Places I want to visit before I leave Edinburgh

There’s only one month left before I leave Edinburgh and I couldn’t be more sad. I haven’t lived in many different cities but this has been the experience so far. It is also the longest I have ever stayed put post marriage.

I honestly don’t think I would find any other city as exciting and lovely as Edinburgh.

Living here alone with my husband and kid has helped me grow personally. In India, we lived with my in-laws and living in a joint family has a sense of security. You know people are always there for you and you can fall back on them for any troubles and fears. Abroad, you are totally alone and independent. When we came here 2 years back, I always had the fear that I am alone with my kid for the entire day in a totally new place. Now I take him to his playgroup, play centres and am even contemplating taking him to dinner when husband is out on his office trip.

This place has also seen many of my first cooking experiences, from baking cakes to biryani, from pasta to dosa, from various chutney to schezuan sauce. Managing finances, planning holidays, map reading, trying new restaurants and new dishes, I have learnt it all. I wonder if I would got these important experiences back in India, probably not.

Apart from these personal experiences, this place holds many emotional moments and important milestones of my son. His first steps near the living room window, his first walk in the garden, first words, first playgroup, first experience with snow and snowfall, first books, first library certificates. It’s going to be so difficult to leave this place leaving behind all these important memories.

Edinburgh is known as the ‘Athens of the North’. Living in the second top travel destination in UK has its advantages – you are living in one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe and you are surrounded by stunning locations and landmarks.

Some of the experiences that I want to relive:

Walk down the Princess street:
The heart of Edinburgh – the central street and the main shopping street. The mile long street with the Edinburgh Castle and Princess Street garden on one side and shops on the other. In August during festival time, it’s packed with tourists from all around the world. It is the best place to be during Christmas with its German markets, fairs and fireworks.

Even though I have been on the Princess Street numerous time, I want to go again to breathe in the air and capture the essence of Edinburgh. And when am on Princess street, I might just take a turn and walk up to Royal Mile.

Calton Hill:
It’s in the city centre, a short climb at the end of Princess street. I have been to the top of Calton Hill once and it is usually a quiet place. It offers fantastic panoramic views of the city including the Princess street and Edinburgh Castle. You can also see the slopes of Holyrood park, Arthur’s Seat and cliffs of Salisbury Crags. The unfinished monument – the Athenian acropolis makes for great climbing.

Edinburgh Castle:
Set across from the Princess Street, Edinburgh Castle is at the heart of the Scottish capital. How many other capitals can pride themselves with that?

The castle itself has many attractions but what holds my interests are the spectacular panoramic views it offers of Edinburgh.

Forth Rail Bridge:
The boat trip from Forth Bridge is itself exciting and the massive railway bridge is a sight to behold. I have been on the boat trip before and seen the bridge from it. Now I want to travel by train over it.

Portobello Beach:
It’s perhaps the nearest beach from Edinburgh, just 3 miles form the city centre. It is very clean and has a beautiful long promenade. The kiddo enjoys a lot playing in the sand and running on the promenade.










Here are a few things that I haven’t done so far but wish to do at least once before I leave:

Visit the National Museum of Scotland:
It’s one of the must visit attractions on tourism sites. Also, I can’t remember the last time I visited a museum.

Walk up to Arthur’s seat:
I have been to Holyrood Park many times but haven’t climbed up to Arthur’s seat. Again it is one of the must do thing and also I want to see the views it offers from the top.

Go up the Scott Monument:
Numerous times I have been to the Princess street gardens but haven’t seen the Scott Monument from inside. The kiddo was small and we couldn’t carry the pram up the 300 odd steps of the monument and then we always ignored it in search of better spots and locations. Will go now.

Take a Ghost Tour:
Again, we couldn’t take the kiddo to a ghost tour. Now that I have my parents visiting us, I intend to take one probably the scariest one is possible.

Take a walk/cycle route:
Edinburgh is famous for its long walks around canals, hills, castles and bridges. I want to go on a long walk or a cycle ride and experience the laid back way of life.

Musings from the past week

I can now officially crib since next year I will be on the wrong side of 30! Dear god! I can still remember details about my school and college life but after that it is all in fast forward mode. I already feel like an old maid. 😦

Before I begin my sulking, never imagined I would be celebrating 2 consecutive birthdays outside India – in a beautiful city like Edinburgh. When in school, I always hated it that my birthday fell during the monsoon season and it most definitely rained on that day. Here however, I am really enjoying this summer and sunshine.

This year I have also been able to get a lot of reading done. Thanks to the libraries here which have a huge collection. Back in India I was never able to continue with any library due to the frenzied lifestyle and lack of me-time. The books that I had purchased are still lying in a bag in some cupboard. Here I am enjoying the old world charm of going to a library, browsing through the books and reading them at leisure. Life is so spaced out here. I can take my kiddo with me. He plays with the toys in the kids corner section while I browse and issue books. It has such a laid back feeling to it which I enjoy. I have really come to savor these moments as I know I cannot do this back home.

August month here has a lot to offer with the school vacations and summer and it is truly the Festival month of Edinburgh. It’s filled with a diverse range of activities, shows, performances, arts, etc for all kinds of audiences. The Edinburgh International Book Festival starts this weekend and I am determined to take the kiddo for book reading sessions and other activities. The website is not operating but I shall note down the details about our visits.

The kiddo meanwhile is at his naughtiest best – more demanding, more stubborn and troublesome with a mischievous smile to cover it all. The foods that he dislikes are promptly pushed on the floor from the dining table – (the carpet in our case 😦 ). Most of the time, after a meal or snack, hubby or I are on the floor cleaning up after his royal highness is done with the food. The juice is spilled over a wider area in the kitchen after which he will solemnly ask for the cleaning sponge cloths – he is amazed at the speed with which these cloths absorb the liquid and hence wants to watch it over and over again.

He has also learnt the art of communicating with his toys – the doggy is placed facing the window and is compulsorily made to watch the fountain in the garden and whether the water is on. The open-mouthed dinosaurs are now given lunches and dinners and are fed with rice daily – they are not turning chubby. The kiddo’s blanket is placed on the Teddy Bear – he is told to go to sleep so that Daddy will take them both to the garden in the evening. Every meal is to be had while watching ‘Wheels on the bus go round and round’ – I can sing this now even when am unconscious. If the song is over before the food, then the various other versions are to be played repeatedly. I haven’t given up though. As soon as he is old enough to listen and understand film songs, I am going to bombard him with Lata Mangeshkar oldies and Mehdi Hassan ghazals. Let’s see if I can turn him over to my generation about songs.

Books are still a favourite though. Every time, he sees me reading, he will pick up one of his books and sit next to me, pretending to read. TV watching is mostly restricted to his lunch time and he has started picking up english words. There’s this one show where the host reads out greeting cards and letters to kids whose parents and relatives have wished them on their birthday. The kiddo promptly starts singing Happy Birthday to you!

Speaking of TV, I have been seeing this ad starring a weather-beaten Jean-Claude Van Damme:

What in the hell is this all about?

He is walking like a penguin and his pants are frozen rock solid??

This is such a perplexing ad, no idea what lager he’s advertising and would it be any good if it freezes his assets?