I'll start by saying that the city of Edinburgh is one of the more gorgeous cities that I've visited with amazing castles on hills, many breath-taking cathedrals and structures, ginormous graveyards, and awesome shops.
After taking the wrong bus to Edinburgh from Glasgow (one leaves every 15 minutes), I arrived 15 minutes earlier in Edinburgh.
I get to my hostel, called Belford Hostel, which is actually in an old Cathedral! I check in to my hostel and meet my receptionist named Alex who was from Australia who also had a job working at a craft beer bar.
We instantly became friends. I drop my main backpack off in the luggage room of the hostel because I wasn't allowed to check in yet... I grab my smaller backpack, my camera, and my water bottle and take off to go do a little sightseeing. I start heading towards the city center where I was completely in awe when I saw a castle standing on top of a hill in the city center. In the view of the castle was also a cathedral, a big awesome graveyard, and a little valley with tons of gorgeous flowers. I stopped and sat on one of the benches in the little valley just taking in the gorgeous scenery. I continued to walk and felt really awesome as I walked by the main mall area and some Scotch guy all dressed up in traditional outfits was playing the bag pipes.
On my way back to the hostel my phone died and I tried to take a new way home but got a little lost. I ended up finding my way home and checked in to my hostel.
I was the first one in my room until some other people checked in... It was one of the shittiest hostels I have ever stayed in sadly.
The rooms were extremely thin and you could even hear your next door neighbors having a mild conversation... It doesn't help when they take big groups of 13 year old rugby playing boys and you try to sleep at night... The shower was 2 floors down as well. The art work and room was nice though.
I shower real quick, charge my phone, and then head back out that evening to eat some food and drink some craft beer.
My first stop was called "The Beer Kitchen" or "Innis and Gunn"where I had two beers which were pretty good but not great. I had an IPA and then another IPA along with a western burger which was pretty good! After the two beers there I went 6 doors down to a place called "The Hanging Bat" which was a sister craft beer pub from the place my new friend Alex worked at.
I started with a Pale Ale there that was pretty good! I started talking to the bartenders and became minor friends with them. The girl bartender there told me that they were having a tap takeover from their in-house brewer tomorrow. I walked by their little brew system which was just a simple 15 gallon, used kegs, RIMS system... It is amazing to me the very small systems that I have seen on my travels and how the hell they can manage to be financially stable with such small brew systems. I think the reason is because they have so many guest taps and charge an arm and a leg for craft beers (and people pay for it too).
The second beer I had there was a double dry hopped IPA from Cloudwater brewery from the can. I had a feeling it was a NEIPA and that's what I was actually craving, so I bought it. It was the best beer I had tasted since being in Scotland.
After that NEIPA I saw YETI from Great Divide Brewery out in Colorado and I had to get it as I had never had it before and it has been one of the most sought-after beers in the world. It was a 9.8% Imperial stout and it was fucking amazing by the way!
After now being sorta drunk, I head the 1.5 miles to "Ushers" which is the craft beer pub where my receptionist Alex worked. I saw her and met her co-workers. I had a REALLY GOOD Pale Ale there, and another, because it was hazy and juicy and full bodied, just how I like it. Alex hooked it up and gave like 30% off the two beers. They had live music playing there as well which we all know by now that I love.
I was planning to go to one more craft beer bars after that but it was now past 10pm
and I was super hungry so I grab a wrap from KFC but that wasn't enough so I stopped at a Mexican food place to grab a quesadilla before making my ~2 mile hike back to my hostel.
The next morning I woke up and didn't know what to do so I stayed in my bed until everyone in my 5 bedroom hostel room had left... At that point I felt sorta motivated so I did 25 minutes of yoga and then 35 minutes of meditation.
I wanted to take advantage of the day so I took it upon myself to walk around for 3 hours just taking pictures and learning about the city a little more.
I walked up to the castle, but it cost money to enter so I didn't enter. I then walked down "The Royal Mile" which is a street going down the hill with tons of shops and restaurants and farmers markets. I sit down at a restaurant but they only take cash and I sadly didn't have any cash on me at the time so decided to go to McDonald's again, but couldn't order anything because they wouldn't accept my credit card... I walk right next door to KFC and order a chicken sandwich meal... I was feeling pretty down this day, along with sort of sick...
