We last left entry 1 upon our arrival in the beautiful Edinburgh, just in time for the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe. We have our own Fringe fest back in home in little ol’ Adelaide but the magnitude of Edinburgh’s Fringe is mind-blowing. It was very overwhelming at first with the choice of shows, we really didn’t want to miss anything! Here is how our week in Edinburgh went, as our first time at the fringe and “wild camping” in Esméralda!
We lost count of how many free shows we saw! Luckily we chose wisely with the help from the Fringe App and the huge guidebook we only saw one dud magic/comedy show. I think the best show we saw was definitely Jason Byrne: Propped Up! He is truly the funniest bloke and his live show was side-splitting, even with a partially obstructed view! He was the first of 2 paid shows we saw. The 2nd was Axis of Awesome, the Australian comedy cover-band that are well known for their 4 Chord Song that takes the piss out of many major artists. They were also a crack-up. The lead singer, Jordan, has announced this year that he is transsexual and obviously being a comedy band this had to be, for lack of a better term, “dealt” with. They did this well when their first song pointed out how Lee was a bald man and that this was okay. Hilarious.
Some free comedians we saw included Dan Willis, Mick Neven and Eddy Brimson. All of which we did not regret and left with huge smiles on our faces. The purpose of a free show is to pay what you feel the act deserved as you leave. Being tight Aussies we paid all the acts we saw surprisingly well because the Fringe fest free shows are just that good.
Now aside from the Fringe fest being spectacular we did do the usual tourist things in Edinburgh also. How could we not?! This city is so damn cool. We climbed Calton Hill and saw the ancient Acropolis and other historical monuments, let’s be honest this whole city is a monument to history. Calton Hill has a lovely view of Princes Stree and Edinburgh castle in the background.
We also climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat, formed from an extinct volcano that had once formed an ice layer over the top to create one of the most amazing 360 degree views of Edinburgh and it’s coast.
We did visit Edinburgh castle but we didn’t enter however. The admission price is extremely steep (£16/AUD$28 pp). At the time it was so busy with it being festival season and on the day the end of festival fireworks display was being set-up so parts of the castle were blocked off for this.
After one of our best van dinners yet, chicken and bacon tortellini cooked in a creamy carbonara sauce with cous cous on the side, we climbed the Salisbury Crags for the perfect viewpoint of the fireworks without the hassle of the city crowds. We watched the hour long show rugged up in our jackets and eating chocolate mousse! Perfect.
Now one thing our beloved Esméralda isn’t equipped with is a shower. This has, so far, got to be one of the things that we have found tricky. We were very lucky to meet up with the lovely Aussie couple we bought Esméralda off of. They know the shower struggles and so offered us a shower where they were staying. So far we’ve only gone 4 days max with the ol’ baby wipe shower!
It would’ve been great to know someone who lived in the city! As we left Edinburgh we realized that the swimming pool only cost £1.80 to use! That was a lesson to us for sure. We had been having baby wipe showers all week….welcome to van life!
Today we made our way up to Inverness to begin the scenic coastal drive, well known as the NC500, up to John o’Groats and back around. The drive from Edinburgh to Inverness was gorgeous enough but we can’t wait to see what the Highlands have to offer!
Sam, Kirsten and Esméralda x