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When the Girls Came to Visit

It’s been 2,5 months already since 7 of my Finnish girlfriends came to Edinburgh for our annual girl’s trip, so I guess it’s time to finally blog about it! At the time I was around 17 weeks pregnant and still not feeling a 100%, so I was a little lazy taking photos – but I’ve borrowed some from my friends, in particular from my friend Kati (hers are all the good ones haha!) to fill out the empty spaces. So let’s get started!

This is the girls at Helsinki-Vantaa airport very early in the morning. That’s how excited you get about a girl’s trip when you have 3 kids at home haha!

I had arranged for us to stay in one of our Dickins self catering flats, and this one on Royal Crescent was perfect! Yup, I also stayed there so I could have a totally child-free holiday too!

The kitchen was great and so spacious and well equipped – we actually have that same table at home.

The flat was quiet, clean and within walking distance from shopping and attractions. Highly recommend!

The girls arrived on Thursday morning and the first thing we did was to sit down for breakfast and chat away a few hours. Because that’s what you do with your girlfriends isn’t it?!

After several cups of coffee and some bubbles we headed out and walked up Calton Hill to get a nice view of the city.

My gorgeous friends (minus 2)!

Since Edinburgh has an eerie past I had booked us on a ghost tour by Auld Reekie Tours. First we walked around in the old town but then…

…the guide took us into their torture museum with the most horrible torture equipment – what was wrong with people back then?!

It got even scarier when our tour guide Anna took us down to the dark, damp underground vaults that have seen a tremendous amount of suffering and terror in the past…We were all pretty jumpy to say the least and no one wanted to be the last one to leave the vaults!

To shake the ghostly atmosphere I took the girls to Chaopraya for some Thai food and pretty views of the city and the sunset. We all enjoyed the meal, but the two-hour time difference combined with getting an early flight meant my friends were in need of a comfy bed, so we headed home around 11pm.

 

On Friday morning we had breakfast in the flat and then hurried to a guided tour of Edinburgh’s old town I had booked for us.

The castle from another angle had to be captured. The tour operator was Sandemans, and having been on one of their tours twice now I can recommend!

Afterwards we had a table booked at the Outsider and when we were sitting there my Finnish friend who lives in London suddenly walked in, surprising everyone apart from me who was in on the secret 🙂 This had to be celebrated with some sparkling rose (and a virgin mary for me)!

And then there were 8 girls!

The tour ended at Greyfriars Kirkyard, but as we had to hurry to our lunch booking we decided to go back after the food for some photos. So jealous of Hannele’s Marimekko (rain)coat!

All I asked them to do was to pose…Weirdos.

Trying to take an artistic shot…

Fia looks so small next to that huge gravestone! After locating the famous Thomas Riddell grave (think he inspired Harry Potter’s Voldemort character somehow) we made our way back to the flat to get ourselves ready for dinner.

I had booked a table at the atmospheric Devil’s Advocate in Advocate’s Close, and we all really enjoyed the food but found some of the cocktails to be of a miniature size, hmm…Plus three of my friends (who don’t like whisky) accidentally ordered whisky cocktails so strong they weren’t able to drink them! That was £9 down the drain(!)

After the meal all other girls apart from myself and Cia went for a drink – being pregnant was starting to take its toll on me and all I could think about was my sofa-bed.

Saturday wasn’t the nicest day weather-wise, so we just had a relaxing breakfast around our big kitchen table and then headed out for some relaxed shopping and coffee.

We had lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen on George Street and if you look at those babies you can understand how full we were when we left! (Think I have that weird orange-filter on by mistake again…)

After our late lunch most of us rolled down Dundas Street to our apartment, whereas two eager tourists still headed to Camera Obscura. I had a wee surprise in store for the girls: Alexandros the Psychic Chef! He came to the flat and cooked us a delicious Mediterranean meal followed by…a Tarot card reading for each of us!

I think we all just thought it would be a bit of fun, but it pretty soon became clear that what the cards were saying was spookily accurate…I even found out things about my friends I didn’t know and there were tears and emotions were running high. But it remains to be seen how accurate the predictions concerning the future will be…He was right in that I’m having a girl though 🙂 To be fair there’s a 50/50 chance  to get it right haha.

We all enjoyed our individual 20-minute sessions and I think it was past midnight when Alex finally left. I can totally recommend him if you’re in Edinburgh looking for an alternative to going out for a meal with the girls!

On Sunday we had brunch at my old neighbourhood pub Hamiltons where Matthew and Lana came to meet us. It was so funny when Lana came in the door and looked right in the opposite direction where I was (I was basically standing in front of her as I saw them coming) and pointed at a blonde girl and said ‘mamma’! It only took her 3,5 days to forget what I looked like haha.

After brunch we slowly walked to Dean Village before heading back and getting six of the girls on a taxi to the airport and one on a train to London. We were all tired but in a good way – a satisfied way. I really needed a dose of my home town friends, our inside jokes and loud laughter! Plus I got to speak Swedish and just be a Finn for four full days, bliss 🙂 Thank you so much for coming over girls and for letting me show you where I live <3

x Nina x

Nina Äikäs

I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn who left Finland for the lovely and thrilling London town in 2011, but after meeting an equally lovely and thrilling Scotsman I somehow now find myself in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. In February 2015 our gorgeous little girl arrived and made us a happy family of three. Follow my blog and get to know us!

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