Edinburgh Expat in Edinburgh Expat Life Greece Poland Spain

Expat in Edinburgh: Months 12-14

Jul 15

Calton Hill Edinburgh 2016
Months 12-14 started out slow; April was a relatively uneventful month, but things picked up in May: I celebrated my one year anniversary in Edinburgh with a Ceilidh dance class – which was an amazing surprise courtesy of my favourite Scot (shoutout to Jen 😉 ) – and spent a long weekend in Wroclaw, Poland.

In June, I had one of my best friends visit from Canada. I showed her around some of my favourite spots in the city and forced her to try haggis. After a few days playing tour guide around Edinburgh, I set off on a two week jaunt to Greece and Spain.

What I’ve been up to

Eating all the Pierogi in Wroclaw. And in-between bouts of pierogi feasting, I wandered around Wroclaw’s Market Square, visited historic landmarks, and enjoyed a few pints of delicious Polish beer. And then I ate some more pierogi.

In all seriousness, I loved Wroclaw – it’s an incredibly beautiful city with a fascinating history, a lively Old Town, and a plethora of gorgeous gothic and medieval architecture. I’m already anticipating my second visit to Poland in the (hopefully) near future.

Wroclaw Market Square 4-001
Going gaga for Greece. Greece has been a dream destination of mine for as long as I can remember, and it felt so surreal to finally visit. Athens was an unexpected highlight of the trip – especially since I’d heard such varying opinions of it before arriving – but I ended up loving it from the get-go. Its ruins and history are mind-boggling, and I found myself feeling completely overwhelmed by it all many times during my stay in this ancient city.

After Athens, I flew to Santorini – a place that had me feeling simultaneously ecstatic and apprehensive about visiting. My expectations were sky-high, and I was dreading the hordes of tourists that were sure to abound. Yes, it was touristy and overpriced, but it took me all of three seconds (and one glance at the view of the seemingly endless Aegean) to fall head over heels for this island.

Santorini FirostefaniGetting to know Barcelona. Truth be told, I didn’t love Barcelona. I was feeling really underwhelmed when I first arrived and couldn’t understand what I was missing, especially considering most people seem to rave about the city. I finally started to warm to it on my final day, although the copious amounts of cava and a few fantastic meals may have contributed heavily to my sudden change of heart. I left feeling lukewarm overall, and wishing I had a little more time to explore Barcelona more thoroughly.

Watching history unfold in the UK. The day the votes for the EU referendum were revealed was a sombre one. As majority of Scotland voted to remain, Brexit came as a total shock here in Edinburgh, and most locals seemed genuinely flabbergasted by the results. It was a disheartening day for Scotland, and for the rest of the UK – especially since the leave campaign seemed to be fuelled by racism, xenophobia, and hatred.

What I’ve Been Eating 

I’ve slowly been working my way through Edinburgh’s sushi restaurants, and Kanpai is my favourite discovery so far. Their food is fresh, flavourful, and beautifully presented. The grilled aubergine in sweet miso sauce and the scallop nigiri were, hands down, two of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in Edinburgh over the past few months.

Kanpai Edinburgh
Fresh seafood was plentiful on Santorini, and I indulged on a daily basis. This grilled squid from Salt & Pepper in Fira was one of many delectable seafood meals I had on the island – it was smoky and tender, accompanied by my other daily must-have: Greek salad.

Salt and Pepper Fira
I searched high and low for churros in Barcelona – literally, as I somehow walked right past this restaurant, then proceeded to get lost amongst the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter before doubling back and finally arriving at my intended destination. It was worth the hassle, though – these churros were perfectly chewy with a slightly crispy exterior, served alongside a cup of thick hot chocolate. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Barcelona Churros

Where have you been travelling this summer? Or do you have any upcoming travel plans? Do tell!

4 Comments

  • Reply LC Jul 15 at 9:34 pm

    I think there was a similar vibe about Brexit in London. No one really thought it would happen… and then it did.
    I really dug Athens too. Was in the same boat – had heard varying views about the city. It blew me away.
    On the contrary, sorry to hear you didn’t like Barcelona. A lot of people I know who’ve been recently have had similar opinions of the place. Glad the churros at least lived up to the hype!

    • Reply ashleywanders Aug 02 at 6:16 pm

      I can imagine there must have been a similar atmosphere in London about Brexit! Such a shock.

      Glad to hear you also loved Athens! I only wish I would have had more time in the city. And churros were definitely a saving grace in Barcelona 😉

  • Reply Brianna Jan 06 at 10:50 pm

    I wonder if we were at the same Ceilidh!! That’s what I spent my first night in Edinburgh doing 🙂 right around the same time. Dreammyyyy.

    • Reply ashleywanders Jan 09 at 8:31 pm

      That’s so funny! Did you love it? I had so much fun!

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