My first time ever working the 9-5 was when I signed up for an unpaid finance internship in Ireland. At the time I had exhausted all options for finding a paid job in Europe as an American, and failed, so I settled on the unpaid internship route. This quickly changed my intentions from learning new skills for my future job to traveling the world as much as possible in an 8 week time period. Within the first two weeks I had already mastered the art of getting the most out of a city in only 24 hours because when you get out of work on Friday at 5pm and have to go back to work on Monday at 9am, all you have is a 2 day weekend.... and one of those days is consumed by traveling to and from the destination.
My top destination was Scotland. I was aware I would only be able to spend a little over a day there. I had to see as much as possible. This is how I managed to see a satisfying amount of this beautiful land in such a small window of time.
We arrived Friday night with only a few hours to get to our hostel and start our nights activities. We slipped into a small pub, had a few drinks, then ran up to Edinburgh's Royal Mile to meet up for a ghost tour through the underground vaults of the castle and one of the most haunted graveyards in the world. There was no way I was going to leave Scotland without going on a ghost tour. The walking tour surely lived up to the hype, a few people were so scared they had to be escorted out of the vaults!*
With a full day ahead of us we decided that a 12 hour tour of the Scottish Highlands would be the best use of our time. We road through the highlands on a big orange bus designed to look like a highland cow or "Hairy Coo." We took a cruise on Loch Ness in search of the "Loch Ness Monster", sampled whisky at the Dalwhinnie Distillery, and got to feed a Hairy Coo, all in one day. Returning late that night we hit up another pub and then called it a night.*
Edinburgh did not fail to amaze me, the architecture, the history, and the people were just grand. I stayed in 'Kick Ass Hostels: Edinbrugh' located right in the center of the city. The hostel was impeccably clean and actually had a decent breakfast option. The location is the selling point you can see Edinburgh Castle right when you walk out the door.
*City of the Dead; Double Dead Walking Tour
*The Hairy Coo; Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Whisky Day Tour