We arrived in Edinburgh around 6pm on May 19th and we were in for a special treat… we stayed at The Hostel (yes, that’s the name.. they don’t even bother trying to fool you).
When we arrived, the Hearts had just beaten the Hibs in the Scottish Cup Final. The Scottish Cup Final is football, or what we call soccer in America. It was a huge game because the two teams are major rivals and it was the first time in 116 years that they played against each other in the cup final. There were people all over the place celebrating. While waiting outside of The Hostel we looked up and multiple middle-aged men were dancing in the window with their maroon and white hearts colors on. What a great first impression of Scotland 🙂
The Hostel was a pretty harsh awakening coming from the Temple Bar Hotel in Dublin.
[Here comes the complaining part…] All 26 of us had to carry our luggage up two flights of stairs. All 26 of us also had to share one bathroom that only had two working showers. There were 12 of us in the room I was in.. there wasn’t much room for us, let alone our luggage. There were no outlets unless you went downstairs, and there was only one blow dryer. So yes, we had to blow dry our hair right in the common area next to where people would eat (pretty gross).
[And now for the positives that outweigh these not so terrible negatives…] Overall, The Hostel really was not that bad. We all survived (spoiler!) and it could have been plenty worse. It was definitely not the worst place I’ve stayed in. All I have to say is that there were no bugs. Bugs where I’m sleeping grosses me out unlike anything else, but no bugs here means it could have been much much worse. Being a little crammed for a few days I could deal with.
Needless to say, we tried to spend as much time out of The Hostel as possible. As soon as we got all of our belongings in our room we headed out to explore and find something for dinner. By this time it was almost 8pm and apparently people don’t eat out every late in Scotland. Most places were already closed or were no longer serving food. The only thing open were pubs or clubs. As we were searching for food we looked up to the middle of the city and were amazed. We saw our first glimpses of Edinburgh Castle. Seeing pictures of the castle does not even compare to the way it looks in real life. But we will get to more details about the castle tomorrow when I talk about our visit there.
Anyway, we kept walking hoping to find someplace open where we could eat. Ironically, we stumbled upon The Filling Station– Coast to Coast American Restaurant and Bar. It will forever be known as “The American Place,” as that’s how it was referred to for the rest of the trip. The portions were way larger and they actually had ranch (something we hadn’t seen since we left the states)! After walking around to get a feel for the city, we finally decided to call it a night and head back to the dreaded hostel.