Edinburgh is one of those cities that makes you feel instantly at home. With its cozy cafes, intimate pubs, lush green parks and glorious blend of old and new landmarks, its tough to think of it as anything but delightful. I can say after being here for almost a month, I feel at home. I have met the loveliest people and although the Scot’s are known to be rough around the edges, deep down they are kind loving people full of humble pride for their country.
It is my last day here in this gorgeous country and fantastic city and I thought what better way to end a trip then too look back at the good, bad and ugly. Here are my absolute favorite things about Scotland and my experience here:
- The weather. I know people complain about it 98% of the time but I love sweater weather! I enjoyed the cloudy days and 15 degree temperatures, it was perfect for snuggling up in a cafe and catching up with friends. Would I be able to live it all year round… maybe not but it was a refreshing way to spend my summer.
- Vegan Haggis and baked potato. Had it at least twice and loved it both times.
- Crepes and smoothies at the tiny Brazilian Kiosk next to Edinburgh University. So delicious and I not only loved how fresh the ingredients were but it was so nice helping support a local business.
- The Scottish Highlands, they were breathtaking! I would definitely come back and spend a week or two doing nothing but explore more Monro’s in this gorgeous country.
- Princes Street Gardens were beautiful and on a day like today (sunny) it was so nice being out and about watching the city come alive.
- Edinburgh at sunset. This city is amazing as the sun goes down. In the summer at least you can always find a Sax or Jazz band playing a tune as the sweet warm sun goes to sleep.
- Ceilidh’s are amazing! I would go to one every Friday night for the rest of my life if I had the option. By far one of my favorite parts about Scotland.
- The cute little streets and atmosphere of the city. Every cafe and pub has it’s own unique atmosphere and all the buildings are so old and full of history.
- Indian Take Away on every corner. I have become obsessed with naan bread and how easy it is to get it here.
- This city is so walk-able, you would never need to own a car if you were to live here which I think is impressive.
- My flatmates have been fantastic, each bringing their own uniqueness to the table. I’m going to miss them.
- The thrift stores in Edinburgh are amazing, you can get so many great deals on clothing and shoes for under 10 pounds ($16 Canadian).
- Ginger beer is really good, going to miss that.
- The girls from Twist and Sprout (Lorna and Susan) are the best! I’m going to miss how inspiring they are and their food. Cheers ladies!
- The meadows… when the sun comes out this park just fills up with people and its so nice to see everyone out and about enjoying the simple things in life.
Ok now for the Bad… Things I could take or leave about Scotland, Edinburgh or my trip in general:
- European driving is ridiculous! Pedestrians don’t have the right of way, EVER which is something I did not fancy but added to the experience.
- Cycling in this city was dangerous and although kept me on my toes and my heart beating I would have been nice to see more bike lanes and paths.
- Smoking is a big part of the culture here and as nice as it would be to see the Scot’s adapt a healthier lifestyle, it didn’t really bother me that much.
- Drinking in Scotland is a past time tradition, everyone does it… all the time. Go play golf, have a beer in one had and a club in the other. Someone wins a rugby match, hey let’s go for beers, some one lose, hey lets lick our wounds over beers. It could be 10 am, 3 pm or midnight and your bound to find someone drinking. I don’t particularly like how intertwined alcohol is to this in this culture but it’s what it is.
- My bike…. it was super cute but shit to drive.
The Ugly… Things I hated about Scotland/Edinburgh or my trip:
- Tourists, they are everywhere here in Edinburgh. You can easily avoid them but they defiantly didn’t add to my experience here.
- The lack of vegan/healthy food. Meat and dairy is a big part of the cuisine here. You can be vegan in Scotland but your going to have to look around for places to go and things to eat. As you go North though to Fort William or Inverness, good luck. Your going to have to stick to Indian or Chinese food, which sucks because the whole point of coming to Scotland was to try Scottish things… then again it makes sense that the diet here is full of animal products and potatoes, nothing else can grown here, lol.
- Bus tours. Hate them personally and will never do them again.
- Castles, I find them boring personally and will stick to hiking next time.
- The price of everything in Scotland/ The UK is quite high which is unwelcome.
- Lack of toilet paper… It seems no matter how nice, organised, clean, and/or perfect roommates can be, the one thing that always gets forgotten when living with people is toilet paper. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone into the loo and was surprised by the lack of toilet paper.
- My flat is on the 5th floor of our building and going up the stairs to get to it is always a daunting task.
I can say in conclusion that Scotland summed up in one word is Cozy and a place I would love to visit again.
Today was a sun soaked day full of packing and saying good byes. I went for brunch with Alex at Montpeliers, a bistro right below my flat. I had my last traditional Scottish breakfast which consisted of veggie sausage, potato scones, beans, tomato, mushrooms and toast. It was delicious but my tummy was not used to the feeling of cooked food in the morning so I spent a good hour feeling super lazy after that.
I had tea with my step brother later in the afternoon. Had a good conversation and said our goodbyes. The cafe we went to was one of my favorites, it’s called Peter’s Yard and although none of the food there was vegan it still was really pretty to look at, lol. I then went and indulged myself with another pair of shoes… this would be my 6th pair that I have purchased while being here…. how I’m going to get them all on the plane tomorrow has yet to be decided.
Spent the rest of the afternoon drinking a delicious mango smoothie from my favorite little Brazilian kiosk, read my book in princes street gardens and chilled with Alex eating crepes.
Tonight the plan is to chill with my flatmates at the park and watch the sun set.I hope you all enjoyed my daily posts… I must admit it was a challenge summarizing each and every day for you all but I hope you all agree, it was well worth the effort.