As we descended into Scotland you could see so much green and fields of bright yellow, later I learned this is from the mustard farms. You could see three bridges and the water. Mountains and fog. It was beautiful.

When we landed I got to customs in record time. Police and officials have the ability to make my heart palpate, but he only asked one question, where are you staying, and then swiftly stamped my passport. I got the coveted passport stamp finally after 2 years of waiting to be able to do something like this.  Pretty exciting.

I walked further into the airport and found Erin and got a picture of the Edinburgh sign. We finally connected in real life after speaking on the phone a few times, this was our first time meeting.  We got tickets to the tram which took us to Prince Street, the Heart of Edinburgh.

NOOB TIP: It’s pronounced, ED-IN-BURR-A, Not ED-IN-BERG.

As we got closer the buildings became more beautiful and ornate. They are gorgeous. Gothic and impressive.

We walked to our airbnb which was pretty much in the thick of it in the Heart of the Royal Mile. Everywhere you look is a picture and I had to stop a million times to take photos and just take it all in.

Bagpipes filled the air, there were street performers who drew people in just with the way they spun stories.  We walked and walked dragging the carry on and my backpack for what seemed like 10 miles but was closer to probably one. Cobblestone isn’t rolling luggage friendly.  Watching people push their babies in prams on it made me giggle a little, but I’m twisted like that. 

We arrived at the flat where we could drop off the heavy stuff and after struggling to figure out the old timey skeleton keys and combinations to 2 different areas, we finally figured it out and left the heavy stuff behind. Armed with my lumix and the iPhone XR we walked and walked and walked. It was still only 10:45 when we stopped at Maxies to have lunch on the patio.

Fish and Chips. Had to do it and not disappointed at all. So delicious, the light texture of the beer batter and the chips were crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.

After that we walked through the gardens of Prince Street and saw the castle. So beautiful. We stopped at a blue fountain and stretched a bit and then went on the search for a cup of coffee and some toiletries that Erin had to give up on the flight over as she raced through the airport in Dublin. All of my things made it here intact.  The travel Gods were loving me or at least taking mercy on a noob.

After a long nap, we found a pub for some live music and found a really great band playing lots of 70s and 80s music. There we chatted up the locals as we played “Name that Tune”, and met a couple Aussies and a guy from Wales called Big Kev. He was a former rugby player with an awesome sense of humor staunchly proven when Personal Trainer, Erin called him out for having too much visceral fat. She will tell it like it is and we laughed and laughed, visceral fat has become an inside joke now.

After many terrible stories and a few amazing Pear Ciders, we walked home and stumbled to bed at 2 am.  I may have cried a little when I drank my last Pear Cider before flying home. Going to see if this exists locally or if it can be shipped to me. I FELL IN LOVE with this stuff!

It was so quiet on the street as we went home. We only saw one other guy the entire time. I said to Erin, this feels like a Jack the Ripper moment. Walking home quietly, no witnesses. Old cobblestone roads.  Edinburgh feels small enough that you can enjoy walking the city, the royal mile is fun and easy to navigate and it still has a small town feel to it so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. 

More Scotland to Come!

XOXO Ninya

PS. If you love these blog posts, help me keep the lights on and Doritos in the pantry for my teenager, by checking out one of my books below. There's something for everyone. "Velvet Guild" is naughty and explicit. (Erotic Romance), "Scotland with a Stranger" is a memoir of my trip to Scotland last May and "AnaStasia" is a parallel lives story (Women's Fiction) 

Velvet Guild

Friends Don't Let Friends Stay Vanilla

Desperate times…call for sexy solutions.

Aimee is panicking, feeling like a middle-aged failure, barely scraping by, raising a teenager alone. She is also a submissive who yearns to be dominated in the bedroom.

Could she introduce couples to the BDSM lifestyle through a house party format? Instead of game night, it could be blindfolds and bite marks.

Scotland with a Stranger:A Memoir

“Who goes to Scotland for two weeks with a stranger they met over the internet?   I did.” 

At forty-three, Ninya was depressed, out of shape, and filled with crippling anxiety after addiction, cancer, and divorce had destroyed nearly everything. One day, she received a message from a stranger. This woman offered to lead her on a self-healing trip hiking through the Scottish highlands.

It seemed like a sign.


This is the story of one life, lived two different ways.

In one reality, “Stasia” is the beloved daughter of doting parents who spare no expense in supporting her ambition and talent.  Adoring not just their daughter but also one another, their home is full of celebration, warmth and love. 

In another reality, “Ana” washes dishes at a nursing home to buy her carefully-budgeted art supplies, waiting until her alcoholic father passes out before creeping downstairs to paint.  Ana must survive her father’s nightly verbal abuse without any help from her silent, cowed mother, until she can retreat to the only place she feels safe, in front of her easel. 

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