Saturday, April 09, 2005

1. Auld Reekie

The Meadows

Was there ever a doubt? Edinburgh has been my home for over five years, and I always said that only possibly Sydney could get me to leave. I first moved to the Scottish capital after University, and have been there off and on ever since. It's my favourite city in the world, pure and simple. It even smells great - that unique combination of North Sea air and the brewing industry that gives it a yeasty tang. Last week I opened a jar of Vegemite and the smell reminded me of Edinburgh. Try explaining that to your flatmates.

Admittedly, Edinburgh has it's crowds - especially around Festival time - but as the UK's most popular short break destination I suppose you'd expect that. Besides, I quite like the tourists as they give the place an international feel. Everywhere you go there are historic landmarks - you can't get lost in Edinburgh as you're always able to see the castle or Arthur's Seat - the dormant volcano in the centre of the city.

Edinburgh is small enough to walk around - believe me, I know - and if you know where to look there are great bars and restaurants. Having lived there for a while, the whole twee 'Scottishness' of it washes over me so I don't notice it, but the gawking tourists obviously like it. But they are missing what makes Edinburgh so special - the Meadows in Summer, the Water of Leith footpath, the draught Budvar at Pivos, the view from Salisbury Crags, Yellowcraigs beach, breakfast at Elephant and Bagel, the burritos at the Basement, etc, etc....