This past weekend we made our first venture out of Aberdeen and the surrounding shire. After Nathan wrapped up with a class on Friday morning, we grabbed our bags, hopped on a bus, and made our way down to eat some lunch and sip a coffee before catching the train.
I was glad that we reserved seats weeks ago, as some people stood for almost the entire 2.5 hour trip. As we zipped along, heading south down the coast, I admired the breathtaking scenery out of the window beside me. Charcoal grey cliffs dropping dramatically into the North Sea below. Waves crashing at the bottoms. Green grass and dozens upon dozens of sheep spotting the pastures while grazing. Some looking up to see us while rushing by.
We arrived at the Waverly station in Edinburgh. Scrambled off the train and started our walk to the flat where we would stay with our friends visiting from the states. I immediately noticed something about Edinburgh. LOADS of tourist shops! Then I got to thinking about how I have not seen one such shop in Aberdeen! Cashmere stores, tourist trinkets, kilt makers, whiskey shops, pubs, cafes, and more. It was busy, bustling, and hilly! Beautiful architecture and seemingly rich culture. As we approached the flat, Sarah and Landon greeted us on the sidewalk. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and to know we had the weekend ahead of us to enjoy together.
We started Saturday off with breakfast at a delightful Italian cafe near the flat. Cases of gorgeous pastries, meats, and breakfast offerings. We sipped on coffee, savored the meals, and chatted at our little orange, sidewalk table. We set off from there and landed at the Holyrood Palace, where the Queen stays upon her visits to Scotland. While touring it, we admired rooms of gorgeous tapestries, furniture older than the USA, art, antique instruments and more, while we listened to the historical commentary by audio tour.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with beautiful sights. After visiting some shops, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and headed off for St. Giles’ Cathedral. When a wedding postponed our entrance, we walked on to the Scott Monument. 200 feet, 6 inches straight up into the air. Sarah and I successfully climbed to the first landing, winding up the stone stairwell narrow enough to make you nervous, took some pictures, and then descended back down to enjoy the massive Christmas market buzzing below. Nathan and Landon climbed on to the tippy top for a good photo op before the sun set. We then returned to tour the cathedral, taking in all its beauty and history.
On Sunday, we ventured out to the seaside. The skies were clear, blue, and the sun was shining brilliantly. I sat and soaked the rays in like a sponge. We walked the Portobello seafront area, joining hundreds of others strolling along the stretch and took in an amazing last day of November. The water was calm and blue. Dogs playing fetch with their owners. Families cycling past…kids ringing their handlebar bells. And surprisingly, several people enjoying heaping cones of ice cream while bundled in coats.
We enjoyed a final meal together at a most adorable beachside cafe, and then returned to pack up and head home. We were amazingly grateful for a weekend with good friends, full of fun, fellowship, adventure, and great conversation. Nathan and I returned with a sparked appetite for more weekend trips, more exploring, more adventures.
What a wonderful way to end our November and to begin Advent. A season of expectant waiting. May this season be especially blessed for each of you.
Please enjoy a gallery of photos from our weekend, most of which Nathan captured on our adventures around Edinburgh. Click on the first picture to launch the gallery.
Until next time! Xx.