Lire en français : 🇫🇷
My ERASMUS stay is almost over and I’ve realized I haven’t been anywhere but in London. The globetrotter in me thus decided to set off on an adventure and to go up North: in Edinburgh, Scotland.
During the journey from London to Edinburgh, the Scottish bus driver made the nationalist pride of the country very much clear: he would only speak a Scottish dialect and us, poor « English » English-speaking tourists, would not understand a thing.
However, on site, I wasn’t confronted to that at all. Maybe it’s because I’m not English but people were very nice and kind and benevolent with me. I have to admit I was surprised. I suppose with the Scottish referendum of last year I had this image of the Scottish people being very nationalist and quite narrow-minded to anyone who was not Scottish. I was so wrong I regret thinking that. Actually, they were even kinder than the English people I’ve encountered! Indeed, as I said in my November 13th, 2015 article, I thought that as opposed to the Parisians and the French in general, the Londoners were quite rude and even impolite (no « please » no « sorry » no « thank you »). In Edinburgh, it was the complete opposite. People were smiling and welcoming, it was all the more so touching as, as I wrote, I was travelling and visiting on my own!
To justify this « rudeness » of Londoners, a rudeness Parisians have too, I would say that it can be because London is such a big city. It’s very vibrant and always on the move. It can be quite stressful and I would understand it makes people irritable.
And even though Edinburgh is quite a big city too, it’s not as big as London or Paris. First of all, the architecture is so picturesque and old, it looks like a village. You have the constant feeling of being in a historical place. I was so amazed I didn’t know which direction to take, I was attracted by the street on my left, on my right, in front of me and behind me. I was amazed at every corner. And Scotland is so different from England: it really has its own identity and its own culture.
As a broke student living in scandalously expensive London, I decided not to take any transport and just walk around Edinburgh. It allowed me to have a good sightseeing and a more « down-to-earth » experience let’s say. I was able to choose where I wanted to go, to take my time and have a direct contact with everyone I would meet. (However if you’d want to take the bus, you should know: there’s FREE WIFI in there 😍!!!) The – side was that I didn’t go very far and I probably missed the beauty of the countryside. But I think it was too cold anyway (it was 12° when I left London, 3° when I arrived in Edinburgh) to enjoy it at best.
Overall, I was really seduced by Edinburgh’s peculiar charm. It’s definitely one of a kind. And so are the Scottish. I’m always moved when people I don’t know are so nice to me and they were no exception to that. The only thing I hated was the weather. Still, Edinburgh is a beautiful place to visit once in your life.