Unless you live in New Zealand, you can’t appreciate the tiny-town syndrome of the place. Having come half way across the world, I was met with an online message from a high school friend who was currently in Edinburgh.
We met up in the city, and for an entire day we strolled around ‘new town’ Edinburgh, occasionally marvelling at the light snow flurry we got caught in. She showed me the shops and where to get a bargain. As well as the section of the city that caters for students (ie: cheap food!).
We even went for a hike across an extinct volcano called Arthur’s Seat that looms over Edinburgh. Climbing to the top, you get almost a 360 view of the entire city – this is the best way to get your bearings.
The streets are windy and overlap each other, so getting a hilltop view of everything makes navigation from landmark to landmark much easier.
The contrast of old and new town Edinburgh, as well as the old and new suburbs, was blatant. The city is a bit of a mess on one side with historic buildings piled together, but becoming almost like a grid on the other. Quite interesting.
Despite picking our way carefully, and stopping once or twice to pat some dogs that strayed from their owners, we ended up back on the side walk with muddy shoes and bottoms…
And so did all the people who followed us down, thinking we knew what we were doing.
We walked on past parliament, which I understand to be a controversial building due to its remarkably modern exterior; it doesn’t really fit in with the city’s rustic aesthetic.
We strolled past some boutique shops as we made our way back into the city. We came across a man clinging to the doorframe of a wee shop, waving a sign and shouting “free fudge!”
I smiled but ultimately avoided eye contact when my friend spun and walked straight in like a blood hound!
“Well, that was easy,” the shop owner remarked. We tried every type of fudge we wanted! From dark chocolate and chilli, to salted caramel.
All the while, a slim-built Scotsman hung from a large copper cooker in the corner of the tiny shop with a rag in hand, polishing away.
You can go in and watch the fudge being made if you get there earlier enough. I’ll have to find out the name of the shop – they have the tastiest sweets I have ever tried. The chilli really warmed us up too.
My second weekend in Scotland was spent in Glasgow! Will tell all soon!