Published: January 18th 2012July 30th 2011
It's been a crazy time here in Edinburgh. We've been bad at updating the blog lately and so much has happened in the last few months that we thought we'd begin with our move to the big city. We moved here at the beginning of April. The first few days here were spent getting our bearings and job hunting; in other words, trying to figure out where the heck we could print our newly updated CV’s, walking around a ton and keeping an eye out for jobs posted in shop/bar windows. It was another exciting time - we didn't know what was in store for us on the job and sightseeing front in this new city. What surprised us was the amount of people looking for work here. And not just Australians and Canadians but a lot of Spanish, Polish and a few French.
One of the first people we met at the Budget Backpacker’s hostel and later to become our roommate for a short time was Pam. Our first day at the hostel she navigated us to the luggage storage room. It turns out Pam is from Leduc. How many people from Leduc were we ever going to meet
National Gallery of Modern Art
Something else we found wandering around one day.
on our travels? And of course we have to mention Angela and Ashley from Australia. We met Angela one night in the kitchen and convinced her to try some of our Morgan’s Spiced rum, which was a feat because she claimed not to drink brown liquors (due to an unfortunate sequence of events). As we knew she would, she loved the stuff. We didn’t meet Ashley until a couple days later. But we ended up moving into the same dorm with these crazy Australian girls and Pam. With them we had our first family cookup in Edinburgh. Bean burritos, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie for Easter supper. It may not have been traditional but it was fantastic. We also had a bbq in the Meadows on Pam’s last day. Dan did the cooking and we all did the eating and chatting.
One of the highlights of the Edinburgh festival scene was Beltane. The evening of April 30 saw Calton Hill fill with people who all came to experience the spectacular fire festival that heralds in Spring. It may have been cold and crowded, but it was worth the wait. The drumming vibrated through us as it came nearer and
eventually the stage was a light with people dancing and weilding torches and firey hoolahoops. The show went on for hours (apparently until dawn) and we couldn't take our eyes off the stage. It was indeed a spectacular.
We spent a lot of our time wandering around Edinburgh and getting to know the city. We found new neighbourhoods to explore and we walked up Arthur’s seat. Our first month was broken up by a pleasant trip to London to catch up with Tim and Michelle who were over for their anniversary. It was a much needed break from job searching which can be equally exhausting and frustrating when you don’t currently have an income.
We did all things touristy in London: the London Eye, the Tower of London, the Globe theatre, Westminster Abbey (where the flowers for the Royal wedding were still being displayed), St Paul’s Cathedral, HMS Belfast, Buckingham Palace, the Imperial War Museum and a boat tour of the River Thames. We also went to see the Lion King which was just as breathtaking the second time around. It was so comforting to see people from home. It was also neat to see things from their
Tower Of London
Not as tall as Dan expected, but the Beefeaters tour was great, and seeing the Crown Jewels was pretty amazing.
perspective. Since we’d been over here for almost a year at that point we were beginning to stop noticing all the eccentricities of an old European city. Michelle and Tim were constantly looking around and noticing neat architecture. It was refreshing to see London through their eyes and I think it renewed the way we see things.
London was a great escape but it was back to the grind of job hunting and wearily awaiting replies to our applications. Luckily, the night we returned Ashley got an email from a recruitment agency letting her know she had an interview the following week with the Royal College of Surgeons. And who would believe it but Dan got a call not long afterward to come in for a trial shift at the White Hart Inn. He wowed them and got the job. And Ashley got her job within hours of her interview.
Since then we’ve been able to enjoy ourselves a bit more. For Ashley’s birthday Dan made breakfast in bed: fresh berries and eggs benedict. The day was filled with laziness and eating…a lot of eating! There was also cocktails at the Dragonfly Cocktail Bar (where to Ashley’s dismay
they didn‘t know how to make a chocolate martini but made a decent effort), dinner at Vittoria’s, an Italian restaurant, and death by chocolate cake. Dan tried to kill all of us with that cake. No one could stop eating it but it was so rich we slowly slipped into a food coma; every last one of us.
Dan got Ashley a pretty pair of earrings, some blistex for her parched lips (thus enabling her addiction) and a much needed reading lamp to match her pink e-reader.
We visited Crammond Island, which is a tidal island north of the city centre, with Angela, Ashley and Erica. There’s a path to the island from the town of Crammond, during low tide. However, if you don’t walk back before the tide come in you may be stuck out there for the night. Apparently, the coast guards don’t take too kindly to rescuing people from the island at high tide. We also went to Roslin, the site of the famous Roslin Chapel which was in the DaVinci Code. Unfortunately we thought the Chapel was way too expensive to go in so we walked around the glen for hours on end instead. We
Double fisting it
Believe it or not you cannot find Oh Henry bars here so Dan got one on Canada Day at the Globe (which is a Canadian/Aussie/Kiwi bar).
found a nice little creek to eat our lunch by and Dan took Ashley on some daring paths that were wrought with steep downhills and tree branches galore. Eventually we came across an old building that seemed to be right in the middle of the glen. We couldn’t figure out what it was or how you would get to it by car (or by foot for that matter). Ashley was pretty sure we were going to get lost and not find our way back to the town. But as you would know it, we weren’t that lost and on our approach to town we found an old castle wall just rising up from the valley; it was stunning. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how someone would feel approaching that wall when the castle was still in use.
By mid- July we were basking in the glow of having our own flat which we shared with Ashley, Kelly and Angela. We even celebrated Christmas in July, just for the heck of it. Dan made his deadly egg nog, Other Ashley made gingerbread men, Kelly decorated the flat and we ate roast and goodies all night long. Next on the
There are more photos below