We left Teen Ranch on a bit of a high, having been energised by lots of fun and genuine people, but we were also looking forward to a bit of time together, and a chance to slow down a little. We were excited to go to Edinburgh, especially me, as it remains at the top of my favourite places in the world to be.
What do I like so much about it? I know this will sound cheesy, but to me, when you arrive in Edinburgh and wander the cobbled streets of the old town, passing Highland pipers on every street corner and almost every shop selling clan tartans, when you meander up the Royal Mile and see Edinburgh Castle looming above the city, when you see pubs that are hundreds of years old selling cullen skink and haggis, you really feel like you’re in Scotland.
We were exceptionally fortunate to be offered a place to stay very close to the Old Town, by a very lovely lady, Gill, who is the sister of a friend from our church back home in Wollongong. We are so very thankful that we were able to stay in such a lovely home, so thank you Gill! We loved being able to easily catch a bus straight into the city, and we really enjoyed spending a lot of our week ambling around Edinburgh, doing some shopping, getting ice cream, visiting the excellent National Museum, and enjoying the sunny weather in the park.
Pete had plenty of uni work to catch up on, so I took the kids to Stirling Castle one of the days. Stirling Castle is a very impressive castle which has had an important role for several Scottish Kings and Queens, including Mary Queen of Scots. I really liked the castle and the history, although I think I would have got more out of it if I had been by myself! I definitely didn’t get to see all of it and we spent a lot of our time in the kids activity section. It was a bit of a challenge at times (read – Elena is a bit of a challenge) with the two of them, but still a fun day to be had together.
One of the highlights of the week was climbing Arthur’s Seat. This is something we really enjoyed last time we were in Edinburgh (4.5 years ago), and it was pretty fun taking the kids up with us this time. The wild gorse growing everywhere was lovely and the view from the top is spectacular, with the city spreading round til it reaches the sea. It’s a really satisfying walk straight uphill, and we had fun doing it with a kid strapped to our bodies each. Elena loved climbing the ‘mountain’ and kept asking to climb more mountains after that.
We loved our week in Edinburgh and hopefully we will return one day!