I'm Back in Scotland! (And here's what I've been up to...)

One of the many benefits of posting photos on my blog is that, unlike when I post photos to Facebook, I have the luxury of being able to provide both context and a short narrative to each of my photos.  While I essentially could do this with each photo I upload to Facebook, just trust me when I say that would seem to be a bit much.

Anyway, this is my chance to share a few (or a little more than a few) photos from my past four days transitioning back to Scotland with you, my lovely readers.

This was my first time flying from Boston to New York City, and then to Edinburgh. And while the timing of the flights went off without a hitch,  I was a little bit disappointed with the in-flight entertainment (or, really, lack thereof). It was nice to be able to arrive in Edinburgh straight away and go through immigration control there, though!

When we arrived at our hotel at 9AM on Friday, our room was, unfortunately, not ready- and wouldn’t end up being ready until about four hours later. Despite our extreme feeling of jet lag, my parents and I decided to spend some time at the National Museum of Scotland - a beautifully curated museum of both history and culture.

Once our room was ready, we basically slept until dinner. And even though we were still tired, that night’s dinner was definitely something we didn’t want to sleep through! Mother India has to be one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I first went to this Indian tapas-style restaurant with my friends, and from then on I’ve been hooked! The butter chicken and peshwari naan (a sweet, coco-nutty  bread) are addictive!

Our food-adventures continued the next day with a little lunch trip to Peter’s Yard. This Swedish bakery and cafĂ© features homemade breads and strong coffee. It’s definitely not to be missed if you’re ever in Edinburgh.

Our second day was also my move-in day! The prospect of living in a flat this year- not at all affiliated with the school (meaning no meal plan)- has been very nerve-wracking. But all most of those fears went away when I finally was able to see our flat! It’s absolutely gorgeous and a lot bigger than I remember. I’ll definitely get around to doing a “flat tour” post once we’re all settled in- but for now, here’s a snap of the view from my room!

That night, we indulged in some major pizza cravings at Civerino's- a sourghdough pizza restaurant just off of the Royal Mile. Despite it's location, it definitely didn't have a touristy vibe. The homemade pasta was incredibly fresh, and the frozen aperol cocktail brought me back to being in Italy last summer! 

The next day (my dad's last day in town) was spent exploring Rosslyn Chapel, a very worthwhile site just a short bus trip from the city center. Rosslyn Chapel gained fame from being mentioned in the DaVinci Code novel and featured as a site in the movie by the same name. I've yet to either read the book or see the movie (I was too young when it was popular!), but I still found the interior of the chapel, with it's innumerable stone carvings, to be fascinating. One of my favorite "mysteries" of the chapel is that while the building dates back to the early 15th century, there are carvings of corn on the walls- a crop that supposedly wasn't introduced in Europe until after 1492 when Columbus discovered America. This indicates that perhaps other explorers (namely, Scottish explorers) visited America before Columbus, and imported corn to Europe. It just goes to show that the way history is written in our textbooks isn't always exactly how it played out.

My dad's last night in Edinburgh finished with a lovely dinner at the Scran and Scallie, a Scottish restaurant owned by Tom Kitchin, a world renowned chef. Here, I had partridge for the first time and the three of us enjoyed some traditional, live Scottish music. 

And this brings us to today! My dad left to go back to Boston this morning so he could go back to work, and my mom and I continued on to Oban- a coastal town in Western Scotland. The train ride was about five hours total, however, it went by pretty quickly for me since I slept most of the time! Luckily, I didn't miss all the scenery and was able to snap this picture of some of the picturesque countryside. 

Oban is so stunning. Its quaint characteristics and charm reminds me of a lot of the coastal towns in New England (many of which I visited this summer, hah). No matter where you walk or sit, you're bound to have a striking view of the ocean and mountains. 

My mom and I couldn't resist popping into this chocolate shop we initially walked by on our way to the hotel. I had an iced dark mocha which was out of this world- it basically tasted like a hot chocolate, but cold. 

See? I told you the view was amazing! This is Oban at sunset- it's really fantastic. 

Our night ended with (of course) some more eating. We did some extensive research on which restaurant served the best fish and chips in town. Oban Fish and Chip Shop turned out to be the winner on paper- and it certainly didn't disappoint! The fish was perfectly flaky, and the mushy peas were way better than I anticipated. 

Being back in Scotland has been fantastic so far- from settling into the flat to traveling all the way to Oban. I know that once I get into the swing of things back at the flat in Edinburgh, reality might finally hit me that I actually need to take care of myself (whether it's laundry, all three meals every day, or keeping the bathroom clean). But for now it's all about relaxing and enjoying these last few days with my mom! 

Oh, and relishing the fact that I don't have to pay for anything as long as she's around ;) 

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