There’s something going on in Scotland

yesno

Our tiny little home country is parading about on the world stage these days. Even American news outlets seem to be aware of the upcoming independence referendum in the land of haggis and bagpipes. As usual, the news jesters seem to be doing the best job of covering this story. Here’s John Oliver’s take: Continue reading

Western Highlands: Ullapool

Ullapool 3

Sunset in Ullapool

When we moved to Scotland, we started asking everyone we met for travel recommendations. “What’s your favorite place to visit?” “Where should we go first?” Often the answer ended up being something along the lines of “just drive up and down the whole west coast of Scotland.” The first chance we got, we did just that. Our first destination (after a spontaneous stop for a tour of Dalwhinnie Distillery) was Ullapool. Continue reading

Life in Edinburgh: jumping from summer to fall

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

The fireworks signifying the end of the Edinburgh International Festival (as seen from our new kitchen window).

August in Edinburgh was a whirlwind of activity: long days filled with festivals, tourists, and fireworks. And then September comes, and the sunsets are suddenly much earlier than they have been, and there’s a tiny, delicate whiff of fall in the air. But that’s not all that is different.

Continue reading

Edinburgh Fringe: Making the Most of the Half Price Hut

Half Price Hut

Spending a day or two at the Fringe can get pretty expensive, but there are several ways to make your ticket budget go farther. One of our favorites is the Half Price Hut, which is open daily from the first Wednesday of the Fringe, 10am to 9pm. Continue reading

Comedy at the Fringe: A cheat sheet for Americans

Some of the many Americans in town for the Fringe.

Some of the many Americans in town for the Fringe.

Lots and lots of Americans visit Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival. Hopefully, many of you are here to enjoy some of the delightful British and international comedy acts performing here this month. To help you get the maximum amount of enjoyment out of these shows, we’ve put together a little cheat sheet of cultural references which are popular in Britain this year, which may not be familiar to those of you who live on the other side of the pond. Continue reading

Edinburgh: Gay for Theater at the Fringe

Flyers and crowds as the Fringe takes over Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Flyers and crowds as the Fringe takes over Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

What a wonderful first week at the Fringe it has been. We have ticket stubs and show flyers coming out our ears, we’re sleep-deprived, and the pedometer on my iPhone is very proud of me. I’ve seen 31 shows already (just 3,162 left to go and I’ll have seen them all).

Looking at the top-rated shows on our theater list at the moment, there’s a theme that runs through many of them: gay gay gay. Some are serious dramatic works, some are hilarious comedies, and some manage to be both at the same time. Continue reading

Edinburgh Fringe: Opening Weekend and 2-for-1 days

A rainy day at the Fringe

A rainy day at the Fringe

Wheeeee, this is fun! The Edinburgh Fringe officially started on Friday (although previews had been running since Wednesday), and the crowds showed up right on time. It takes significantly longer to walk across town these days, with all the tourists and flyerers in your way (I need to stop walking like a New Yorker – it only leads to frustration). It’s relatively quiet over in our corner of New Town, but the Old Town is packed to the gills. Continue reading

Preview Days at the Edinburgh Fringe

FringePreviewDays

Excuse us if we seem a little distracted these days. The world’s largest arts festival just rolled into town, you see, and we have been caught up in a whirlwind of entertainment. Continue reading

Scotland: in search of the Holy Grail at Doune Castle

Doune Castle Scotland

Doune Castle

Scotland is full of castles. We could spend years here and never get around to seeing them all. And the ones we have seen (much like churches in Italy) start to blend together in our memories so we’re not sure what was where. Doune Castle, however, stands out from the castley crowd.  Continue reading

Expat life: How to buy a home in Scotland*

SOLD(*not really a how-to guide of any sort)

The craziest thing just happened: we became the owners of our very own little piece of Edinburgh. It’s an old piece of an old building, tucked away in a corner of the Edinburgh New Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. It combines the wear and tear of an almost-200-year-old structure with the overlaid decor aesthetics of a 1970s-era DIYer, and it’s ours, all ours.   Continue reading

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