It’s been a glorious old time here since I’ve arrived in Edinburgh. Although I was quite content (except for the humidity) in Vietnam, I’m just as happy here visiting my sister and her family in Edinburgh and enjoying the beautiful surrounding areas. Everything here is a total contrast to that of Asia. Most historical buildings are perfectly preserved or restored and in proper working order as opposed to the grungy, chaotic pace and the lovable mess that is Vietnam. Although, as polar opposites as they may be, I still love both places equally. However, from a photography point of view, Edinburgh slightly nudges ahead of Vietnam for now.
I’ve never seen weather this great in the UK. Global Warming?
Apparently the weather has been the best it’s been for years. Coming off the 30+ degree and 70% humidity, I loved flying into a 25 degree and dry day. At the moment, everybody’s spirits are elevated and people are literally glowing from the extra boost in vitamin daylight that sets at 10:30pm and then remains in a state of suspended twilight for the rest of the evening. It’s thrown me off slightly as we experienced the summer solstice here but as a result I find myself taking advantage the extra hours of light and getting out to take as many photos as I can. I haven’t bothered most mornings but the sunsets have been quite spectacular.
Who said the food here is bad?
The Scottish do get a bad wrap for their cuisine but there is some crazy good produce in the supermarket if people are willing to get their arse to cook it. Scotland is home to some of the finest surf and turf in the world; the prawns, fish and tender beef is to die for and I’ve had my fair share of the Scottish beef during my time here. I really missed cooking and most days a mundane task for some such as cooking has become a treat for me where staying in a home with a kitchen and BBQ,
I had my first steak in 6 months and tears of joy were almost shed. It’s also been longer since I had my last fish n chips and they make a killer version of it here in Queensferry South which is best savoured by the water with brown sauce which is something I’ve never had before; extra sharp and vinegary which is perfect for my taste buds.
Everything is old but still in its place
You know that feeling when you visit a place and think “it’s just like out of the movies”? It’s the same here. There’s so much history and tradition, there is still the old class system with Lords and Ladies who still live in regal castles and estates. Many of lands are accessible, either to hunt on or have their wedding reception. I’ve already visited a couple and it’s impossible not to daydream and role play what it would be like living the life of a baron back in the day.
Some of the streets closer to the centre of town are insanely captivating. On the bus into town I can’t help but notice how symmetrical everything is. From the brickwork, windows, chimneys and the front door, it all makes for a perfect photograph. I’ve already shot nearly 1,000 photos in ten days.
I’ve been craving some pub culture after a notable absence in Asia and nothing gets me excited more than visiting an old school local. There are quite a few in Sydney in The Rocks, but I’ve been to a couple here that have been trading for longer than Australia has been inhabited by Europeans. Setting foot into some of those pubs are like walking back in time; the leather couches are cracked, floorboards give off a noticeable thud with every step, the varnish on the tables are well worn and some of the patrons seem like they’re part of the furniture. I can’t help but feel like I can absorb more of the historical vibe from a trip to an old pub like these than a guided tour of a town.
My name is Jimmy and I’m addicted to bridges
I have to admit, I love bridges. We have a few crackers in Sydney that I used to experiment with when I first got my camera. After a visit to a couple of historical towns, it’s not difficult to realise that many bloody battles were fought over control of these important landmarks that connected two pieces of land. Some of the worlds oldest bridges are here that date back to the days of the roman occupation but more “recent” bridges that were built 100 years ago are still considered wonders of modern architecture. Everytime I see one, I can’t help but stop and admire it. You’ll probably see an album solely dedicated to bridges soon.
Learning a few things through family time
Family time is what a long term traveller yearns the most above everything else and it has been two years since I last saw my sister and her family. I never had much interest in hanging out with children but it’s been fun spending time with my two nieces. They’re at the age where they want to say everything that’s on their mind and are vying for attention. It’s quite a test of patience and diplomacy being in the company of two children as they have to deal with rejection but what I’ve learnt the most is to let go of my feelings more and as clichéd as it sounds, release my inner child and accept that it’s ok to act embarrassingly silly; nobody is judging. A final observation that I can learn from is that although children can whinge and moan a lot, they don’t hold any grudges. They just have their sookie moment and move on like it never happened.
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