[Originally published on lebonvivant.org - April 2012]
I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE that the true beauty of travelling is never really knowing what to expect. Sure, you can read all the Lonely Planet guides and devour all the blogs in the world you want, but it’s only when you experience a place for yourself that you appreciate the certain – shall we say – ‘exhilaration’ that comes from exploring someplace entirely new for the first time. And, if you’re lucky, you may just discover a thing or two about yourself in the process.
Take for example my most recent excursion to Edinburgh, Scotland, where its incredibly rich history and medieval vibe makes you feel like just you’ve stepped into a proper fairytale. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration – but after hopping a five-hour train ride from London King’s Cross railway station and rolling through the picturesque English countryside (castle-counting game, anyone?), it feels pretty surreal to see the vibrant Scottish city come into view just as the sun takes its final bow for the evening.
And after a three-day romp, I can honestly say Edinburgh has stolen my heart on numerous levels. With more architectural gems and breath-taking views than all the Whiskies in Scotland, it really is a treat for the senses. Not to mention the creative energy you soak up by simply meandering amongst the numerous boutiques and cafes in and around Grass Market. And this may be my half-Scottish blood talking here (or someone who hasn’t been out of London in a while), but the genuine, friendly nature of everyone we encounter along our travels proves to be just as good for the soul as our hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat.
I’m sure I could go on and on, but for the sake of our generation’s fleeting attention span, here is a visual wander (a picture’s worth a thousand words, right?) through the quaint seaside city.
Oh, Edinburgh – you sneaky little heart-thief.
Until we meet again,