Last week I posted about what we got up to on our first day in Edinburgh. The second day was our first full day in the Scottish capital. We woke up early and made use of the breakfast items left by our lovely Airbnb host. We had booked to go to Edinburgh Zoo for most part of the day. This was one of the main reasons for our trip as my husband and I both love going to different zoos.
We booked a panda viewing for 11am but this didn’t guarantee that we would see them as their activity pattern changes and they are active both day and night. Luckily, a keeper told us that the male panda, Yang Guang, was visible although he was sleeping. It was so surreal seeing an actual panda as neither of us had seen one in real life before. They really are beautiful animals. While we were stood watching him, he rolled over, gave the cutest little yawn and rolled back!
Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the UK to have pandas and koala bears! The zoo welcomed a joey back in June 2017 and although we didn’t get to see the new addition, we did get to see the other koalas catching some zZz’s in their trees.
Both mine and Tom’s favourite animal is a penguin. Edinburgh Zoo happened to be the first zoo in the world to house and breed penguins and they currently have gentoo, king and rockhoppers. They have a penguin parade each day which is done on a voluntary basis and allows several penguins to leave their enclosure and take a stroll around a small section of the zoo. This was one of the highlights!
After spending a few hours at the zoo, we made our way back to the city centre and explored the Royal Mile once again, venturing all the way down to Holyrood Palace, which is the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. We also walked past the Scottish Parliament which, in comparison to surrounding buildings in the area, was a bit of an eyesore. The palace however, was quite remarkable although in the grand scheme of things, it has nothing on Buckingham Palace. The gift shop did sell corgi related souvenirs though, which is always a winner with me.
Next to Holyrood Palace is Arthur’s Seat which is an extinct volcano that offers panoramic views of Edinburgh. We didn’t get to see these amazing views sadly as we’re not the hiking type and we were starting to get hungry at this point, but we did take some snaps of it from the bottom which was quite cool.
For food, we went to a place close to where we were staying called The Mad Hatter. It was a small pub that I’d read about online and I saw on their menu they served an Edinburger (I love a good pun) which was basically haggis on a burger. I’d never tried haggis before and wanted to try at least one of the Scottish delicacies on my first visit to the Scottish land. I’m not sure what I was expecting it to taste like, but it was nice and went well with the smoked cheddar cheese melted on top.