36 HOURS IN EDINBURGH

If you’ve got a day or two left in the city of Edinburgh, an ideal way to round off your vacation is to spend at least 36 hours memorably well. Take a trip to Portobello beach. Startled that Edinburgh has a beach?!

My trip to Portobello came around the time when I was visiting Scotland to celebrate Christmas, my birthday and New Years’ Eve. This was certainly not my first time in Scotland, as I studied at The University of Edinburgh. But, rediscovering Scotland from a tourist’s perspective certainly felt refreshing. I hardly visited Portobello in college days, so I grabbed this chance to go there at least once. The best experiences in Scotland are to be had with the locals, so make it a point to greet the Scots “whose helpfulness, friendliness and fun have not been exaggerated.”

The little green van famous in Porty and beyond! Credit: Aishwarya Khanna

Walking

Somewhere along the Portobello beach trail, I noticed this cute little pup. He was so energetic and well-behaved and literally came forward to shake hand. My friend took our picture while she was candidly looking around for beach snapshots. Portobello is such a lovely little town in Edinburgh, where the most astounding thing was that the beach situated alongside is so clean, in spite of being a “park” for many residents and a tourist spot. The sand was white. The weather was partly cloudy, as I’m told it is that way.

Those living in the suburb houses must be some very good people, who care so much about their town and the inhabitants’ well-being, especially their children and pets to have a nice little place to run around! “Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” Do any of you think of taking a holiday with their pup after the lockdown ends? I surely do. But just having @laddoonawaab has done wonders for me.

Seaside dining

If you can handle the chilly weather and the salt-tanged sea air on a cloudy day, the other main thing about Portobello is the promenade – the street where I am standing. There was some music, some singing, some laughing around and everything in between at Porty! We all were in a gay mood as we strolled along the seaside, chatting about the wonderful day and how we’d spontaneously arrived here. There were many little fish and chips eateries (known as chippies) around the beach but what amazed me were the peculiar kinds of flavours for desserts, which I hadn’t found in the main city. As though inspired from Scottish heritage. For instance, there was a chocolate and Guinness cake and a whisky cheesecake I found. Eccentric combinations for equally-eccentric foodies like myself! If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, I highly recommend a trip to Portobello in Edinburgh. I suggest spending a night here, too.

Artisanal hot chocolate. Credit: Aishwarya Khanna
A lady from Brazil I met. Credit: Aishwarya Khanna

Swimming

Scotland, as you know, is an adventure playground. So bathing in the chilly waters while the sun is perched on the horizon would be an experience to remember. After a dip, if you decide to stay near the misty shore, don’t miss drinks at The Boathouse for smiling service. Make it a point to visit during the summer days too, as that will truly give you a taste of Scottish bliss – dogs running around la playa, sunrays bouncing off the water, watchers licking on melting ice cream and just a lot of sandcastles!

Aishwarya describes a trip to Portobello in 2019.

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