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Edinburgh, Scotland

March 30th, 2010

The last city of my trip was Edinburgh. I’ll admit that by the time I got there, I was heartily ready to go home. To some extent this feeling was staved off by being in an English speaking country where I could be sure of navigating my way into and through the menu of any restaurant I happened upon. Plus, local knowledge from Aaron meant we had good places for coffee, and made some friends at the local geek event.

Like almost every other city on my tour of Europe, Edinburgh is old. Testament to this is the thousand year old Edinburgh Castle dominating the skyline of the old and new towns, not to mention the various cathedrals, museums, statues and monuments.

For your viewing pleasure, you should visit the Scott Monument. From here, you can get a 360 degree view of the city, from coast to suburbs. There is however, no lift, and my swollen ankle felt every single one of the 287 narrow spiral steps going both up and down. The view is worth it though. It’s fiercely cold up there.

I have to admit I liked Edinburgh, and am vaguely considering working there for a while. Possibly for the same reasons I like Wellington. It’s a city, with all the amenities, but small enough to retain that laid back feeling. The fact that there’s regular trains at all hours to London for events would be a big plus.

The only downside to my stay was the backpackers (Caledonian Backpackers), which has an interesting approach to showers. While I like to think that I’m not a prude, I’m not particularly partial to being forced to expose myself to everyone in the toilet/bathroom everytime I take a shower. Also, I think the mattress of my bunk was older than me. In hindsight, I was spoilt by the Meininger hostels in Berlin.

The Scottish accent isn’t that hard to decipher.

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