ARRIVAL

edinburgh princes street gardens

The flight arrived earlier than scheduled. Such was the case the first time I arrived in Edinburgh almost two years ago. We sat on the tarmac for about 20 minutes before finally arriving at the gate. It made no difference to me since I could not check into the flat I booked until 10,30h.

After waiting at the carousel for the luggage to arrive, I decided to stay inside the warm airport until 9,00h before taking the bus to city centre. As I waited, I took advantage of the two hours' free Wi-Fi at the airport and talked with my boyfriend via Viber.

At one point during my wait at the airport, two Scottish policemen passed in front of me carrying machine guns. One of them said 'morning' and I returned the greeting. It seemed strange and a bit frightening but Peter, the owner of the flat where I am staying, informed me that it was not a 'normal' occurrence and that it might simply be a way to let people know they are being protected.

The ride to Waverly Station on the Airlink 100 bus took half an hour. The sights were familiar which made it easy to find my way to the flat. I rented another of Peter's flats which was mere minutes away from the one I rented the first time and the third time I visited Edinburgh. Though a matter of miscommunication, I rather like this flat.

What struck me first when I entered the Chambers Street flat was the abundance of natural light. Large windows lined the walls of both the bedroom and living area looking out onto an old building. A chapel perhaps. The other thing which fascinated me was the twinkling lights above the jetted bathtub and the points of light along the floorboard of the bathroom.

After Peter explained a few features in the flat, he told me about the tram service to the airport. I was excited about the possibility of seeing more of Edinburgh with the tram as it was not yet completed the last time I was there. I remember from last time the comments from people about not talking about the tram. Peter reinforced this by letting me know the tram only runs from the airport to the city centre due to having gone far over budget.

Walking around town was not a bad option. After debating taking a nap, I decided to go get coffee at my favourite place. As I walked into lovecrumbs, I noticed there were no seats left. The large sofa which used to be in the back had now found its way to the front of the coffeeshop, along with the drum. I looked at the foggy display window. There was a girl sitting on one end with her laptop.

foggy window

I climbed onto the display and took my place after having ordered a cappuccino and fruit scone. I sat here before a few times and quite liked the view out the window and towards the inside at all the people congregated around communal tables. As I waited for my scone and coffee to arrive, I was relieved to be away from home and closer to my boyfriend. Now we were at least in the same time zone.

As I perused Twitter, I noticed I left Austin at the perfect time. There were ongoing warnings of flooding and tornados in the area. I later discovered the airport had closed down for a while and I thought about that flight I almost rebooked whilst waiting in line.

The flight was overbooked and the clerks were asking for six volunteers with a promise of a $500 travel voucher and rebooking the following day. After thinking about this for a good 15 minutes, I decided to enquire about the possibility. Since I was traveling overseas and not simply to Newark, they had nothing for me. Things work out in ways unbeknownst to us. Had I stayed, my arrival to Edinburgh might have been delayed for a few days.

lovecrumbs scone

The coffee and scone were good but the atmosphere of the coffeehouse was the reason I was there. I considered getting a slice of one of their famous cakes but decided to return another day. After all, I have six more days here until I fly to Dublin.

After the coffeehouse, I walked around until I found Real Foods. I bought one leek and three potatoes for my dinner and then walked back to the Grassmarket area where I found my favourite cheese shop. At I J Mellis on Victoria street, I bought 150 grams of Isle of Mull Cheddar, a baguette, and French butter for my soup. When I returned to the flat, I relished the taste of the bread with cheese and decided to make potato soup later.

Jetlag caught up with me and I could no longer fight it. My much needed nap lasted two and a half hours.  Afterwards, I decided to take a walk. It was close to 18,00h and dark already. I walked down and across the bridge passed Princes Street Gardens. I was familiar with most of the streets and made my way up Hanover Street where I was able to browse the cake pans and baking supplies at Lakeland ten minutes before they closed. I vowed to return tomorrow.

I walked around and considered getting a late night coffee at Wellington Coffee but noticed it was closing as I passed by. I happened upon Lululemon and walked inside. I left after ten minutes and walked along Rose Street and back over the bridge and along The Mound until I reached my home for the week.

I took a shower before making the potato soup and talked with my daughter on Skype as she showed me her and her siblings' colourful hair for Crazy Hair day at school. They were safe from the floods and storms in the area. My attempt at reading was short lived as I fell asleep until shortly before 23,00h when my boyfriend called me after work. With both of us tired, we decided to forego Skype until tomorrow. With both of us now on the same continent, it would not be long until we saw each other again.