Eight Things I Love About Edinburgh

Edinburgh Expeditions

1. My Degree Programme

Yeah. If I didn’t like my programme, living in this fabulous city would be hell. Why? I pretty much live inside my programme building. But I don’t care. I’m learning so much, working on cool projects, and expanding my knowledge. I’ve got a lot of freedom to do what I like (within the grounds of the brief), and with the upcoming term, that will probably only expand. At the moment, I’m becoming a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. I can model and animate in 3D well enough, code HTML/CSS decently (and a little bit of Java and ActionScript), and so forth.

But on top of this, my coursemates are awesome. We’re a social bunch, getting together outside of class, and chatting when working on projects. We help each other out as best we can, answering questions and generally supporting each other. We’re little cheerleaders for each other. No one gets left behind.

2. Swing Dancing

Swing dancing is my social life outside of my coursework. I dance approximately three nights a week. It’s a great form of exercise and its so much fun. I went to my first ball this weekend, and haven’t enjoyed myself at a dance, well, ever. There was awkward dancing, as I’m not the most skilled (I’ve only been dancing for three months) but regardless, a wonderful time was had by all.

Lindy hop has definitely got me thinking about how I dress as well. I’m conscious of wearing clothing that permits movement, and skirts and dresses I can dance in. Shoes, always my weakness, have become more important. I look for shoes with comfortable padding in the balls and heels, and soles that are smooth yet not too smooth so I don’t wipe out. I’m now the proud owner of a lovely pair of wine t-strap heels, perfect for dancing or just wearing with jeans or a skirt.

3. Wandering through Old Town

Ah, the part of Edinburgh where I spend most of my time! I love exploring this part of the city, when my coursework permits.

I think I was a Romantic in a former life. One of the first places I wandered during some time off was Greyfriars Kirkyard. It was so atmospheric, that blustery, dreaded sunny day in October, so naturally I went to the cemetry (ten points for mildly obscure music reference). I brought my sketch book and camera, sitting down, observing the visitors, watching the clouds, and wandering.

The Grassmarket is another favourite neighborhood. I like to look in the shops, to look up at the Castle, to dash into Avalanche and see what they have for used CDs.

4. Cafe Culture

I love coffee. I love tea. I love sitting in cafes and enjoying these hot beverages. Edinburgh has a plethora of cafes. I have some favourite places to get my caffeine fix in my neighborhood (some of the best coffee I’ve had is at a police box coffee stand in my uni’s main campus). It’s a fabulous way to meet up with friends–getting a coffee. Far superior to Boston, where most of the cafes were, well, Starbucks. Not that we don’t have chains over here, but there are some great options that are smaller.

5. Charity Shops and Vintage Stores

Ah, the charity shop! A place where you can get just about anything, if you’re willing to look. From books to jewellery to dresses and skirts, these are often an affordable option for students in search of new clothes. Which reminds me, I need to go in search of some swing-dance appropriate attire.

6. The Pubs

Ah, the pubs! The places where I can get a good burger and a good beer. Excellent places for a meet up with coursemates and friends. The one problem: there are so many, it’s difficult to plan where you meet up!

7. The Architecture

There’s something very welcoming about Edinburgh’s architecture. It isn’t too tall, the windows are pleasantly sized, and the neighborhoods are downright inviting. I love strolling through the streets. There’s always something interesting around the corner, either an old school that’s been turned into flats or a side street I’ve never noticed before.

8. The Libraries

I love the libraries. My uni library, the central city library, the music library…I spend too much time in the libraries, thinking about which books I want to read.

They’re great places to conduct research, and of course…there are just so many books. So many books, so little time. Now, excuse me, I have a new book I need to read now that term is over!