Edinburgh brought my first true hostel experience although I feel like I survived it considerably well given I was in a four bed dorm by myself for three nights!! It was a cool place to stay but I have discovered what I think will be a standard for the hostel experience...hostel kitchens = rank!
I was so close to Scotland I had to go check it out, Edinburgh is a beautiful city and thankfully my first day was filled with blue skies and sunshine, although in true Scottish style still damn cold! The entire city is filled with stunning architecture so I spent the day on my own personal walking tour and also visited Edinburgh Castle.
The first evening I arrived I discovered the "Wild & Sexy Highland Tour" and thought to myself - where else would I be!!
So Day 2, 7:30am, still dark, I set off to the meeting point, the bus arrives and the group is greeted by Dan, our driver and guide, who although not quite like the very handsome kilt wearing guy on the brochure still was still a strapping Scottish lad!
Wild & Sexy kind of ended when Dan self proclaimed himself as "the most boring tour guide ever" and told us all that he didn't mean to rain on our parade but basically we were going to be stuck on a bus in really shitty weather for the next eleven hours (with the most boring tour guide ever!). First stop was a mountain, it was raining...that didn't last long, second stop Loch Ness and thankfully the rain had stopped and the mist had cleared and I was able to eat lunch overlooking the expansive water framed by snow covered mountains. I did my best to snap a pic of the Loch Ness Monster, I was keen for the 1 million pound reward to finance my lifelong traveling ambitions but no such luck I'm afraid.
Although not at all Wild & Sexy, I learnt a lot about the inaccuracies of Braveheart and got to see the Scottish Highlands so still a great tour.
On my first day in Edinburgh I discovered the "Hot Tottie" which is basically whiskey, honey, lemon and cloves mixed with hot water. Since I am still fighting off this bout of the cold/bronchitis I was convinced (easily) by the barman that the Hot Tottie would sort me out.
One evening after several of these came to the realization that I don't really need five nights in London and it would just be rude not to visit Amsterdam!!
Last night I caught the ferry which is in fact a large ship, complete with nightclub and casino overnight from Newcastle for a 48 hour stint in Amsterdam checking out the "local wares" and cultural delights... See you on the otherside dude!