Fort of Odin

Edinburgh. Where to begin on this small but wonderful little city? The name. The original Gaelic name, we learned from our friend and host at the farm, Donnie, was Dunedin, meaning fort (dun) of Odin, the god of war. For whatever reason (I'll have to do a little more research here), New Zealand got this, and Scotland, where it came from, got the English version, translated slightly differently to burgh/town of Odin.

I ramble on about the above partly because I found it to be pretty fascinating and partly because Edinburgh just seemed special. The things we did there weren't necessarily out of the ordinary or even all the things we "should" have done, but we both left feeling/knowing that we will be back.

We didn't tour the castle, we didn't make it to the botanic gardens (supposedly far superior to Glasgow's), we didn't make it to the gallery of modern art (where there were two exhibits we were hoping to catch), and despite our best efforts, we didn't even make it to Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park. What we did do was make a new friend in Morningside, hear some great music at the Royal Oak, get amazed and inspired at the Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop, and hike a trail that goes deceivingly close to, but not actually up to Arthur's Seat (oops).

We were also impressed again and again at the warmth and openness of the Scottish people. I grew up in the Midwest which I've always considered to be a good area for general human courtesy but Scotland raised the bar and set the new standard by which I will judge the friendliness of a place. We also have to thank our Couchsurfing host, Marc, not only for graciously giving us a place to stay, but also for pointing us in the direction of several great places, including Stag Espresso at Dovecot Cafe...part of an old building that was first the public bath in Edinburgh that is now home to a large weaving workshop/studio and gallery space. We managed to catch a pretty great graduate textile show AND some delicious eats before running off to catch our plane to Amsterdam.

Like I said, we will be back.

Location:Edinburgh, Scotland