I got into Edinburgh yesterday, but it feels like I've been here my whole life! Just like Brussels felt really foreign to me, Edinburgh feels completely like home! I got in yesterday afternoon, and decided to walk the royal mile. I felt so comfortable and happy, which was a great relief after the homesickness I was feeling before! On my walk back down from the castle, I took a side trip to The Elephant House, a cute cafe where the first two Harry Potter books were written! JK Rowling sat at a table in the back with a view of Edinburgh castle to inspire her, so I did the same while I ate my delicious vegetable chili! Then I finished the mile, and went back to the hotel for the program orientation. The orientation was just like every other one, where they basically take forever to tell you stuff they could convey in half the time, and read you stuff from the packet they have given you instead of trusting you have the ability to read yourself. Really frustrating when you want to explore a new place! The good thing though is that I have met some great people from the Arcadia program! After the orientation had finished yesterday, a group of us decided to go explore the pub scene, and one of the guys knew someone who lives here, so we got a fully escorted tour! It was really great fun!
Today we were in orientation for another grueling four hours in the morning, and then they gave us some time to have lunch and do a scavenger hunt of the city. Since I had talked up The Elephant House so much, we went back there for lunch. People got various pastries and they were all so amazingly tasty!
For dinner tonight we had a Scottish cooking class at the Edinburgh Cooking School. It was SO much fun!! We made smoked salmon pastry things, savory cheese scones, this bean dip thing similar to hummus, apple cinnamon crumble, and shortbread! It was all so so so yummy! I think I ate more than I ever have eaten before, and feel a little bit like I might explode now, but it was worth it. Most amazing food of my life. When my parents and Karl come visit in March I think maybe I'll try to cook it all again! The scones and shortbread were my favorite I think. So amazing, and so much fun to cook it! It definitely made me want to take more cooking classes!
Tomorrow we have more orientation stuff, and then are doing a tour of the national galleries, and then we're off to our homestay in Stirling! I'm so excited to get to Stirling and get myself situated in my new home! And I am SO excited to not be living out of a suitcase anymore! I never thought I would have such intense daydreams of a dresser!
Well it's 1:17 here and I'm knackered, so I think that will be all for now. See you in Stirling! Woohoo!