In which I make you fall in love with Edinburgh...

I've been to a lot of cities in Europe. I used to think Prague was my favorite but then Paris overtook Prague. I know it sounds cliche to love Paris so much but my goodness...it truly deserves every song sang, book written, and movie made about it.

Dont you agree?
As much as I loved Paris however, it did not hold the top spot for very long. It very quickly lost out to Edinburgh. It was a losing battle really, ever since I stepped out of the Edinburgh airport. A month after I arrived in Edinburgh, I left and went to Paris and London...it was after I came back that I realized how much I was in love with Edinburgh. I also believe its the best city in the UK. I love everything British, really, I do. The other cities I've been to in Britain really have been great but they're not as entirely filled to the brim with beauty, history, and Britishness (yes, I did just make that a word) as Edinburgh.

Edinburgh has a dark look about it. Its all stone, windy roads, misty fog, small alleys, and mossy cemeteries. You can feel the history. The city has the same layout and most of the same buildings as it did in the 1800's. My building below, for example, was built in 1876.

You can see that they look very similar. Most of the buildings in this city are the close to the same height. So when you get up a hill, you look over the city and all you see are a ton of lovely stone buildings with chimneys and then church spires. I absolutely love it. The population is about 450,000 people. So its not a huge city with tons of people in it but it still manages to have a 'big city' feel about it.

It can be easy to forget that Edinburgh is a costal city, right on the edge of the North Sea. The beaches are beautiful, even if they aren't exactly warm. And the water's blue.  Then there's Arthurs Seat and the Salisbury Crags...

Isn't it unbelievably beautiful? Arthur's Seat is actually an extinct volcano and it lies right in the middle of the city. I've noticed that the colors of the city match the colors of Arthur's seat. The stones used for the buildings is similar to the color of the stone of the Crags (cliffs) while the different colors of green and moss are everywhere in the city...on trees, on the buildings, on railings, and of course, the ground.

Rain. We must talk rain. This is a city in Britain we're talking about.

I'm a firm believer that rain makes everything look more beautiful. And there's a different atmosphere, more serious, more dramatic. The colors are darker and deeper; saturated and not washed out. Everything glistens because the raindrops and wet surfaces reflect light. I've never seen a city come more into its own than Edinburgh in the rain.

This is the Scottish Parliament. I love this building. Its crazy, literally mad...but I love it. I tend to think this is what happens when Edinburgh tries to be modern. Have you ever heard that quote that goes something like, "Show me someone's greatest weakness and I will show you his greatest strength.' Well yea, think really hard about that...and how it applies to this situation...ha...ha.

Last of all, I must talk about the people of Edinburgh. Yea, I'm pretty sure they're like the nicest in Europe. Or at least they appear that way because they are so unbelievably charming! Seriously, you can only be called lassie, love, or madam so many times before your heart begins to entirely melt. You can only have so many doors opened, so many directions kindly given, and so many smiles directed at you before you're sucked in and start to feel your heart brimming with love for these people.

I truly love Edinburgh. I could not have ever dreamed this city treating me better than it has. Of course, I wish I didn't have to leave; I'm finding it really rather heartbreaking. Though, I can tell you that I will certainly be back one day.


Highly notable honorable mentions:  The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, the kilts and bagpipes, and Calton Hill.


Only in the United Kingdom...

Here is a list of things that I have found you can only do, or things that can only happen, in the UK:

  • Trip down the stairs of a double-decker.
  • Find an intersection where each corner has a church older than the 1900's.
  • Buy pasties. Sad because I really like them. (Btw, no, they're not what you're thinking and yes, you are saying it wrong.)
  • Delivery guys walk instead of driving around in a car.
  • Walk down a street with four different names.
  • Live in a flat building that was built in 1876...without it being in the historical district.
  • Be casually walking around and randomly find a plaque with the name Tom Riddle on it.
  • Offered a handkerchief for your tears at church.
  • Get kissed by a random Irish guy.
  • Frequently find actual clouds, not only in the bathroom but the in kitchen as well.
  • Give some woman a double-take because you thought they looked like JK Rowling...three different times in the same day.

Disclaimer: Some of these may not be entirely unique to the UK, but these are some experiences I've definitely never had until coming here.



A couple weeks back I grabbed the number 15 double-decker bus and rode it South to Rosslyn. You may have heard only of Rosslyn Chapel, which was in the Da Vinci code, but there is an entire town called Rosslyn where there are charming little cottages, Rosslyn chapel, and Rosslyn Castle ruins. There are also some fantastic footpaths around the ruins.

Thankfully, its not hard to get there and I've gone back twice since. Sunset is definitely the best time to go. Everything is darker than normal yet the colors stand out so much more.

Its magical, peaceful, and beautiful here...

A good reminder: get out and explore whenever possible. The world is freaking beautiful.