Week 7: More Paris and a Wee Bit of Scotland

This week was filled with French classes, my two accent classes as well as a bit of sight seeing with Lena’s friend!   On Monday we went to Mouffetard, got Greek crepes and then walked through the Saint Michel area.  We then made our way from Notre Dame back to ACCENT, by the Bastille.   It was still wonderful weather so despite our heavy book bags the walk was still enjoyable.   Tuesday we went to Invalides for a school project but I had never been before so that was fun.  (Invalides is where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried).  We also had lunch at a nice brasserie near the National Assembly for steak hache.
We also went to the Pantheon, where “great men are buried” (and two women).  It is a pretty confusing building, because it went back and forth from a church to a crypt to a church and then back to a crypt for many many years.  The most exciting part of that excursion was seeing Victor Hugo’s grave… as I am a huge VH fan.  If you don’t know who he is… look him, you will be surprised to know that you probably do!
The rest of the week was filled with homework, random tasks/ errands, relaxing and hamentaschen. This week I even tried the Chinese take out restaurant on my block and was pleasantly surprised.  Oh! We (the AU ACCENT ladies) went to a classical music concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in the beautiful Saint Chapelle church… it was extremely cold in there.
Friday after class, I met Lena and Katie in the Marais for falafel, finished packing and headed to the airport for another adventure.   (Oh and of course I picked up hamentashen because it was Purim weekend!)
To Edinburgh, Scotland!!
I landed in Edinburgh a few hours before my friend, so I headed solo to check into the apartment.  I landed in Edinburgh at about 6:30 pm and easily found myself on a bus that would take me close to the rental apartment.  After a few stops on the bus I realized that I had no idea when to get off.  I knew what stop it was but it was dark so I couldn’t see the signs on the bus stop or the street.  Also, unlike London buses they don’t announce or project what stop you are at.  I promptly google mapped our route and approximated the time to my stop.  When I was about 15 minutes away I made my way to the front of the bus and asked the driver to kindly let me know when I should get off.
After successfully tackling the bus by myself, I began making my way to the apartment on foot and of course my phone runs out of battery.  Luckily, I had written down the walking directions but I was a little uneasy walking around a place I was unfamiliar with, in the dark and without a phone, alone.   I asked a nice looking lady if I was headed the right direction and she was super helpful in my navigation.
En route to the apartment I realized that one street I was supposed to take a right on to was actually a left, after hitting a dead end.   I also realized I hadn’t had dinner and was starving so I found a Chinese take away place and got some food to go.   After picking up my food my apartment was pretty easy to locate.  I then hunkered down on the couch with my Chinese food and BBC3
On Saturday we ended up buying a 24hr ticket for those “hop on hop off” bus tours so that we could hear about history whilst sitting in a heated double-decker bus.  Everybody wins.  We walked around the old town and saw a bunch of amazing things, including but  Edinburgh castle.

 

 

 

We ended up eating lunch at this place called OINK that I had read about online and had amazing pulled pork sandwiches!  The amount tartan shops in Edinburgh is ridiculous and of course we stopped in the majority of them.  Then we headed to a cool place called Wellington Coffee, for well, coffee.  It was very yummy!  For the rest of the afternoon we wandered around downtown and popped into Top Shop until it was a socially acceptable time for dinner.  For dinner we are at this super hip Asian fusion bar/ lounge/ restaurant called Bar Soba and it was pretty good.

 

 

Sunday we got an earlier start and went to put our bags into storage at the Waverly Train Station.  After that we went to the famous The Elephant House cafe, where JK Rolling wrote her books (Harry potter).   We had sausage rolls and lattes… Nothing wrong with that!

 

For the rest of Sunday we hopped on another of the bus routes to see the coast and other parts of the city that we hadn’t seen before.. Alex slept most of the way but I enjoyed it!   We then walked around a bit more and ended up at a typical Scottish pub for lunch where we split fish and chips.  (Heck yes).
We then wentto the airport, said our goodbyes and headed on our way.  Overall I really really enjoyed Edinburgh.  It’s a typical British city, however it is was smaller than London and a bit more quaint.  All of the streets are windy and cobblestone and the city is built on and around a hill.  It is both modern and historical and I would completely recommend visiting!
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