I’m pretty sure my legs are pure muscle by now and my calves have increased in diameter. I should’ve measured the lengths of my calves once I got here and compared them to now. But I didn’t, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. But my legs aren’t important. The important thing is where my legs have taken me. In the past few weeks I’ve walked around Edinburgh extensively. I’ve been to the Castle of Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, pubs, some coffee shops, book shops, two cemeteries, the “haunted” underground vaults, Arthur’s seat, and probably some other places but I can’t wrangle them from the back of my head right now. I would unpack each of my cool experiences but I feel that would be a bit monotonous. Honestly, they were all amazing and I only need to reference the picture I took from Arthur’s seat to get this point across (see above).
The Google Images I saw prior to arriving here do not do justice to the complete personality of the city. That’s seems pretty obvious at first thought, but the images do seem to describe the town well. You see the skyline and you think: old, classic, gorgeous, traditional town with plenty of tourist traps, right? Well, right and wrong. There are plenty of those things. But if you don’t want to just walk past a bunch of cashmere shops and trip on cobblestones down the Royal Mile you can turn down any street you wish and find something else to make you feel like you’re a real risk-taking traveler (still a tourist though, don’t you forget).
You’ll quickly realize nothing is really too much of a risk here if you just wander around. Everybody’s pretty welcoming with anything that you want to say or do as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. The alcohol might help but I genuinely think most people here are truly kind. The majority of foreigners I meet always greet me with a smile or a quick remark. I don’t understand them all the time but even when I don’t it’s easy to just start mutually laughing at nothing. Maybe there’s a common cloud of content within everybody regardless of the normal ups and downs of life. This amiability just makes other parts of life go a little smoother. I’m not saying Edinburgh is full of easygoing slackers, but that everything about this place is like a nice blanket to lie under in the middle of an inconsiderate, wild Scottish landscape. Come on by for a cuppa tea mate, eh?
I haven’t done too much traveling outside of the city yet other than a quick 2-day excursion in Glasgow. The city was cool other than the fact that my friend and I failed to find the buzzing music scene we had heard about through what we thought was the grapevine. It was also much larger and difficult to get around than Edinburgh. My first impressions weren’t the greatest but I’m sure they would’ve been better if I knew what to do and where to go a little beforehand. But, alas, this is the way of the carefree traveler I like to think of myself as (studies abroad once…). In the future I’m going to the Highlands, London, Hadrian’s Wall, Manchester, and probably Dublin or Paris. So I’ll have a lot of cool stuff to say then. For now, I’m just going to try not to get into a humdrum routine. That would be easy to do, but luckily my shower’s hot water goes off occasionally and I get a nice cold water slap in the face to get out of my room and do things! Please excuse me while I address myself: Do things, Christian! Get out there you! Stay tuned for what happens next. Until then, peace out and be nice to people!