[Jacky Linares | Contributing Writer]
Edinburgh is hands down my favourite city that I’ve visited. I went on the weekend of Halloween, accompanied by other study abroad students, and surprisingly, I had a really good time despite being by myself most of the time, exploring and soaking it up.
I was lucky that the weather was good since it was late October. The trees were golden, and the wind played with my hair without being too annoying about it. There was so much history in Edinburgh that I didn’t know about, and it is the only place in the world where bagpipes sound beautiful.
I went to the famous Elephant Cafe, where J.K. Rowling supposedly wrote Harry Potter. In terms of my adventure abroad, I would say that sitting in that cafe on Halloween was the climax of the entire semester. It was the best cup of coffee I’d ever had, but I felt like it had nothing to do with the quality but more to do with the fact that I trekked to a sacred place that reminded me why I had decided to leave sunny California for rainy Europe. It was totally worth the vitamin D deficiency.
I ate haggis. I had no idea what it was until I had already eaten it. I had no idea what the burned cookie looking thing was on my plate but I tried it anyway. I enjoyed the first bite but the appeal declined rapidly with each proceeding bite. I had the haggis with my “Big Scottish Breakfast” at Jacob’s (I think). I was the only person there.
The “Big Scottish Breakfast” contained: eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, haggis and toast. I was feeling a little bit homesick prior to the trip, the breakfast had the same elements as the breakfasts my mum makes on Sundays when everyone is home and all we do laze around.
Edinburgh has been one of the few places I’ve been to that didn’t entirely make me feel like a tourist, or an American. I felt someone enjoying a breakfast at a restaurant that resembled the millions of breakfasts that my mum has made for me millions of times at home. This familiarity, I have thus concluded, is why Edinburgh is my favourite city on this side of the planet.
I climbed Holyrood Park which was its own Hero’s Journey. I went to the castle, by accident because I took a path a park that lead me to it accidentally. I guess that’s the best bit about traveling and walking around with no WiFi and no map; you never know where you might end up!