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Honeymoon Chapter I: Edinburgh—City of Writers and Ghosts

So, as the title of this blog post suggests, I am recently married and on my honeymoon! We’ve chosen Scotland and southern Spain. Right now we are about halfway through our time in Scotland and it’s been an absolute blast. I’m writing this from a castle in the Highlands, but we’ll cover that in the next post.

DAY 1: We departed from LAX early in the afternoon and the flight into London was nice…until we missed our connection, I got sick, and we suffered through an almost four-hour layover (that was redeemed by free food and drinks in the business class lounge). As you can imagine, we got into Edinburgh on the later side. Me being sick, we decided to call it an early night.

DAY 2: We rose early this day—probably around 5:30 a.m. To my great relief, I was no longer sick (or as sick as I had been), which meant exploring the city was very much a go.  We walked from where we were staying into the city center. The walk itself was enjoyable with it being overcast and threatening to rain (I’m from Los Angeles, and JFC I was tired of the warm weather). We ate breakfast at the Edinburgh Larder; I had pancakes and sausage, with a latte (4/5, would absolutely recommend).

 

After breakfast we walked up and down the Royal Mile. We bought gloves because it was cold, and they remain perhaps the best purchase of our trip thus far. Later in the day we took a walking tour of the city, learning its history. The most interesting part to me was the brief walk through Greyfriars Cemetery. It includes the old Covenanter prison as well as the Black Mausoleum, which is home to the infamously violent MacKenzie Poltergeist.

 

We also stopped by Waterstones and I found a copy of my friend’s book, DUSKFALL.

 

The nice thing about traveling is that you have plenty of time to think. As a writer this is a godsend. I still have plenty of work to do with my SHADOW TWINS revisions, but I’m already beginning to jot down some pretty extensive notes for the story I want to write next; a city as historic and aesthetically pleasing as Edinburgh is a fantastic muse. Think Hellblazer + IT (the creature), with a bit of Diablo III and some whiskey peppered in. Probably Castlevania as well. Basically, it’s going to be a love letter to the dark fantasy I grew up loving and still love.

DAY 3: We had a nice breakfast at Coffee House before doing a bit more window shopping. The weather ended up being pretty nasty to start, so it was clear today was going to be a day for more indoor activities, including: a tour of Edinburgh Castle; shopping in the Edinburgh market; a walk inside St. Giles Cathedral; purchasing a bottle of 27-year old whisky; eating at the Elephant House; looking up the history of my birth surname (I’m adopted); and, finally, the Taste of Scotland scotch whisky tour.

The highlights here are the castle, the Elephant House, and the whisky tour, for a variety of reasons. Edinburgh is the most haunted city in all of Europe, so of course we had to go and investigate the castle. The architecture here (and all around the city, honestly) is breathtaking, and the history of the castle and its inhabitants is interesting.

 

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The Elephant House, for those who don’t know, was made famous for being the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the earlier Harry Potter novels. We had lunch here and…it was pretty mediocre, service and all. Definitely come for the novelty, maybe purchase a tea or a coffee, but avoid the food.

The Taste of Scotland whisky tour was phenomenal. I’m a huge whisky drinker and it was great to learn the history behind this drink, as well as the different types found in Scotland. There was even a vault containing the worlds largest unopened collection of whiskey, about 3400 bottles if I remember correctly.

 

DAY 4: Our last day in Edinburgh ended up being pretty exhausting yet laid back. We had breakfast at the Espresso Bar, perused Blackwell Books (the oldest bookstore in Edinburgh, I believe), and then embarked on an 8-mile walk around the city before having an absolutely amazing lunch at The Outsider. Along the way I saw somewhere close to 50 doggos and was quite excited.

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OTHER LOCATIONS WE VISITED: The Museum of Childhood (quite haunted); The Writers’ Museum; the docks; Calton Hill (the highest point in Edinburgh)

MISC. PHOTOS (including me holding a falcon and fluctuating between fear, nervousness, and awe)

 

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