Callum’s 2016 Adventures: Edinbrugh, Scotland

I always feel that when I come to Edinburgh,
in many ways I am coming home – Alan Rickman

I’m not really sure that I can call a trip up to Edinburgh an ‘adventure’, purely on the basis that I have been there so many times when visiting my family. The thing is though, with each visit, I experience something new about the city. It’s always the same and yet… different.

My long weekend trip back in June followed the same trend.

In recent years my family have spread out, but my grandparents still reside in Musselburgh, which is to the east of Edinburgh. As a result, I have never really stayed in Edinburgh itself, something I thought it was about time to fix. The following chain of events then ensued:

  • Train from Milton Keynes to Edinburgh? Check
  • Find hostel on Grassmarket? Check
  • Unable to work out how to open the door to the common area? Check
  • Two strangers taking pity on me and opening the door on my behalf? Check
  • Finding out said strangers are your housemates when you walk up to your room half an hour later? Check.

It was a surprise to say the least. Thankfully, they were two very lovely Americans doing a tour of Europe. My other room-mate also happened to be American, a former cop who decided he wanted to see the world.

After going for dinner and catching up with one of my old University friends, we met up with my hostel room-mates for a Ghost Walk of Edinburgh, which led us through the South Bridge Vaults. There were plenty of fascinating tales weaved by the tour guide, creating a fascinating world before our eyes from a time before Edinburgh’s ‘New Town’ was born. This tour was then followed by your customary night of drinking as we all got to know each other – suddenly I felt like I really was on holiday!

The highlight, however, was undoubtedly when we got back to the hostel. There were 4 of us from the hostel who had gone out, and we were staying in a 6 bed dorm. Upon returning we learnt that one of the bunks was filled by an Australian who, despite us having woken up, joined in conversation with us. The final room-mate was another American, who had arrived at the hostel late in the eve due to a delayed flight. Though the details elude me, I know that the next hour or so was filled was conversation that was both hilarious and philosophical in equal measure.

No trip for me these days is complete without a little walk around with my camera. The second of my days in Edinburgh was no different, as I wandered around Old Town aimlessly with my camera and my music, capturing the every day life all around me.

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For my favoured style of photography, Edinburgh provides the perfect environment. Everywhere you look there is something going on, whilst the fabric of Old Town provides unique opportunities to get pictures that radiate. Edinburgh’s most wonderful trait, however, is how much open space there is. Too often big cities can make you feel cramped, which can be very damaging to the style of photo I like to create. There was no issue with that here.

The early evening was spent having a wonderful time with my family; eating food, and playing board games. It was really wonderful seeing them again as none of us really know when the next opportunity will arise.

As we all finished up, I re-joined my hostel room-mates who were halfway through a bar crawl. We toured the remaining bars on the tour, lost a member of our group, and ended up wandering around Old Town for an hour at 3am. Whilst that might not sound like the most appealing of situations to find yourself in, it really was enjoyable.

I’ll miss Edinburgh, I always do. It’s the sort of city that is truly a home away from home.

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