Hoachin' Edinburgh

"Hoachin'" is apparently an old Scottish word for "very busy," and what a very busy bee I've been. To anyone reading, sorry it's taken me so long to update! I'll use what pictures I've taken so far to recount as best I can all the fun I've been having these past three days.

First off, our flat is BEAUTIFUL. White everything -- bedding, walls, bathrooms -- and loads of windows, giving the whole place a bright, warm feeling. It's sort of like a really cozy hospital, if that isn't a complete oxymoron. It's too large to call quaint and too picturesque to called sprawling. So I think spacious and quirky-sweet is a good sum-up.

Here's the main eating area -- a great deal dimmer than the rest of the flat, but lovely with the lights on.

 Vertigo-inducing stairs...

 Our sitting room:

 and views from the flat.

One of my classmates described Scotland as "wonderfully efficient" in general. I think that's a pretty good reasoning. I can't quite explain how/why everything here is so much more adorable. I feel like that's probably a kind of cliche sort of thing to say about Britain, but really...it's so marvelous how well-preserved their history is, and the various aesthetics that have remained as a result. There is some really gorgeous architecture going on here...

and beside that, some overall adorable bits:

Unicorns and English and Scotland. It's like my version of Hogwarts.

This is exactly the sort of dog you'd expect to see in the window of a Scottish whiskey shop.

KILLER shoes.

Speaking of wee bites...

 ...I've found heaven.

Okay, maybe three times.
This drink menu was posted outside at the cafe J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter books in, The Elephant House. I didn't go inside on our first journey through Old Town, but I intend to go back a get "Fleur's Delight." I have this theory that, since no other drinks or nibbles listed on the menu were named after anything related to Harry Potter, this must be where Rowling drew her inspiration for her fiery French veela... eh?

Here is, of course, the castle which inspired Hogwarts:

Beyond the world of Harry Potter I have been completely nerding out over everything else in Edinburgh, as can be gathered from the sole facial expression I seem to be able to effect in this city:

The festival has already turned Edinburgh into an anthill. People really do come from everywhere, and it's always fun to identify the Americans, since we stick out like sad, sad fashion police victims. And it is true that we are very loud. At least in groups.

So far, our days have been spent exploring, window shopping, munching, and, in Joey Shaw's case, busking:

There are interesting sights to see everywhere.

Tomorrow we leave for a nearby loch tour and lecture, and we've already had our first living-room class. Our tickets were distributed -- 23 shows lined up already, and more to come!!! -- and on the 4th I'm already set to see 3 of them. I am pumped to see some good (and questionably good) theatre....

Lots of love,

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