Bagpipes and Book Writers

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland, to me, always meant… what? Heavy accents, kilts, bagpipes, and sheep. I can’t pinpoint the reasons these images correlate to Scotland, but they do. Even so, I surprised myself with shock when I saw a man in a kilt, playing the bagpipes on the street. And he wasn’t the only one! The more we walked, the more we saw – or at least heard their peculiar sound. How adorable!

I also give this man (and all the other bagpipers out there) props. He can rock a kilt and play this mysterious instrument to a T. His manliness rating climbs the charts in my book!

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During our weekend in Edinburgh, which proved to be a truly fantastic city with plentiful amounts of royal and literary history, we came upon a quaint coffee shop filled to brim with influential power. The Elephant House. Not only home to hundreds of elephant paintings, pictures, articles, and statues but also a favorite inspirational spot for author J.K. Rowling. According to the shop, she spent day after day sitting in this cafe, turning her imagination into Harry Potter. I was hooked to this place purely from my new-found love and affection for elephants, but after hearing about its importance, I was swooning over it. It was as if I could sit down, see Edinburgh castle and the rest of the city out the very window this world-renowned author looked through, and find the words to my own book.

If only.

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Although I couldn’t find the words to any book-in-the-making, I did thoroughly enjoy this city. With its hilly demeanor, there are numerous lookouts over the entire city – from Arthur’s Seat (a rough 800+ ft climb) to the castle’s hilltop and to Calton Hill on the far side of town – which in turn are excellent front row seats to a picture perfect sunset.

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Do As the French Do

I find it a prerogative of mine to act as the locals in each countries, this way I receive an experience most like those living there. So, per this decision, when in France this past weekend I did as the French do.

I, after some hesitation and surprise, properly greeted friends – with two kisses on the cheek. I had the largest crepe I’ve ever seen – and let me tell you, it was completely worth it. The ham, egg, and cheese filled me up for the rest of the day! I ventured new seafood: Moules Frites (or mussels and fries). I devoured several macaroons and a true, chocolate-filled croissant for the first time. I would say I could have passed as being French.

It was a process to correct the two-kiss greeting and definitely a shock the first time. I couldn’t help but let out a giggle when a nice gentlemen leaned in on me and my reflexes almost slapped him back. What a sight that would have been! The language barrier was also unexpected. The only non-English speaking country I’ve traveled is Mexico, and even then I was able to use the little Spanish I knew to communicate. This was more of an adventure, and a little struggle. I was thankful to be guided by someone who had a grasp on the language or there would have been far too many times of me standing, deer-in-the-headlights, staring back at those speaking.

Overall, this visit was my favorite. It could have been the new atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence, or the tour of the lovely Marseille, or the familiar face of meeting up with a great friend from America. I cherish those short days we were able to share our European undertakings, laugh together, and encourage each other. France would be worth a return trip – more adventure, more fun to be had.

Au Revoir!

xx

 

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