Passports & Parsimony

major adventures on a modest budget 

Edinburgh and Beyond!

I've been meaning to travel around Scotland for a while now! Brave, Outlander and even Trainspotting 2 have all pushed me even more. Anyone else love the scene in Trainspotting 2 when Renton and Spud hiking through Arthur's Seat ? All of these films have pushed me to make my own memories in a place so beautiful!

Edinburgh has felt different every time I've been. It was one trip with my ex (hostels and bar-hopping), another as a young person trying to make it into the world of TV at Edinburgh TV Fest (sessions and parties) and another as a Festival volunteer co-coordinating new talent (sleep deprivation and adrenaline). It's crazy how you can be somewhere so many times but not actually experience the full beauty of it.

We spent two full days in Edinburgh and its such a gem. Great food, the most beautiful scenery and history at every street. Usually when I go somewhere I try and pack hundred things in, but despite my more relaxed trip, I did everything I wanted to do and more. I already want to go back and explore the Isle of Skye. However until then, here are my highlights for a short weekend trip to Edinburgh!

Arthur's Seat!

First on my list is Arthur's Seat. The fact that Edinburgh has a volcano right in the middle of their city makes me love it even more. I traveled here with my one of my closest friend's Chinedu. As we looked up the volcano we didn't hesitate to start stretching because we knew the struggle was about to get real.

Climbing up this was painful at times but it was the best feeling when we reached the top because the views are amazing. It's so satisfying when you complete a difficult hike. We played 500 miles and the Rocky soundtrack as we climbed up and ended with We are the Champions once we reached the top in celebration. Definitely hike with someone who understands the importance of a great soundtrack as you hike this volcano because even though you can do it in under 45 mins, it is steep and you will need all the motivation you can get!

Once we got the top I could have spent all day there as it was one of the most beautiful views I have seen. Enough of my talk though, let me show you my moody scenic pictures. My pensive looks out to the distance would put Heathcliff and Catherine to shame:

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riveRlife!

I know what you're thinking. What's riverlife and how can I start living my life this way? Well its not a way of life but instead a gorgeous French-Caribbean restaurant located in Haymarket. I know what a combination! We stayed in an Airbnb in Haymarket and casually strolled in here on our first night. To make things even better not only was the food amazing, but it was buy one meal get one free, so we both spent under a tenner on great food. I don't know why we received this blessing but after this encounter I knew this trip was going to be good. They've also got a great Tapas restaurant on this road too! Definitely give Dalry Road a visit!

Balhama - Loch Lomond!

So I came to Scotland with waterproof tracksuit bottoms expecting heavy rain. However, It turned out the weather was the complete opposite and Chinedu and I ended up with a tan after we hiked in Balhama. As you go towards the water you can not only see views across the loch but also the island of Inchcailloch. Its beautiful here and we were so lucky to experience it in the sun. Balhama isn't in Edinburgh and it takes roughly 1hr and a half to get there. We were able to travel here through a one day tour with Haggis Adventures so definitely recommend them! Friendly tour guides and great vibes overall. Their headquarters are in Edinburgh so you can get any of their trips from there.

I mean look at this view! We also did a cheeky hike and you could see beautiful views of the whole loch and mountains from the top. This was my favourite place on the tour. They also serve great ice-cream here too so try not leave without one if you can! While we were hiking we saw a red squirrel which is a big deal for two Londoners. Overall though the highlight was just soaking up some Vitamin D by the water. I used to live by the water and there's nothing like it.

Castles!

You're very lucky in Edinburgh as it won't be very hard to come across a castle as there is one right in the city centre. I've never been inside Edinburgh Castle but just walking pass it is enough for me for great pictures. As part of our tour with Haggis Adventures we were able to visit Stirling Castle which is worth a visit for sure!

Thank you for reading along to my Scottish adventures! 2019 is the year I've traveled to the most places in my life so I can't wait to share the other places with you!

- Lou

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