A day by the sea in Leith

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I spent Friday afternoon in Leith, the port of Edinburgh and about a 45 minute walk from my flat. It’s a cool section of the city, and one that actually reminds me quite a bit of NYC. It’s sort of the Edinburgh version of Queens–lots of families, laundromats, charity shops, and bakeries. We didn’t have a destination–just the sea! So we walked down Princes Street and headed towards the sea, not really caring where we ended up. Be warned–these pictures do not capture how beautiful the port really was, particularly because it was cloudy and overcast from sun-up to sun-down (aka 4:30 pm….it’s getting better!!).

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Leith is a typical dockside neighborhood–run down, sort of trashy, but full of character. The women dress like they are from the Jersey Shore and there were whisky shops inside the mall. We found Ocean Terminal, a really upscale mall (sort of out of place) that also housed the entrance to the Royal Yacht Britannia. Britannia has been out of commission for the past few years but used to be the royal family’s yacht. It’s where Diana and Charles honeymooned and hundreds of heads of states have dined. It looks just like the Titanic! I didn’t go on because it was an expensive tour, and I’d rather go when Meg comes to visit so she can enjoy it, too.

The HMS Britannia

The HMS Britannia

We wandered around the port for a while, armed with chai lattes and fuzzy scarves. I was surprised by how quiet it was, for being (what I would call) rush hour on a Friday. It was just us in the port, a beautiful area that looks like something out of Epcot. It felt really nice to have some fresh air and a break from the city center.

An impulse buy in the Britannia gift shop

An impulse buy in the Britannia gift shop

Leith was a nice break, and I’m glad that I made it over there so early in the semester. One of my professors lives there and she’s been telling us some fantastic stories about Leith’s creepy history. It has some cool spots that we didn’t make it to, including a home where Mary, Queen of Scots took shelter in on her conquering return to Scotland. This was a fairly uneventful post, but truly was a nice getaway for a rainy Friday!

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