Edinburgh, Scotland

Studying Abroad at the University of Edinburgh

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I traveled a lot around the country as a child, thanks to a go-getter, nomadic Mom who spent much of her twenties on the road herself, but had only crossed the border to Mexico, the Caribbean, England and Italy before I moved to Scotland in 2003.

Edinburgh, Scotland

And my obsession with Europeโ€”and travel in generalโ€”was sparked.

I can’t imagine a prettier city—these crappy, faded, low-res images hardly do it justice—and I’m forever dreaming about the day I can return (and take better photos with my now-fancier camera equipment while at it). I don’t know what it is about Edinburgh, but it’s quite simply intoxicating. It’s one of those cities where, nine times out of ten, if a person has been there, you’ll here him quote it as his favorite. It’s no different for me. If the weather were just a wee bit better, there would be no more appealing place to live.

Edinburgh, Scotland

There are some things I miss dearly, like Finnegan’s Wake, this lively Irish pub in the middle of the Grassmarket.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Random bagpipers down the street from my Cowgate flat.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Hikes up Arthur’s Seat, which towers above the center of town.

Edinburgh, Scotland

The view from there once you reach the summit.

Arthur's Seat view of Edinburgh

Being a part of the University of Edinburgh Ultimate Frisbee team, where hazing required slurping down a PITCHER of Stella from a Frisbee out of a straw. In a minute flat, if I may brag for a moment.

Edinburgh, Scotland

These two ladies, Francie and Evan, who were my partners in crime. (Francie’s now married to the Irish guy we met the first week there; Evan’s in med school in Minnesota and accompanied me on my trek through the Canadian Rockies last year.)

Edinburgh, ScotlandLiving a street down from the Castle (from which this is the view) and not too far from Prince’s Street and the gardens either.

Edinburgh, Scotland

And, um, deep-fried Mars. Wait, you’ve never tried one? Yeah, we can’t be friends anymore.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Oh, Edinburgh, someday I will be back…for good. Or for a long(er) while, at least.

Edinburgh, Scotland

COMMENTS
  • October 9, 2009
    KT

    Up until two years ago, I was still on an ultimate team – and the rituals were much the same! Edinburgh is at the top of my list for next vacations – so lovely!

  • October 9, 2009

    Looks and sounds like an interesting place to visit. Maybe too cold and crowded for me to live there. I need the instructions for deep fried Mars so I can try it and stay on your friends list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • October 9, 2009

    Can’t say I did any Stella slugging out of frisbees, but I still freaking LOVE Edinburgh!

  • October 9, 2009

    I too have been to Edinburgh, I went in 1998. I loved Finnegan’s Wake! They had the fake dead body above the bar and everything. I would love to go back to Scotland.

  • October 9, 2009

    Lovely photos! I like the old school film cameras. It took me YEARS to convert. We went to Edinburgh in 2005, and loved it. Such a gorgeous place, so much history.

  • October 9, 2009

    Sigh. You’re bringing me back in time with these photos. I studied in Belfast and visited Edinburgh a number of times. It’s a favorite place for Irish folk to celebrate New Year (no prizes for guessing why) and 5 nations rugby weekends? Tremendous fun.
    Thanks.
    Now I’ll go back to my late-30s self ๐Ÿ™‚

  • October 9, 2009

    Impressive beer slurping time! Looks like you have some fantastic memories in Edinburgh. What a beautiful place.

  • October 9, 2009

    I do believe I see jeans on the young woman who is always wearing dresses. I don’t even own a dress, so it’s more noticeable to me, who always wears jeans. Wonderful photos, you are fortunate to travel as you do. hugs from HW.

  • October 9, 2009

    Delurking to say Edinburgh is a great city and I love your photos ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m from Glasgow, so I get to go there quite often (might be going through on Monday!) and I’m thinking about going to Edinburgh Uni. Did you ever go down Cockburn St.? It’s a lane winding up from the station to…Market Street, I think? And it has all these crazy shops. I fell in love with it the first time I went shopping in Edinburgh!

    And I feel the need to point out: deep fried Mars Bars are disgusting!

  • October 9, 2009

    Awwwww. You made me tear up a little. I miss it so much, too! How about this: after we both get married in the spring/early summer, we’ll just run off to Edinburgh with the husbands for a few years? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • October 10, 2009

    Scotland is near the top of my list of countries I haven’t visited. I can’t WAIT to go.
    And is it just me, or do you look exactly like your sister in that eighth photo?

  • October 10, 2009

    Great photos of my home city. I love it here! The weather is often gorgeous, especially in autumn (fall) when there is a chill in the air and beautiful blue skies (like today).

    Everyone should visit and if you don’t like crowds, just don’t come in August! (although, the festival is brilliant fun)

    btw Finnegan’s Wake burnt down, it didn’t go under, they are refurbishing the building, so hopefully it will be back soon!

  • October 10, 2009

    I have never had a deep fried Mars Bars but deep fried Twinkies are absolutely delish. You need to try them. I can’t wait to go to Scotland — I keep on finding fantastic books about it and just love the mix of cute, quaint, and modern.

  • October 11, 2009

    Wow, talk about coincidence. I just finished my second book about the Highlands, spurring a slight obsession with Scotland. What a lovely combination of beautiful culture and wild natural beauty.

  • October 11, 2009

    This all looks like too much fun!
    As usual, it’s still another place I’d love to go one of these days ๐Ÿ™‚

  • October 12, 2009
    Maura

    I used to work in Finnegans wake 2004/2005, best job ever!!!

  • October 12, 2009

    very pretty pictures. I need to work on the deep fried mars thing…sounds yummy

  • October 12, 2009

    OK, I’m salivating over these pictures. I spent a few days in Edinburgh two summers ago and I’ve been dying to go back. I love that you used the word “intoxicating” — that is such a good way to describe it. It is such a vibrant, beautiful, historic place with the friendliest people I’ve ever met.

  • October 21, 2009
    Kate

    OMG roomie-o EDI EDI. And now I’m practically famous. Miss you babe!

  • October 21, 2009

    When I climbed Arthur’s Seat, fog rolled in as we climbed the hill and by the time I got to the top I couldn’t see more than a metre away at best.

  • November 29, 2009

    Finnegan’s Wake lives on, at least as of summer of 2008 when I was privileged enough to live in Edinburgh, too!

  • April 5, 2012

    This takes me back to my study abroad days in Edinburgh, too! Finnegan’s Wake used to show the Riverdance videos and we’d all get pissed and try to Riverdance. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sigh. I’m truly dating myself. Also loved the Woolpack, which maybe was gone by the time you were there. Thanks for this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 14, 2012

    I’m spending a month in Great Britain this summer studying at Oxford. I’m getting to spend some time in Scotland and hope to visit Edinburgh (pre-Olympics adventures)! I’m super excited about visiting Edinburgh and hoping to partake in some amazing food while there! Preferably that deep-fried Mars.

  • August 7, 2012

    I just got back from studying in Edinburgh for the spring semester and completely lost my heart to the city! Finnigan’s lives on and is fantastic, but, in my opinion, not as good as the Golf Tavern down in Bruntsfield by the Meadows. And if you every go back, look up The Concorde; they serve their deep fried Mars Bar with raspberry sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

    • August 7, 2012

      As it just so happens, I am going back to Edi in September and will DEFINITELY note your recommendations! Thanks =)

  • November 1, 2013

    Beautiful shots of Scotland captured by you . Simply love your post.

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