Shutterspeed: Charming Edinburgh

A little over a month ago I visited Edinburgh while the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the largest arts festival in the world) was going on. I was immediately enchanted by this beautiful city – I admit, the sunny weather did help – and I was very happy to spend my 24th birthday there.

The National Gallery had an exhibition on my beloved Impressionists – Monet, Daubigny, and Van Gogh – and there were so many lovely places to eat and drink (though the evening before we contented ourselves with eating a massive hot dog in the park)! Any city with good museums and interesting places to eat will appeal to me, but Edinburgh had an energy that I really liked. It was funny to be in the middle of Scottish tourism after having been in Wales for so long. Here there were people playing bagpipes on street corners, and shops selling kilts and whisky; it’s different in Wales, even in Cardiff, though there are a few shops there where you can buy all the dragon-stamped knickknacks you’ve ever dreamed of. It’s less in-your-face, somehow; you don’t really get the feeling that Wales says, we know what you came for (e.g. kilts and whisky), so here it is. But then, this was just a whirlwind impression of the city. It was the first time I’d been to Scotland, but I’m certainly keen to return and explore the rest of the north. Someone recently said that Edinburgh isn’t really that interesting outside festival season, which I find difficult to believe. I guess I’ll have to come back and confirm!

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