• Laura

Edinburgh and a Milestone (Week 16 Recap - January 14, 2019)

First day in Edinburgh, just outside our flat

One interesting thing I have learned spending three weeks in Scotland is that the Scots take their food very seriously. All I knew about Scottish food before was haggis (which I did *technically* try by eating a tiny bite at our hotel breakfast buffet, and truth be told it wasn’t bad). However, so many of the places here are farm to table and exploring Scottish heritage and ingredients and blah blah that it is kind of like San Francisco. The food in general is actually quite good (although waaay fewer veggies, I think their farms are a bit different than our farms, not to mention their climate).

Feast with friends at Southside Scran

It’s been one of many pleasant surprises about Edinburgh, which I like a lot. However I think I don’t like the things about Edinburgh that most people do? It’s hard for me to tell. It’s a city with a dramatic skyline. When I usually think about metropolitan skylines I think about shiny glass skyscrapers. This one has a castle on a giant craggy hill and several aggressive stone church spires (the interior of the cathedral is beautiful).

That said, I can’t say I find the old town overwhelmingly charming. I think it’s because we were just in Bruges.

One of the weird things about traveling so intensively is that places you’d normally go to months or, more likely, years apart you end up hitting up back to back. Bruges is a medieval city. Edinburgh is a medieval city. Bruges has a more compact, square-based center with a charming gingerbread twist on the architecture. Edinburgh’s old town stretches along the Royal Mile and a surprising number of gothic style buildings house expensive tchotchke shops and Pizza Express restaurants. Maybe it’s because we were in Belgium before Christmas and didn’t make it to Edinburgh until the after-Hogmanay lull.

Walking down the street in our hood, Stockbridge

But it doesn’t matter because we’re staying in the cute neighborhood of Stockbridge, and I can walk to New Town from my shopping fix. We had a proper cocktail for the first time in ages this week. There is decent Korean food a few doors down from our Airbnb. We’re around the corner from baby music class, and stumbled upon a cafe for breakfast that has toys in the corner. The National Museum of Scotland has an entire room called Imagine dedicated to under-5’s.

The play area in the under-5's room at the National Museum -- so nice, we went there twice

We’re lucky to have a friend of a friend here in town too who gave us tons of tips, invited Mike to a soccer match, and helped acclimate us to Edinburgh. Overall it’s just felt like a very easy place to be -- walkable, with lots to eat and lots to do.

From here it’s on to London -- our last stop before Morocco. We built in a bunch of time in London to see friends and regroup before changing environments. We’re getting excited and nervous, as moving from comfy London to brand-new-to-us Morocco will put our travel skills to the test.

But of course I can’t let the week pass without noting the biggest thing to happen this week - WP turned one! She’s spent a third of her life out of the country, on the road, moving around, eating in restaurants, sleeping in her pack n play, tasting different cuisines, and generally adventuring. It’s hard to believe.

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