I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with Edinburgh, Scotland, a stark contrast to a dreary and quiet Ireland. A sense of security washed over me as I passed by rows of brick townhouses and was able to glance inside to see elegantly decorated sitting rooms adorned with pianos, paintings and libraries. It didn’t take much to win me over, but I was instantly charmed. During a brisk walk from Waverley station to my friends apartment, we passed by churches, shops and parks as she explained the topography of the city and how it was built in layers. I couldn’t ignore the regal and magical vibes that this sophisticated city was giving off, I knew that the author of the Harry Potter series lived here and used her surroundings for inspiration – perhaps that was why it all felt so familiar. After I dropped my bag off and had a hot cup of tea, we walked back into town for dinner on a route lightly dusted in snow past Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Palace.
Our first stop was Scottish Parliament, where my friend was able to get us both seats to the First Minister’s Questions where we were able to listen and watch the First Minister field questions from members of Scottish Parliament. Hearing what Parliament members considered the country’s top concerns was a great way to get a pulse on the wellbeing and state of affairs, topics ranged from anti-social behavior to terrorism. My friend had commented on how ugly the new Parliament building was from the outside but how amazing it is on the inside, she was right and I was intrigued at how modern and chic it was. For whatever reason, despite the fact that it was nearly 30 degrees outside, the two of us decided to share a very decadent milkshake.