“A queer compromise between a fairytale and a battleground is the very quintessence of Edinburgh”
– Devon Morton
There are certain places in this world we fall in love with the moment we set our eyes on it. Sometimes we are so mesmerized that it takes time to form into words what makes us feel the way we do. And not everything that is beautiful can cast the kind of spell that Edinburgh could.
The first time I learnt about this medieval city was three years ago, while I sipped away a tall glass of cranberry juice stacked with ice cubes at a riverside pub in Kingston. “It’s pronounced edin-bruh, not edin-burg. Try getting there one of these weekends. It’s a beautiful place”, Marc said. Ignoring the embarrassment of having mispronounced it, I fell in love with the Scottish ring in the name, my affair started that autumn evening. I have had many fantasies of visiting Scotland since, none close to the magical first impressions when we we finally made it there in October last year. Sriram and I arrived just after Edinburgh’s festival fringe, the world’s biggest art festival, on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon.
Edinburgh greeted us with an enchanting canvas of medieval architecture, castles and hills overlooking an uncountable bunch of hidden lanes and ruins. So when we whisked ourselves away to a breathtaking airbnb in Leith, we were thrilled in anticipation to experience it all. There is never enough time to consume all the rich history and magic in this city. Nevertheless, we decided that the best way to do it is on foot.
It’s hard to not lose your way in certain parts of Edinburgh, there are way too many lanes meandering through the heart of the city that some of them could occasionally muddle up google maps. And whilst we were hilariously lost most of the time, we walked into some gorgeous cobblestone alleys, stone houses and lush rose gardens (the kind of life I love). Our favorites were the Circus Lane and Dean village, both quiet and far away from hustle and bustle of tourist spots. The Dean village adjoins the Damside, also a quaint little residential area dotted by arched bridges over veins of the water of Leigh. Sriram and I try not to be the typical tourists when we travel and are looking for offbeat places that give us as much an authentic experience as possible of being a local. We had fun and a lot of good memories to keep.