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  • Writer's pictureSpiced Cranachan

Edinburgh Summers

A year after our move to Edinburgh and I am falling in love with this city.

Don't get me wrong, Glasgow will always hold a special place in my heart - but Edinburgh has truly come alive in the past few months and I often find myself as struck by its natural beauty and presence as the thousands of tourists who throng its streets every year.

I was wary when we first moved. Lockdown procedures were still in place, and they brought with them a certain coldness to the city. The usual buzz of Scotland's capital had dulled somewhat and I found myself regretting the move altogether at times.

But summer seems to have awakened the city.

Edinburgh emerged from Lockdown with a renewed sense of vigour and an attitude for adventure. Countless events and activities have dominated the interests of both locals and tourists, who are only too keen to get involved.

A personal favourite discovery of this year is the Neighbourgood Market in the charming village-esque suburb of Stockbridge. This was the third year of the market, which features some of the best food and drink on offer in Edinburgh. The atmosphere is difficult to describe and seemingly caters to all tastes: intimate yet open, family-friendly yet also with the ambiance of a small festival.

Relaxing to local music or even a pub quiz or two while enjoying some of the most delicious food I've had in a while was a great way to welcome in the warmer weather.

The city also became a pleasure to walk through.

The streets are again bustling with people, and while clusters of tourists clogging up the walkways once frustrated me, the summer sun has put everything into a new light. The city is shining now and I can't blame the tourists for wanting to soak in every sight.

An initial view of Edinburgh might highlight the green parks, signature curvy apartment buildings and various historical sites. There is a lot to see here and so much of it is very very beautiful.

But it's the second looks and backward glances that truly make Edinburgh shine: the little spots of creative artistry decorating a wall; discreet signs alluding to famous tenants who lived here centuries in the past; random strips of metal decorating the pavement in odd locations, the ghost of some older road.

In a few areas, Edinburgh has embraced the concept of "Take a Book, Leave a Book" by setting up quaint little libraries. These charming bookcases dot the city and each one is uniquely and delightfully decorated.

I found that even places where I have walked over and over since childhood were displaying something new and exciting, something I had somehow missed before. It was an unexpected surprise, but not an unwelcome one - to experience the same thing with renewed joy was such a special feeling.

During the height of Lockdown, I felt so apathetic and bored of the world. When the purpose of each walk was purely to escape my flat for a few minutes, I had stopped enjoying them. And there even came a point where I surpassed any longing for Lockdown to end and just regarded any kind of exploration outside my four walls as pointless.

I don't think I even realised this until recently. I suppose, the city only started to open up recently.

The Fringe Festival has only intensified this feeling. I confess, I used to detest the Fringe and the thousands who flocked here year after year, swarming the streets. Now, I can't get enough of it!

Between the street acts, the random exhibitions in random shops, the posters layering every possible surface, even the pop-up stalls - I'm thrilled to see the city so alive.

We very recently visited George Square at night and I was fairly nervous at first. I haven't been out just too much since lockdown ended, and certainly not at night.

But I loved it.

I loved seeing people queuing up at food and drinks stalls and I loved people watching. This wasn't an evening for young adults only - there were children in prams, elderly couples, students, working adults looking for some dinner at the end of their day in the office.

I am falling in love with this city, slowly but surely. Glasgow may be home, but Edinburgh is quickly becoming my haven.


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