November 17, 2017 – November 19, 2017
It’s become an annual tradition that every year in November, the Amsterdam EY expats take a trip. Last year, Tyler and I were lucky to join the group to Hamburg, and this year, the destination was Edinburgh. Although I had just been to the city with my sister in May, I was excited to join the rest of the group for what was sure to be an unforgettable weekend.
Since I had been to Edinburgh before, I opted to fly out on Friday after work in order to save a vacation day. Although most of my friends were on the EasyJet flight, I flew KLM so that I could get my frequent flyer miles. It ended up being good that I did because even though our flight was at the same time, I got to Edinburgh before their flight even left Amsterdam!
Tyler went to Edinburgh a day before me since he had never been and he wanted to experience more of the city. He met me at the bus stop outside of our hostel. Our hostel where we had one room for 15 people, and the bunk beds were stacked 3 beds high. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to this, but we went and immediately met up with the rest of the group at the arcade bar. So called because of the street fighter game at the back of the bar.
The first night in Edinburgh was pretty uneventful, with us getting pizza after the arcade bar and heading back to the hostel. Only to run into the EasyJet crew and have them persuade us to head back to the clubs. It seems like Edinburgh is a pretty big party city.
On Saturday morning, we signed up for a walking tour at 11am. I was impressed that pretty much the whole crew made it to the tour and even had time for breakfast beforehand. I have mentioned before that Tyler and I like to do the Sandeman’s free walking tours when we travel. I had already done this particular tour in May when I came with my sister, but joined the tour again this time because the different guides sometimes tell different stories. I think this tour might have been the best one I have ever done. Our guide was a jolly Scottish man who had me lol’ing the whole time. Seriously recommend this tour if you’re in the area.
Some of the highlight of the tour were hearing the story about where the expressions “shitfaced” and “trip the alarm” allegedly come from, seeing Voldemort’s grave, and getting good views of the castle. We liked our tour guide so much that we even invited him to the pub with us after the tour was over. 5 stars for Angus!
After the tour, as already mentioned, the crew went for a brew or two. Eventually everyone split up and a group went to see the rugby game, another group went to see the castle, and a few of the girls went to another pub. Since I had already seen the castle before and have no interest in rugby, I was in the third crew who bar hopped. It was really a good time though. After walking for so long in the cold it felt good to rest my feet and warm up. One of the bonuses of picking this weekend to go to Edinburgh is that it was the first weekend of the Christmas markets, which are always a crowd pleaser. We didn’t spend much time, but did get some Gluhwein and cheesy potatoes.
When the castle people were done we all met up for a dinner that will go down in history of one of the more hilarious dinners of my life. Good times with good people. Post dinner we hit up the town more and went to a real dancing club. The patrons were somewhat scantily clad even though it was absolutely frigid, but we entered regardless. After a few hours of dancing, we called it a night with some McDonald’s fries. I mean, if we were going to sleep in a room with 15 people it might as well have felt like college!
On Sunday, we had all signed up for the Scottish Whisky Experience, aka Scotch tasting. I learned one thing real quick – I do not like Scotch. It was kind of cool to hear about how it was made, but man I just can’t drink it. Even with a lot of water added. Luckily the others on the tour picked up my slack. I liked the tour though, and would recommend it for my friends who enjoy a nice Scotch. After the tasting we hit up a few souvenir shops and had a quick bite before catching the bus back to the airport.
Once we got to the airport, we were already planning our next expat trip. That’s how you know you have a good crew.
– Sandeman’s Free Walking Tour
– The Scottish Whisky Experience
Bars / Restaurants
– Hoot the Redeemer
– Rose Street Brewery
– The Black Cat
– The Bow Bar