While staying in London, I had the opportunity to visit Edinburgh where my good mates from back in the day Kelsi and Ollie had been living and working. My first full day there was a Friday and my hosts had work to do, so I headed out to explore a little.
I was vaguely headed towards a restaurant called Hendersons, as their menu boasted many delicious-sounding vegan items. However, I became distracted on my walkabout when not ten minutes after leaving the flat I saw a sign for 'Fountainbridge Street Food Friday' and went to check it out. A cute little food market had been laid out next to the Union Canal (a historic canal that opened in 1822 to allow Edinburgh easier access to cheap shipments of coal from the west of Scotland).
Funnily enough, Hendersons had a stall at the market! Seizing the good fortune, I ordered a selection of vegan treats: doner kebab, haggis pie and a coconut cupcake. Yummo!
free walking tour of Edinburgh. Kelsi and Ollie had been on one before, but greatly enjoyed it and said that as it had been a while, they would like to go again. Our guide was engaging and amusing, covering a lot of historical facts and anecdotes while cracking jokes (properly funny ones too). The tour ended in Greyfriars Kirkyard: a churchyard and cemetery. Flodden Wall, one of the old city walls of Edinburgh, ran through the kirkyard marking where the Battle of Flodden took place (an infamous Scottish defeat by the invading English).
Some experiences that I neglected to photograph were:
1. Walking up Calton Hill, which is not as tall as Arthur's Seat but is a lot closer to town and also has brilliant views.
2. Having a barbecue in Harrison Park as the sun set with a bunch of Kelsi and Ollie's friends. It was my first time using a portable BBQ (only £2!), though not my last, and Kelsi and I relived our school days by going on the swings in the playground.
3. Undertaking a coconut oil hair mask, and other messy DIY beauty treatments, which I always look forward to when catching up with Kelsi.
4. Visiting Poundland! I had seen many Poundlands in London, but had never gone in thinking it to be a tacky $2 shop type place. How wrong I was! There are so many useful things in there, and all for £1. When I was in need of a sieve, where did I go? Poundland. Paper towels? Poundland. A big packet of Lotus speculoos biscuits? Poundland! They have all you could ever want, and more. Hair curlers! Batteries! Ollie took it upon himself to get me an Irn-Bru, the national non-alcoholic drink of Scotland. To be honest, I found it to be strange in flavour (sort of like a mix between cream soda and Fanta) and haven't had one since, but at least I can say that I've tried it.
A big thanks to Kelsi and Ollie, who generously shared their flat with me for several days and took the time to show me around their home-away-from-home. I had such a great time and saw a different side to Edinburgh than I had before. Cheers mates!
Today's post was almost called: To Ken Kinship with Kiwis in Kooky Kirkyards