Forgive me in advance for uttering these words, but time really does fly when you’re having fun! In other (and less obnoxious) terms, I can’t believe it’s already been (just over) a month since I arrived in the UK!
It only took a matter of minutes of being back in Edinburgh to realize that I still love this city just as much as the first time I visited – if not more. It was also surprisingly easy to get into a groove here: I managed to find a job quite quickly, and I was able to get all the necessary and less-than-exciting expat-related tasks out of the way within the first two weeks of arriving. Apart from boring grown-up stuff, I’ve been thoroughly exploring Edinburgh and spending obscene amounts of money on food – have I mentioned Edinburgh is a fantastic city for foodies?
I’ve done a fair amount of sightseeing and touristy things around Edinburgh: I explored the city’s underground closes on the Real Mary King’s Close Tour, sampled the national drink at the Scotch Whisky Experience, visited the National Museum of Scotland, strolled through the Royal Botanic Garden, and took a walking photography tour of the city.
I also made a last minute decision to visit the Highlands and the Isle of Skye for a few days, which was rife with spellbinding scenery and magical vistas.
I love pretty much everything about this city, except the weather. Bear in mind I’m the type of person who is always cold, and anytime the temperature dips below 20 degrees Celsius, I will complain that it’s basically freezing. If you’re anything like me, be sure to dress in layers when exploring Edinburgh – regardless of the season – and don’t forget to carry an umbrella!
Edinburgh is relatively expensive, but sightseeing and eating can be done on the cheap. Along with museums, galleries, and The Royal Botanic Garden, there are many other free (or inexpensive) sights, and budget friendly restaurants – and I plan to highlight them in the near future.
Scots are a lovely bunch of people, and they have the best sense of humour. I already loved Scottish banter before I arrived in Edinburgh, but I appreciate their sense of humour even more now. A perfect example of said humour: when Coca Cola started producing bottles of coke with people’s names on them, Irn Bru (Scotland’s other national drink) started selling bottles with the word ‘fanny’ on them. I love that nothing is taken too seriously here.
Since I first visited Edinburgh nearly three years ago, I’ve been dreaming of returning to Hanam’s for their tasty Middle Eastern food. I made a beeline for the restaurant the first day I arrived in the city, and it was just as delicious as I remember – succulent kebabs, pillowy naan bread, and flavourful dips. They also offer shisha on their back terrace, which overlooks Victoria Street – one of my favourite spots in the city.
I had my first taste of Scotland’s most infamous deep-fried delicacy: pizza crunch – AKA a half size frozen-style pizza covered in batter and deep fried, served with a side of fries. It was delicious-bordering-disgusting, and I can’t think of anything better after a night out.
As someone who prefers savoury over sweet, this city has managed to awaken my inner sugar-crazed-obese-child with its ridiculously delectable bakeries and sweet shops. The Chocolate Tree – Edinburgh’s only bean to bar chocolate maker – is basically heaven in the form of a shop. Along with ethically sourced, organic chocolate bars, they also have a small café with artisanal chocolates, cakes and pastries, and uniquely flavoured hot chocolate.