When I landed in Edinburgh on August 15th, I was a bit weepy. The kind of weepy one has at a homecoming. I thought I would have had this experience when I landed in Stockholm back in June, after such a long time of dreaming up this journey. I would beam and cry tears of joy, perhaps even kiss the ground. And Swedes would be curiously helpful upon seeing me.
Instead, I wandered outside of the gate just like everyone else, got on the express train to Stockholm Central, and went off from there. Jetlagged, tired, and nervous. No "Hollywood" moment.
I know that I can easily live in "Hollywood moments" in my imagination. That's part of what makes me a dreamer, a writer, a romantic. That's okay. It's okay because there are all of the "regular moments," that surprise me and become their own version of cinematic delight when I least expect it.
Nevertheless, landing in Scotland was a dream. It was also familiar. I had been here before. Only three years ago. And here I would spend more than a week or two, here I would be immersed for over a month, exploring the two main cities, and the Highlands.
I have mostly been staying in Air Bnbs on my trip. And they have all been fine. Decent. Perhaps a little dirty or a little worn, but decent. I think I would recommend all of the places I have stayed in, depending on what one is looking for.
But in Edinburgh, I found a really sweet place. Buddha iconography, statues, paintings surrounded spider plants and precious gemstones. Encouraging decorative art with things like "You are a (star symbol)" lined crisp white walls. There was even a large AMPERSAND sitting on top of the bookshelf. And the books included two of my favorites: Women Who Run With The Wolves and The Art of Happiness. The kitchen was the cleanest kitchen I think I've ever seen. Everything was perfect. Quiet. Peaceful. Kind.
I could write a whole blog post about energy in homes and how we create our environment, and maybe I will, but for now, I will say, that the woman from whom I rented the flat truly has created a remarkably welcoming and inviting space. And what I kept thinking was not just how fortunate and blessed I was to have the space for the week, but how blessed she is for creating that space for herself.
Edinburgh was also special because I met up with my parents. They were returning from a week+ tour across the Highlands and Edinburgh was their last stop before flying out. It was delightful spending a couple of days with them before they left for home (Seattle). We wandered through the Royal Botanical Gardens, museums, saw a play (The Glass Menagerie), and swapped stories about where we had been and where else we want to travel to. They might go to Vancouver Island this fall while I'll be going to Eastern Canada.
Edinburgh is bustling this time of year. It's the Fringe Festival, the Book Festival, the International Festival. Thousands of people all wandering around a fairly small city. It's fun and festive and you can't help but be swept up in the energy of it all. I often found myself wandering back to Charlotte Square, where the Book Festival is (much in the same way that I always felt pulled back toward the area around Notre Dame in Paris). I love New Town. I love the cafes. And the people who live and work in Edinburgh feel friendly, relaxed, and generous.
Yesterday, with some grumbling, I left Edinburgh, left the cozy apartment that I had come to love, for Glasgow. I didn't want to leave. But I knew Glasgow too, from previous trips, and I enjoy it. It's so different from Edinburgh, which is a little surprising given how close the two cities are to one another (it's only an hour by bus).
And now I'm in Glasgow. Sitting at my favorite cafe, which serves up delicious food and excellent coffee. Wooden tables, two floors, gentle music. It's rainy and cool out.
*Tickety Boo. It means "Just Grand."