Greetings from Scotland!
I arrived safely in the Scottish capital and since uni will only start on Thursday, I am currently having a lot of time to explore the surroundings 🙂 Yesterday, after arriving at the Airbnb place I booked for the coming 2 weeks, I already began exploring some of the main tourist areas of Edinburgh. Fortunately, my Airbnb is within walking distance to the city centre (well, in my opinion it is, my host strongly disagrees. However, it takes around 30 minutes to reach Princes Street- it’s up to you to decide whether you’d be willing to walk). The walk was really nice, since I passed by a lot of incredibly cute cafes and bars that looked so cosy and welcoming! I can see myself spending entire weekends in them 🙂
Also, I recognised so many of the chains that I used to go to while I was living in England, which made me feel at home immediately.
Then, I just strolled around the many shops at Princes Street as it was really cold and I wanted to warm up 🙂 Naturally, I had to buy my favourite tights from Primark straight away- it’s actually the only thing I buy there, but let me tell you, they are absolutely awesome! Also, I got myself a UK phone number and tried to find a bank that was open in order to open a local bank account. But since it was a bank holiday in Scotland, this attempt failed sadly. Additionally, I strolled around the beautiful (and enormous!) Christmas market that is still on in the Princes Street Gardens and got myself a delicious pick ‘n mix of homemade fudge 🙂 Even though it was only around 5 pm, it was already entirely dark outside which made the whole atmosphere even better and I could make up a little for all the German Christmas markets I missed while being in Singapore.
Afterwards, I made my way back to the Airbnb apartment and quickly stopped at a small Sainsbury’s supermarket to pick up some of my beloved scones which I had been missing dearly ever since I left England so many years ago!
I then unpacked all my stuff and chatted with my host for ages while we were cooking dinner. The flat is really cute and he is absolutely lovely- I really hope that my future flat and flatmates will be just as great!
Today, my first full day in Scotland, allowed me to gain further impressions of the Scottish lifestyle. After searching for a flat for hours online, I walked to the campus of Napier University where I will study to make sure that I will be on time on Thursday. The campus is really beautiful, a nice mixture of an old mansion and a fancy modern building. The area is nice too, offering a pretty view on the surrounding hills.
On my way back, I discovered a small nature reserve which I naturally had to explore straight away. After only a few minutes, I reached a hill top where the rough storm had prevented any trees from growing, which allowed me to get a 360° view of Edinburgh 🙂
Afterwards, I went back into the city centre, and realised that most banks (in particular the one I want to open an account at) were still closed for the day, so I went straight up to the famous castle, where I could enjoy another amazing view, this time onto the New Town. From there, I made my way down the hill through the Royal Mile, where many famous buildings are located.
Naturally, I also visited a Whisky store; I suppose that is one of the definite must- dos 🙂
I then got lunch at a cute little restaurant offering Mexican wraps that were absolutely delicious! Having warmed up in there after freezing quite badly due to the strong and ice cold storm outside, I visited Calton Hill, where the Nelson Monument and the National Monument are located.
Afterwards, I paid the National Gallery a visit, and on my way to the Queens Street Gardens I coincidentally found the National Portrait Gallery, which I obviously had to enter as well. In particular, I loved the temporary exhibition in the Portrait Gallery, featuring contemporary artists and some really stunning works! Also, there is currently an exhibition about the early stages of photography, which, for someone who likes photoography as much as I do, is really interesting as well! Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures since it was prohibited to take any in these exhibitions.
Sadly, the Queens Street Gardens are only open to residents, and since I do not yet have a flat, I didn’t have any proof that I am actually living here, so I could not enter. Instead, I strolled around the Christmas market again to enjoy the nice atmosphere.
On my way back home, I signed up at Pure Gym, a local gym chain which was recommended to me by the guy working at the phone store, who coincidentally also is a student at Napier university.
All in all, I everything reminds me of my time in England, and I feel almost as if I am coming home. However, I would honestly prefer 10 or even 20 degrees warmer, but I guess that is still due to my time in Singapore 🙂 Also, I love how everything is still decorated for Christmas- it makes everything even more beautiful and welcoming, especially when it is already dark outside (which happens really early up here in the North!).
Moreover, the people are so open- minded! Some just start talking to you randomly, and I had quite a few funny chats throughout the day, for example with two business men who were making fun of me because of my huge scarf. However, I feel that finding a suitable room will be a lot more difficult than it was in Singapore, so wish me luck that my search will be successful!
Look out for my next update- rest assured, it will be up soon 🙂