I would be lying if I told you that the whole Scotland part of my weekend went even CLOSE to the way I had planned. After missing my flight Saturday night from London to Edinburgh, I FINALLY got there on my new flight on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I really just had to get to Scotland at that point to make my flight home to Madrid a couple of hours later, instead of canceling both flights and flying straight to Madrid from London. This meant that all I was going to get to see of Edinburgh was the inside of the airport. Boo.
Then, by my own stupidity, I didn’t even think about the fact that I wasn’t on a connecting flight with a layover but had two separate flights and had to go through checking in and security once again. This meant that when I went up to my gate to get on my flight to Madrid the EasyJet people were baffled as to how I got in the airport because I hadn’t checked in. They informed me that there was no way I was getting on this plane. So down to the customer service area I went, where I was put on the next flight to Madrid (I was pretty much just handing EasyJet all my money at this point). The thing is, they only fly once a day from Edinburgh to Madrid so I had to wait until Monday at 12:30 to fly. Okay, now what?
After finding a place in the airport to sit and charge my phone,I tried everything I could think of to get in touch with my friend Lauren, who is studying in Edinburgh. She was the one I was supposed to stay with the following night and had to unfortunately cancel on. After being unable to reach her, I found an all female hostel room for only 10 pounds and grabbed a taxi from the airport. My taxi driver’s name was Martin and was a great representation of all the people I encountered in Edinburgh: incredibly nice. He told me all about his family and asked me about mine and how I like living in the United States. He also told me tons about the city and pointed out important places.
After about a half hour, Martin dropped me off at my hostel: High Street Hostel. Turns out I unknowingly did a great job picking this hostel because, as Martin pointed out to me, it was right up the street from the Royal Mile and the Edinburgh Christmas market. I just happened to arrive on the opening night! How lucky! After getting myself settled in the hostel, which is actually pretty great- I would totally recommend it- I headed down the street Martin told me to so that I could check out the Christmas market for a few hours. The energy was incredible. I’m usually not a big Christmas gal but it made me so happy to be there listening to Christmas music all bundled up. I walked through the rows of stalls, stopping to look at all the gorgeous handmade goods and to try some delicious foods. My favorite was the doughnut balls with applesauce. I even ended up buying myself a new ring because I had somehow lost one of my favorites in the airport that day.
A few hours later, I finally got in touch with Lauren and I was lucky enough to have her and two friends meet me for a bit more walking around at the market and some catching up while sipping on mulled cider (which is delicious, by the way!) It was so nice to get to see her after all and we agreed to have breakfast together in the morning.After going to bed a bit later than I wanted because I ended up spending a few hours on Skype with friends and family (which I’m certainly not complaining about!) I OF COURSE missed my alarm and was super late meeting Lauren in the morning. Instead of heading to the cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, we hit up the local Starbucks before she helped me flag down a taxi to the airport for a flight I actually got on this time!
My only regret is that I didn’t get to see more. In less than 24 hours, I fell in love with Edinburgh. When flying away, I was able to look down and see the sprawling green lands of Scotland and wish I could have spent weeks exploring instead. You can bet that it’s already on my list of places to revisit!
The best part about this weekend was that there was so much unexpected and that I dealt with it myself. I don’t know why so many people are afraid to do things that will make them happy just because they’ll be on their own. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sure, I lost a bit of money switching flights and maybe spent a bit too much shopping but I had a blast. And I stayed positive despite everything because what else could I do? You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.