I’ve always had a bit of a think for folktales and happy endings, so I’ve always thought there’s something mystical about Scotland. It could be the number of wars they’ve fought in, or the enduring tale of the Loch Ness Monster, or it could be that J.K. Rowling wrote much of the Harry Potter series while sitting in Edinburgh’s Elephant Cafe.
Either way I was super stoked to be heading to Edinburgh. I’ve been to the Scottish capital before, which you can read about here, but I was thiiiiis excited to go back.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Lucy, who was heading back to Australia after her months-long European Escapades, but we all knew we’d being seeing each other again soon.
We landed in Edinburgh rather early and quickly checked in. I’d stayed at the Edinburgh Budget Backpackers before and cannot recommend them enough. There’s a really friendly atmosphere to the place and the bathrooms are impeccable. It’s also been renovated so recently that you can almost smell fresh paint!
Edinburgh is split into sections by the Royal Mile, a long stretch of cobblestone with Edinburgh Castle at one end and Holyrood Palace at the other.
Both are now tourist attractions, but Holyrood Palace is also fully-functional and houses members of the royal family when they visit the Scottish Capital. Holyrood Palace is in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, and this was where we headed first.
According to Scottish mythology, Arthur’s Seat was one of the possible locations of Camelot Castle. It also offers supreme panoramic views of Edinburgh and an excellent opportunity to stretch one’s legs after a long flight.
The hike was a little harder than I had anticipated, but we were super happy to make it to the top! Just look how tiny it made Holyrood Palace look!
We were pretty stoked to make it to the top though
We had planned on visiting Holyrood Palace after our hike but found it was closed because the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay were in attendance. After a fair bit of grumbling from me, wondering who these Royals I had never heard of were, we started wandering back up the Royal Mile.
We were just about in the centre of town when we were stopped by a mass of people and the sound of sirens. Intrigued, but unable to move, we waited as the sirens grew closer and louder.
I craned my neck to see who or what was coming, when a police escort flashed past, flanking a heavy looking car. I only glimpsed who was in the back seat, but yells from the crowd confirmed that Prince Charles and Camilla had just driven past!
I was (and I’ve always wanted to use this word) flabbergasted! In my excitement, a rather helpful Scottish gentleman informed me that in Scotland, the heir apparent and his wife are styled differently to the rest of the UK, as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.
These titles were taken on because their primary titles, the Prince and Princess of Wales, are so strongly associated with Prince Charles’ first wife Lady Diana.
Thankfully, Charles and Camilla didn’t stick around too long, and we were able to visit Holyrood Palace another day, but I’m afraid that’s another story!