I make it back to my hostel around 2pm and wanted to take a nap so I threw on some meditation for sleep and passed out for 1.5 hours. I woke up abruptly around 4pm and decided to shower before meeting up at "The Hanging Bat" with my Australian friend Jose that I had met in Sevilla around 5:30pm to drink some beer and talk with the brewer.
I get there before Jose does and order a 1/3pint of a NEIPA style Double IPA for 3.8pounds. After finishing that first pint I ordered a pint of one of the sour's they had on tap which was actually pretty good! It was a 4.8% ruhbar sour. When I was halfway done with my drink my friend Jose arrives.
We end up talking and she gets one pint. During that first pint I introduce myself to the brewer and a friend of the brewer. He had been brewing for roughly 3 years and was pretty young looking as well. We briefly talk but I went back to hang out with my friend Jose and catch up.
After those beers we had to walk about 1 mile or so back towards where she was staying/working at a hostel. We grabbed some food somewhere while waiting to go back to her hostel to wait to go out on a pub crawl.
I buy 3 beers while waiting at the hostel for us to go out to the bars. I drink two of them and make it to the first bar with Jose and meet all her hostel co-workers at the bar. We order a beer and get a one pound half shot of tequila.
We had to move on to the second bar which was playing 2000's hip-hop and dance stage and I was vibing to it so I was dancing for about 30 minutes. We had another cheap shot, for free, there along with another beer before going to the next bar which had karaoke. I sign up to sing "We Will Rock You" but I didn't get the chance to sadly... I order 3 shots there along with a beer. By this time I was pretty fucked up but we had one more club/live music/bar to go to before calling it a night. This place was cool and I grab another beer and start to slow down-ish there.
I meet a cool Scotch native and some girls studying abroad there from New York. I somehow made it back to my hostel and didn't wake up until like 10:30am the next day after getting hammered. I think I still woke up sorta drunk... OOPS!
I grab some food with Jose that morning where she went to yack city twice that morning. I ordered some eggs benedict at some American style breakfast joint.
I went back to the hostel after breakfast to take another nap. That night I call it an easy night and pass out by 11pm.
I wake up at 3:30pm and go to this hill called Carlton hill that has a really cool overview of the city, some greek style pillars and a nice little overwatch tower. I sit down and take in the city for about a half hour...
I wanted to go to a brewery I found online and I get there but it wasn't an actual brewery... it was just some guy who marked his house as a brewery... I find a pub, have two beers and a pizza there after talking with my dad for 15 minutes.
After catching a minor buzz I told myself I was going to climb "Arthurs Seat" which is the main mountain in the city. It was a proper hike that I didn't even know it would be. I get to the top after feeling like a mountain goat climbing up the side of a mountain sweating bullets.
The view from the top was so gorgeous and I was sweating balls by the time I got to the top. I head back down the other way, the main path, and wanted to just go home because I was exhausted... I passed out early again that night after walking 9 miles and climbing over 110 flights.
The next morning I wanted to go see the "home of Harry Potter" called "The Elephant House" which I stopped in and ordered a salted camel brownie,
a ham and cheddar toastie, and a mocha. In the bathroom there there is writing all over the walls and windows about Harry Potter and appreciation notes to J.K. Rawlings.
Right next to The Elephant House is a graveyard where Tom Riddle from Harry Potter's graveyard is.
I sadly didn't get to find his grave but I walked around looking for over an hour... I then decided to walk around some more to another brewery that was also a homebrewery... I did however stumble upon a shitty homebrew store who were not friendly at all... I walk through a nice park to a cool bar where I ordered two beers.
On the walk back to my hostel I find a liquor store with a good selection of craft beers and I grab three.
I head back to my hostel to shower and get ready to go out for my last night with Jose.
I meet her at this pizza place but it was so expensive so we decided to skip it and walk back towards her hostel.
We stopped at the same Mexican food place where I had ate my first night in Edinburgh. I ordered nachos and an empinada and got soooo full.
We stopped at some bar that had a lounge room for movies and order a beer that took me forever to drink.
We then go back to "Ushers" where I see Alex, even though she was just getting off.
I have one last beer with Jose and say goodbye before walking the 1.5miles back to my hostel to pass out and wake up to head on down the England the next day.
I had a blast in Edinburgh and would totally recommend it to anyone!
Thank you all for reading!
I will sadly only have up to three more blog posts before I make my way back to California where I will then start to build my business plan for my brewery!