New Year’s in Scotland

Since we were going to be in the UK for the holidays, we decided to make the most of our time and take a trip to a place I’ve always wanted to go: Scotland. After we tentatively decided this plan, we found out that our good friends Ellen and Mason just happened to be spending the holidays in Edinburgh, Scotland to visit Ellen’s family. We got together with Ellen and Mason to discuss a New Year’s trip one night, and after a little too much wine, we came up with some pretty interesting plans for ourselves. After our trip to Asturias, it’s starting to seem like this group likes trips with a good story… and unique accommodations. But I’ll come back to that.

Sam and I started our trip to Edinburgh by taking an 8 hour Megabus from London. Talk about dedication, right?! Really it was just a lot cheaper than flying, so we said “yolo” and went for it. We watched the green hills and grey skies roll past us until the sun went down, and we finally arrived in Edinburgh just in time for the New Year’s ceremony for Hogmanay, where the streets fill with people carrying torches and singing Auld Lang Syne. We followed the crowd, taking pictures and marveling at how beautiful the city was lit up at night. After the ceremony we explored the Christmas market and met up with Ellen and Mason for drinks!

Next came the fun part. Getting to our Airbnb. I’ll remind you, we booked this Airbnb after a little too much Rioja red, and also fairly last minute as far as New Year’s accommodations go. What we ended up with was a pod (hut? cube? shelter?) of some sort in a field in North Berwick, Scotland. It was just under an hour away by bus from Edinburgh and then about 25 minutes walking through rural Scotland from the bus stop afterward. Needless to say, it was not ideal. And that was before we found out that pillow and blankets costed extra. So we spent the nights we actually stayed there sleeping on and under piles of our clothes (thank God for blanket scarves). Luckily, North Berwick actually turned out to be a really beautiful little town that we were glad to have the chance to explore.

Ellen and Mason showed us a great little hike right in Edinburgh called Arthur’s Seat. Despite tons of mud and harsh winds, we climbed to the top to see the beautiful views of the city. It felt like a great way to spend the last day of 2017! We explored as much as we could during our short stay in Edinburgh, and even got to do a Harry Potter tour where we saw lots of the places that inspired J.K. Rowling when she was writing the famous books!

For New Year’s Eve, we opted out of the pod life, and luckily found a hostel in the center so that we wouldn’t have to figure out how to get back to North Berwick after midnight. We prepped for the festivities at the hostel and then made our way to the bridge to watch the fireworks at midnight! We spent the rest of the night running around the city, cheers-ing with Scottish beer and dancing into 2018!

Despite the not so well thought out plans we came up with for ourselves, of course this ended up being an incredible trip. Edinburgh is now high on my list of favorite cities I’ve visited, and this was by far my favorite New Year’s Eve in as long as I can remember. Edinburgh gave me a completed different perspective of the UK, and I know I have much more exploring to do in this corner of the world! Happy 2018 everyone, now enjoy this amazing gif Google Photos made of Sam ringing in the New Year!

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