This week was filled with French classes and sightseeing with Lena’s friend, who was in town. On Monday we went to Rue Mouffetard, got Greek crepes (again) and walked through the Saint Michel area. From there, we walked all the way back to Bastille, despite our heavy backpacks.
Tuesday we went to Invalides for a fun school project- Invalides is actually where Napolean is buried! We also got lunch at a nice brasserie near the National Assembly and had delicious steak hache.
With class, we also went to the Pantheon, where apparently great men are buried (and two women). It is a pretty weird building because it went back forth from being a church to a crypt back to a church and then back again to a crypt for many years. The most exciting part of the excursion was seeing Victor Hugo’s grave.
The rest of the week was filled with homework, random errands, relaxing and eating hamentaschen. This week I even tried the Chinese take out restaurant on my block and was pleasantly surprised. We also (the American University ACCENT ladies) went to a classical music concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the Saint Chapelle church. It was absolutely freezing in the church, but the music was great!
Later in the week I actually went to Edinburgh, Scotland with my friend who was studying abroad in London. I landed a few hours before he did so I went to check into our Airbnb apartment solo. I hopped on the bus from the airport and then realized I had no idea where to actually get off and since it was dark out, I couldn’t see the street signs outside. I ended up going up to the front of the bus and asking the driver to let me know when I should get off.
After successfully tackling the bus all by myself, I started walking to the apartment and of course, my phone ran out of battery. Luckily, I had written down the directions but I was little uneasy walking around alone in the dark. I ran into a nice looking lady, and she actually helped me a lot. I also stopped for another Chinese take away (it was the only option near the apartment).
On Saturday, we bought a 24 hour ticket for one of those “hop-on, hop-off” tour buses. We walked around the old town, saw a bunch of amazing things and buildings, most notably the castle.
We grabbed lunch at this place called OINK that does amazing pulled pork sandwiches. It was delicious! All the novelty shops around the city are filled with clan tartan and amazing trinkets, so of course we stopped in all of them. Then, a bit later in the day, we stopped at a trendy coffee spot called Wellington Coffee. For the rest of the afternoon, we wandered around the central part of town, popping into a few shops and eventually finding our way to a hip Asian fusion bar/lounge/restaurant called Bar Soba.
Sunday morning, we got an earlier start to the day, put our bags in storage at Waverly Train Station and went to the famous The Elephant House cafe, where J.K. Rolling wrote Harry Potter. It was very cute, cozy and the sausage rolls were delicious. For the rest of the day, we hopped on a different one of the bus routes and ventured to other parts of the city we hadn’t seen the day before. We walked around, stopped in a pub for lunch (fish and chips) and then made our way to the airport.
Edinburgh is an absolutely dream. It is everything you want in a city; historical, walkable, good public transportation, good food and coffee and good shopping. I will definitely be back!