When I arrived in Edinburgh for the first time I had no idea what to expect. No expectations at all. I did not research, I did not google the pictures or ‘what-to-do’ stuff. I just arrived, grabbed a map from the hostel and went for a wander. 

The old town stunned me right away: with my long travel history, I have never seen anything like that. The buildings were layered behind one another, connected with the wee steep stairways (the closes), layering the city into different levels. Many European cities are beautiful, but nothing is like Edinburgh. I got up the Hight Street (the Royal Mile), took a brief walk to the Castle and decided to come back another day. I was just walking around the Old town with my jaw down, digesting all the beauty and telling myself that yes indeed I had never ever seen anything like this city. And then I found myself standing on the North Bridge, and the world changed forever in a blink of an eye. I was standing in the middle of the bridge, I saw the old town in front of me, the Castle up on the hill on my right, and the most stunning landscape on my left. Sanding in the centre of the city I saw the mountain and the sea. I simply couldn’t believe my eyes, this combination was too perfect, too beautiful, too much to digest! Initially, I wanted to go to the Calton Hill but when I saw the big mountain in the horizon (Arthur’s seat) I changed my plans instantly: Liza sees the mountain, Liza climbs the mountain. I had no idea how to get up there but I just started walking in the direction of it. I got a bit lost but eventually found myself at the bottom of Salisbury Crags (as I learned later). I saw a few people going up the hill and just joined the crowd.

What happened next is something about out of body experience. With every step the view was changing, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking, and it was getting better and better. The wind was nice and warm, the grass was greener than anywhere else in the world, the sky was so low and dramatic… Up at the top, I saw the entire city, the crags and the massive sea line. My jaw was down all the time.

I did not have any expectations about the city, I even thought that it could be a boring old town, but the nature around it, the fresh air – I just got completely high on emotions!  I could not believe this place was real. I kept on telling to myself that I could live here (haha who knew that in just 10 months I’d be moving to Edinburgh). I just never wanted to leave the hill. Walking down I kept on stopping and looking around. I felt like a sponge trying to soak in all the beauty. They call it the Florence syndrome and it was the first and only time that I experienced it (I think they shall rename it into Edinburgh syndrome, by the way).

And that’s the full story. Now having a very first friend of mine visiting me, showing her around I see the same jaw-dropping wowing effect that the city does on her and I fall in love with it even more! I will start writing more about Edinburgh life and my experiences very very soon!

xx, Liza


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