Hey everyone! Can you believe it's already the end of April? I know it's such a typical thing to say but this month really has flown by. I'm trying to have a nice relaxing bank holiday weekend this week because last weekend was so full of activities in Edinburgh that I'm still slightly knackered. Me and my boyfriend went for an extended weekend (Saturday-Monday) as a late birthday present to me. It was really nice to get away for a bit, especially as we've been really stressed over moving. As I mentioned before I went, I decided to do another Nails on Holiday post while I was away. For those of you who are unaware, this is basically just where I document my holiday by putting my nails in front of things, you can see my previous two trips here. Previously I've not taken that many photos, the first time in Italy because my camera wouldn't focus, and last year in Cyprus because I kept forgetting. This time around I seem to have done the complete opposite and taken tonnes, so I apologise for the picture-heavy post. Because there are so many pictures of the holiday I'm going to include a full picture of the nails in a separate post tomorrow so I can say more about them.
On the Saturday we travelled up by train, we left super early and got there just before lunch. We headed straight to the hotel to dump our bags, and of course see our room. We were staying at The Glasshouse which was a lovely sleek boutique hotel, it was especially nice to order room service and not have to worry about the washing up (oh dear, I sound old)! Our room opened out into a lovely shared terrace, it was nice and sunny when we arrived so we sat out there for a bit and relaxed after our long train journey.
After we'd had a bit of a rest we headed out to explore Edinburgh a bit more. The picture below is taken looking from by the Scottish National Gallery across some of the city, I was in awe at how pretty everything was. Although it did seem a shame to have built a train station right through the middle of a pretty park!
We then headed into the Scottish National Gallery, it was really interesting to see actual paintings by Van Gogh and Monet, but I must admit that a lot of it went over my head. I've come from a family of artists, but traditional art, whilst it's absolutely amazingly done, isn't particularly interesting for me. I was much more interested in the art by Van Gogh and Monet. I couldn't really get a good picture inside the gallery itself but walking down the stairs there were these busts and I knew that they'd make a great background.
After the gallery we headed to the National Museum of Scotland. The building itself is really pretty, I actually took quite a lot of pictures with the exhibits but I thought it was a bit OTT so I've just included the animal exhibit because it was really interesting to see.
|Centre of the gallery|
After that we did even more walking and explored the city. We walked as far as the castle but decided to go to that on the Monday instead, so we walked down the hill (there are so many hills in Edinburgh - and I come from Yorkshire which is super hilly), and we decided to pay a visit to St Giles Cathedral, where we'd seen a wedding taking place earlier in the day. It was very pretty inside, but I think I prefer small churches to cathedrals, I must admit. After that we headed back to the hotel and ordered room service as we were far too tired to go out and eat.
On the Sunday we went to Edinburgh Zoo. This was actually the main purpose of our visit, we love to visit zoos and Edinburgh is the only one in the UK to house pandas and koalas, and it was brilliant to see them both. I know some people don't agree with zoos, but Edinburgh Zoo is a conservation zoo so they're doing a lot of good. I was amazed at how close up the animals were, a pigmy hippo came right up to us, so close we could touch it (although we didn't) and the lemurs were walking all over the path.
|Panda - although he was actually asleep for our visit it was still amazing to see him. Unfortunately the female wasn't on show because it's almost time for her to (hopefully) get pregnant.|
|Monkey - he was eating a cabbage for most of our visit and it was super cute|
|Lemurs - look how close they got!|
After the zoo we headed back to the hotel for half an hour or so and then we decided to take a walk up the hill behind our hotel to Calton Hill, where we had an amazing view of the entire city. There was a tower that you could enter to see the 'best view in Edinburgh' but it was £5 entry which seemed a bit steep (pun intended). I attempted to climb the Athenian acropolis in the picture below but miserably failed.
|The hill looked directly over our hotel, so I wanted to take a shot from the back of the hotel too. Our room was somewhere in the middle behind the grass.|
|View over Edinburgh from Calton Hill|
On our final day we headed up the castle. I really really wish we hadn't left it until the Monday. Saturday and Sunday were both warm, but Monday was absolutely freezing, especially up at the castle. It was probably the coldest I've ever been actually and whilst we were queuing up to see the Scottish crown jewels (which we couldn't take photos of) it started snowing/hailing. This pictures are definitely deceptive because they look bright, but I think my cuticles tell the real tale. We didn't stay very long in the end, probably an hour max, because it was just too cold to focus.
|Looking up the castle|
|The Scottish National War Memorial|
Despite being in a city full of history and attractions, we kind of felt like we had nothing left to do in the afternoon before our train in the evening. So we became terrible tourists and just went bowling! It was really fun, and very different from what I imagined we would be doing, but I completely beat my boyfriend (3 times) so it was worth it.
What do you think? Have you ever visited/do you want to visit Edinburgh?
Let me know in the comments!