Stormy Days on Blackford Hill, Edinburgh
Happy Monday. Today, we're heading up to Blackford Hill. Be prepared for a stormy post.
(You can catch the previous - and first - Scotland post here. )
A Stormy Day
On Thursday, we decided to put our walking shoes on and march from the area we were staying at in Edinburgh, Merchiston, all the way down south to Morningside to eventually enjoy stunning views on the city from Blackford Hill. We love being outdoors, in case you didn't know, and seeing more of a city by foot is a preference of ours. Hence, we left our Airbnb apartment at a reasonable time that morning and trusted our GPS that we would walk in the right direction.
It. was. stormy. So much, in fact, that some of the train services were cancelled. But we didn't think anything of it.
We passed by lovely historic houses, people on their way to work, and strolled down the buzzing, charming streets as the townhouses started to look more like villas. Morningside is a really nice area.
On the way, we were looking for a little café, something cute, something casual, where we could have breakfast. We ended up at Leaf & Bean, a very kid friendly place that is family run. I just have a thing for local spots like that.
After some coffee, eggs, and pancakes, we continued our walk and eventually reached the outskirt of Edinburgh. It's amazing how green this city is. If you're signed up for my newsletter (which you should, of course - sign up below on the website if you're not on the list yet), you'll have read that it is the greenest city in the UK. Accurate, from what I can say.
The wind picked up and we started realizing just how stormy it had gotten out here. We entered a little field and followed a path. We were right on track.
A View to Remember on Blackford Hill
We climbed up some stairs (getting those glutes working) - and reached the top.
HOLY cow! The wind was literally insane. It's a shame that photos don't do it justice. We spent about an hour up on Blackford Hill and let me tell you: I could lean into the wind and not fall over face down. Or, let me put it that way: Rickey had to actually hold on to me several times because the wind was making me stumble all over the place.
I don't think I've ever experienced storm like that.
Below are a few impressions from the view we had over the city. Blackford Hill is such a hidden gem; at least there were only a handful of people, including us, walking around that morning (and Scots should be used to weather like that, so I don't think it usually gets any busier up there during the week).
It's absolutely gorgeous and peaceful up there. See for yourself. (There's one photo of Rickey that shows just how stormy it was. Haha.)
Isn't it a gorgeous place? I always call Scotland my "spiritual home", mainly because of the red hair situation but also because of the weather. Don't get me wrong, I love the southern California weather, but for some reason, I greatly enjoy the "rougher" weather such as wind, colder temperatures and rain. There's just something so cozy and somewhat beautifully melancholic about it. Just makes me want to go out and explore for a while; then hit up a warm place where I can get comfy.
Well, we definitely had all of that while on Scottish soil.
Edinburgh Ghost Tour
In the evening, we met our friend Rena. The sun was peaking out for a little while and the wind was bearable in the city center. Our plan was to join a walking tour centered around Edinburgh's ghost and murder stories. We started on the Royal Mile and walked a little loop around the inner city center, stopping to hear rather gruesome, yet interesting stories.
Anyone knew I was a witch? Well, go figure. I wouldn't have lived long in Edinburgh centuries ago.
We ended the tour on a cemetery - how fitting - about an hour and a half later. It was a free walking tour, which, some of you will know, basically means you give your guide what you think the tour was worth.
We were hungry. Rickey was desperate to try some Scottish delicacies and so Rena suggested we should go to Ghillie Dhu to warm up and end the day with a full belly and some live music. Sounded good to us.
Haggis Balls and Scotch Eggs
Interesting - you think? For sure, I agree. But a little too interesting in my opinion, knowing that haggis and scotch eggs consist of, well ehem, part of sheep stomach?!
Rena and Rickey ordered some, while I stuck with fries and garlic bread. In all fairness, though, I have to say that I tried a bite of everything and it tastes just like ground meat.
Rickey was in heaven with his selection of whiskey that almost burned his throat.
We enjoyed a couple merry hours with food, drinks, and live music and caught up on life. It's so wonderful knowing that Rena, whom I have known since elementary school, and I have managed to visit one another in literally every city we've ever lived in. And that's been all over. I am very grateful for that, and ultimately such a great friend.
Have you ever had haggis or scotch egg? What do you think? Trying new things/foods is definitely part of the travel experience. But I gotta be honest and say that sometimes my mind gets a good grip on me.
All three of us hopped on a bus later that evening and, tired from all the walking we did that day, said goodnight, dreaming of whiskey and hearty Scottish food (I know who did)...