I have just arrived at the Cairn Hotel in Edinburgh. It joins my list of Scottish Hotels That Provide Wee Packets Of Walkers Shortbread to guests in their rooms. Other hotels on the list include the Minto Hotel on Minto Street and the Royal British Hotel on Princes Street. Very emphatically not the EasyHotel I stayed at last time.

The EasyHotel on Princes Street has two things in its favour: a) it’s on Princes Street, and b) it’s cheap. Other than that, it doesn’t have much going for it. Saying that the rooms are tiny really doesn’t give you the full picture. I thought the rooms at the Tune Hotel were small, but the EasyHotel goes a step further. The bed was hemmed in by walls on three sides, and only approachable from one end and a corner. The bathroom was a pre-fab shower + sink + toilet unit designed for maximum space efficiency. Well, maybe not maximum. I suppose the toilet could have have fitted inside the shower.

Brush your teeth before taking your shower. Otherwise, wet socks.

There was a slot under the bed big enough to fit a single airplane carry-on sized bag. There was an orange hanger construct on the wall that could take two coats, next to a mirror over a shelf for storing a wallet, a phone, and maybe a packet of mixed nuts. Maybe. At least I had a window, even though it was sealed “Due to reasons of health and safety”. Literally sealed, with sealant. Even so, the room was so cold, and the blankets so thin, that I kept my sweater on in bed. There was a small heater, but its meagre output couldn’t stand up to the power of the frigid downdraught of the always-on air-conditioning. There was no bedside table for my iPad alarm clock, so I slept with it in bed.

Still: it was cheap, and on Princes Street. If all you plan to use your room for is sleeping, then it’s fine. Wifi is just barely good enough for a 1 fps Facetime call.

Other notable features of that trip:

This Is The End with Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen has a lot of very funny moments, not all of them even crude, but also some unpleasant rape jokes that could have easily been avoided.

Bruce Munro’s striking art installation Field of Light: “9000 lighted frosted spheres rising from the ground on slender stems”. I had no idea it was there, and it was quite a surprise to see St. Andrew’s Square all lit up like that.

Field of Light

A bench on the Mound with legs of all different lengths, so it’s level.

Odd-legged bench on the Mound

When you order a cup of hot chocolate at Peter’s Yard in the Quartermile, remember to explicitly tell the barista no cardamom, or you’re in for a big surprise.