Wotcher digital nomads, happy Tuesday to you all. Regular readers (hey Mowgs) will know that I recently went to visit the wonderful JM Cooper (she’s incredibly good at things. For real, she’s a genlus*! If you would like to be incredibly good at freelancing you should buy her book) in Scotland. It was cosmic. Scotland is pretty wizard really. You can tell it’s good because I am resurrecting a long time dead feature in its honour**. It’s a destination!
*Genlus is a word, it’s just not yet recognised as one.
**Seriously, it’s been a year and 4 days since the last one. That’s like #foreverago #Iusedahashtag #gimp.
Before I get started I need to say a few things that I feel are rather important right now.
1. Yes! We did it, we survived the rapture/Nibiru/end of days! Until next month at least. You might as well celebrate with some tips on how to travel cheaply.
2. Bugger. Apologies for the delay in between posts again. I was kind of banking on the rapture/Nibiru/end of days to save me there! I guess I’ll write part 2 of how to travel cheaply tomorrow then.
3. Red wine is incredibly counterproductive when drunk to excess on a Monday evening.
4. Some berk next door has been hammering something non-stop for the past 97 minutes. Give it a rest mate.
5. People who take their shoes off on flights make me feel queasy. It’s a three-hour flight you div/divette.
6. People who use their children as package donkeys/duty-free cigarette mules are abhorrent beasts.
7. Revealing 3 wins out of a possible 9 on a scratchcard leads to devastating disappointment. I won £10.
8. World peace is none of my business.
9. Doogee makes a solid mobile phone for a good price.
10. I must be crushingly lonely to be speaking to non-existent people via a list of things I find important.
11. Up until Wednesday I had not been back to the nation of my birth in about 4 years. In that time they have gained plastic money, angular pound coins and some sort of witchcraft contactless payment system. It was baffling.
12. Bus drivers and airport workers in Edinburgh are great. They will actively save you money. I love them all.
Anyway, onwards to Edinburgh via St Andrews.
N.B*. In St Andrews I stayed with the aforementioned JM Cooper in her student accommodation. I ate ‘meal deals’ from Tesco and Sainsbury’s and drank heavily in pubs called The Central and The Rule. I visited the castle ruins and walked around a lot. I also purchased two books from charity shops and gambled to the tune of £3. St Andrews is good, but it is full of ‘old children’. Someone accidentally (I think) sprayed shaving foam on my leg. That is St Andrews condensely ‘destinised’ for you.
*I really like writing N.B. It gives me an enormous sense of genlus-ism.
Where to stay?
It’s the age-old question with the simplest of answers. It depends on how much money you have. Based on my (admittedly low) research the ‘Burgh’ isn’t a cheap place to be. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment that was at the lower end of the price scale (£80 a night) but was pretty cosmic. It smelt a bit like an old persons home and the area was a bit crimewatch-y but it was pleasant enough. It reminded me immensely of the housing estate that my sister used to live on. Every house is on top of the next one, a bit favela-ish but with fewer guns. Probably? Anyway, the location of the place was great, right next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the lady that let us in and told us everything we needed to know was very sweet and helpful. I think that if you are visiting Edinburgh as a wandering nomad a hostel might be your best bet (if you are cool with that sort of thing, personally I like my own WC). There is so much to do and see that you’ll really only want somewhere to put your head down at night/morning. Shop around and see what suits you best, if you think you’d like to stay where I stayed feel free to get in touch and I’ll send you the link.
What to see?
See it all. Everything. All that you can. Cram it in, drink the culture, quench your thirst. DRINK IT! OK, calm down now, deep breaths. Right, I should probably mention that I was only in Edinburgh for two nights and I’m rather poor. Therefore my time traversing the city was as limited as my bank balance. Still, lots of fun can be had in Scotland’s capital city for free. You can wonder at all of the art Scotland has ever produced* in the National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery. You can look at the freaking sweet T-Rex skeleton in the National Museum of Scotland. You can walk aimlessly and admire the frankly amazing architecture on display whilst drinking a can of Irn-Bru. Er, there really is lots to see and do honestly. Too much for me to mention here. One thing I really wanted to do and didn’t was visit the Edinburgh Dungeon**. I remember going to the one in London as a child and finding it brilliant. Next time I am in Scotland (November, small face 1) I will endeavour to make it there.
*Maybe, but probably not really.
**If you have been and it’s brilliant tell me! If you have been and it’s rubbish, don’t tell me.
Where to eat?
Vegans of the world unite and go to Holy Cow. The pulled jackfruit burger is cosmic and I’m told the ginger drink is pure. My cola was a little bit meh but that’s neither here nor there.
Vegetarians of the world unite and maybe don’t go to David Bann. It has really good reviews so I might have just caught it on an off night but for me, it was very mediocre. I would give it a 2, maybe a 3 at a push. There must be a lot of easily pleased vegetarians in the world.
Lovers of Chinese takeaway unite and order from the fantastically named Hot Kung Fu restaurant. I really miss cheap Chinese food. This was perfect, I ate like a pig. I regret nothing.
Anyone else unite and go to this place. I think. I’ve just spent a long time on Google maps and as far as I can tell this is the place I had a fantastic burger and beer. I think they might have redecorated since most of those pictures were taken. It’s good. Go.
Where to drink?
Again, all (1) of you regular readers will be aware of my little black cat Margarida/Margy/Geesty/Geets/Small-face 2. She is pretty great. I like her a lot. My cat sitter (thanks, dad) can attest to that. I called about 3 times a day I think? Anyway, when I saw a pub called ‘The Black Cat’ it was pretty obvious that I was going to go in. I wasn’t disappointed. At various other times over the weekend you would have been able to find me in The Kenilworth, No. 1 High Street and The Canons’ Gait. I enjoyed them all but honestly, I’ve never quite seen a place so full of pubs and bars as Edinburgh. If you like a craft beer or are simply an alcoholic you will be in heaven.
Wear comfortable shoes. I boobed and wore shoes that managed to flay the skin off of my heels. I had to buy a new pair. I am a berk. Also, budget accordingly, Edinburgh isn’t cheap. Oh, if you are getting the tram be sure to buy a ticket and use it within 30 minutes of purchase. I didn’t. It cost me another £5.50.
So that’s that. Edinburgh is pretty cool, I’m going again in November so it must be doing something right. As a place to see it’s 100% in my top 7 (Brno, Tomar, Guarda, Vác, Ibiza and Porto since you wondered) and you should almost certainly go there.
13. That berk is still hammering something.