Edinburgh: learning the secrets of the Royal Mile

Secrets Royal Mile 2

The unicorn-topped mercat cross

There are a plethora of walking tours on offer in Edinburgh, with good reason: it’s a highly walkable city, bursting with history, architecture, and monuments all within a relatively compact city center. In the months since we’ve moved here, we’ve walked all over the place, but always in the disorganized manner of those who are not on a walking tour. It was time to change that.  Continue reading

More notes from Christmas in the UK: hampers and crackers and puddings, oh my

UK Christmas 3

This year of doctors and hospitals has distracted us from all the fun that is usually involved in one’s first year as an expat in a new country. Years have various flows in different cultures, with different events and celebrations punctuating the passage of time. Now that Scott is healthy and about to return to work, we were able to exhale and look around us and enjoy our first Christmas in the UK.  Continue reading

Notes from Christmastime in Edinburgh: the markets

Edinburgh Christmas 2

This is our very first December in Edinburgh, and we’ve been looking forward to it all year. It’s always fun to experience the holidays in a new culture. Locals have been talking up the Christmas markets (usually followed by an expectation-managing “But I’m sure it’s nothing like what you had in Germany.”). Christmas goodies started appearing on shop shelves as early as October, making us wonder what new and exciting things we’d get to eat this season. Figgy pudding, perhaps? Continue reading

A day in Scotland: Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, and Glengoyne Distillery

The view from Stirling Castle

The view from Stirling Castle

Most of our recent exploration of the Highlands have been by car (have I mentioned that we now own a car, after 8 years without one?), which has its advantages and disadvantages. One distinct disadvantage is that the driver has to pay attention to the road rather than enjoying the abundant scenery; another is that we have to put in the time and effort to plan our route ourselves.  Continue reading

London: to the theatre!

London's theatre district

Our recent trip to London was scheduled around Book of Mormon tickets. We’d been desperate to see it since it first opened in New York, but tickets were hard to come by during our visits. Luckily we were able to get tickets to see it in London just a couple months in advance. Yay! Continue reading

Wandering down to London

wandering around London 3

a guard at Buckingham Palace

One of the nice things about living in Edinburgh is how easy it is to get to London from here. The train takes just over four hours, departing from the middle of Edinburgh and depositing you at King’s Cross. There are plenty of flights, as well, but once you deal with getting yourself to and from airports, it’s taken you just as long door-to-door (and you’ve had to surrender your liquids). Continue reading

Edinburgh: notes from the pub and other bits of daily life

I take a lot of photos of the castle

Back in April I posted about how we were getting all settled into Edinburgh, how life here was starting to feel normal. The whole settling-in business was quite violently interrupted by Scott’s cancer diagnosis, which made us feel like ‘normal’ was a thing of the past. But here we are again, back on track.

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