I think the universe felt it owed us for our horrible (attempted) travel experience yesterday, because our flights today went off without a hitch. Sure I may have cried twice in an airport today, but I’m racking that up to bottled up anxiety and running on four hours of sleep.
Completely exhausted but resignedly elated to have landed in Edinburgh without incident, Walt and I organized a little game on our 30 minute tram ride into town. We listed all the overtly Scottish things we could think of and assigned points to be awarded to the first person to spot that item. On our list: thistles, Tartans, red-haired ladies or gents, haggis, anything Harry Potter related, Highland Cows, kilts (warn in earnest, not just in a shop or warn for tourism purposes), a pub and – the most coveted list item – someone playing a bag pipe.
We assumed this was just a list of Scottish stereotypes. Sure, the people of Scotland notoriously proud of their cultural heritage, but Edinburgh is a modern city and people who live there have stuff to do. I mean, maybe with a touristy part of town that has all these things lined up one after the other, but it’s probably just going to feel like any other part of the UK.
This may still hold true, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Because as it happens, our flat for the next month is flanked by an ridiculously overpriced pub sporting signs for haggis, fish & chips, and nips and tatties on one side and a tchotchke shop that sells Loch Ness monster rain ponchos and tartan fidget spinners on the other. Yep! We are in the heart of the biggest tourist trap in all of Scotland!
Welcome to Edinburgh!