Published on April 20, 2015 by

This is a travel video of our latest adventure exploring Edinburgh, Scotland – in the thick of winter – for the first time mere days before the New Year celebration of Hogmanay.

When I announced that I would be heading to Edinburgh, Scotland numerous friends and family chimed in with rave reviews of time spent in Scotland’s capital city.

With heightened expectations, adrenaline rushed through my veins and instead of taking extra time to sleep in and shake-off the jet-lag from a long-haul flight from Bangkok, I was instead ready to wander around Edinburgh on foot.

Waking up before sunrise on a Sunday meant we nearly had the city to ourselves during the first couple of hours of walking around.

As we walked through residential neighborhoods, I couldn’t help but notice all the Christmas decorations, wreathes and ornaments adorning homes.

In Chiang Mai, Thailand the spirit of the festive season was nearly nonexistent. Although our residence apartment had a miniature decorated Christmas tree there were very few reminders of Christmas.

One of the things I miss the most about being away from Canada is the winter holiday season. Being here in Edinburgh, Scotland for the first time felt ironically familiar – as though I were back at home.

Some of the top highlights of our day outing included hiking up Granny’s green steps to Edinburgh Castle for brilliant views of the city, sipping on hot chocolate with copious amounts of whipping cream and listening to the enchanting sounds of Scottish bagpipes being played on the streets.

From a distance we spotted a massive Ferris wheel. Even though we’re both terrified of heights, we decided to suck it up and take a ride in order to witness panoramic views of the city. Oh, the things we do for our viewers 😉

From the peak vantage point of Edinburgh’s ‘The Big Wheel’ we had a bird’s eye view of the festive activities taking place at ground level: children ice skating, couples shopping and families devouring street food.

Given that we’re more accustomed to wearing t-shirts and shorts, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we arrived in Edinburgh slightly under-dressed for the frigid temperatures.

I especially felt cold from the neck upward. Luckily, I spotted a ‘proper’ Scottish trapper style winter hat, which I purchased as a replacement for the meager toque I had bought just several weeks ago in Hong Kong.

Sometimes, when I’m with Audrey and we’re standing in an impossibly long queue we play a game of spot the ginger 😉 Given that red hair is not common in Asia (and in most parts of the world) taking the time to find someone with it is silly way we pass time waiting in line.

However, in Edinburgh, Scotland I feel right at home with my red locks. I’ve never seen so many pasty white gingers in one concentrated area in my entire lifetime.

Overall, our first impressions of Edinburgh, Scotland were overwhelming positive. Having a chance to escape the heat and humidity (and overall chaos) of city life in SE Asia for the more laid back and festive spirit of the holiday season in Edinburgh is just what we’ve been craving.

We can’t wait to ring in the New Year with Hogmanay and to sample many Scottish delights including Haggis, deep dried Mars bars and Hot Toddy just to name a few.

Although we’re still learning how to properly pronounce ‘Edinburgh’ we already feel right at home here in Scotland’s capital 🙂

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