty at 9 AM (of course!), I ordered Portobello Mushroom with goat-cheese because it sounds cool. But, I have to admit that I'm totally not a fan of goat-cheese. Or anything related to goat. It totally smelled like...goat. That was probably the only thing I regret in Edinburgh. Why didn't I just order a pancake?
But, I was so happy and glad and thankful that I was finally there. As a huge fan of HP, surely you won't miss the sacred place where your childhood was born, right?

Armchair Books

National Museum Scotland
My happy place. I have no idea why spending hours in any museum in UK just made me so so so so happy. Why not to love about UK, actually? 

Finally arrived at the summit!!!

Arthur's Seat
On the second day in Edinburgh, I made my mind that I have to hike at Arthur's Seat!!!! Alone! Once I finished my breakfast at Elephant House, I turned my phone's GPS on and this is for anyone who is interested, this is the direction to Arthur'sSeat: walked straight along Royal Mile until you arrive at Holyrood Palace. Turn left, and  just walk and when you find a car park, cross the road and there! You can see the bottom or the start of your Arthur's hike! There are two options: if you pick the right track, it's the harder one. The track is rocky and a little bit slippery, and tiring. Super tiring, actually, for me. But, the view was amazing!!! I remember that I had to stop a couple of times, just to stare at all the beauty. Can I say again that Edinburgh is so magical?
I spent more than an hour to reach the summit, and only stayed there around 30 minutes because of the wiiiiind! It was cold and super windy, so I decided to leave via the easy route! And when I said easy, it was a lot easier than the first track I took!!!!
But, well, the view was just so-so, because you couldn't see the city from this route. There were only those greenery landscape when I walked down, that reminds me a lot of Gili Laba in Flores!

Greyfriar's Kirkyard
The very famous cemetery in the city, where JKR found inspirations for the names of HP characters. But really, I didn't find Tom Riddle inspired grave that time.

Princes Street

Calton Hill
Ooooh, this one. Another favorite. I loved loved loved Calton Hill. The view was just amazing and I really couldn't stop saying how magical, beautiful, gorgeous Edinburgh was from above. I left early in the morning again, because later that day at 3 PM I had to leave for London. The sky was super bright, and it was still pretty empty, and... it was just so perfect.

Princes Street Garden
And this was the closing of my perfect days in Edinburgh. Right after I got back from Capitol Hill, I still had another four hours before my train departs for London, and I was already super tired of walking (I guess I'm really getting older and weaker) then I decided to buy fruits and a bottle of juice in Sainsburry, and went to the park and just did my picnic there! On my own! I took an empty spot close to the tree's shadow, because still, I don't want to get so tanned! Hahaha and just spent for an hour to eat, to sleep and to read! It was such a simple pleasure. Like I said, it's the little thing that makes everything so special.
For me, going to the park and just spend there for hours is a very special activity which I will never take for granted. It's the thing I absolutely cant do in my city. I love being in the parks. I love watching people around me when I'm in the park. The luxurious feeling of being not in a rush, just to breath, to look around, to live in the present.

Thank you, thank you Edinburgh. You are magical.

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