My Edinburgh

Today I was flying. Flying through the streets of Edinburgh: through the twists and nooks and cobbled roads of South Bridge and Mile End with a small bouquet of magnolias and cherry blossoms in my hand, shamelessly plucked at the Meadows while no one was watching.

I did not even know, that Edinburgh had more than meets the eye, that it was full of wonders. I thought it was just one huge university with all those schools, colleges and damp cloisters, that it was dry and prim and absolutely not romantic. I was so, so wrong!

While wandering through the town I found dozens of cosy cafes with tiny tables right under cherry trees and loads of cute little restaurants! The smells from their bakeries were simply divine! Running to a morning lecture every day I’d always thought that at 8am Edinburgh smelled of ancient libraries, old books and a local beer brewery. Today it smelled of chocolate!

It was coming from the small shop situated on a tiny zig-zagged street, where it was made and served immediately in front of you. And the chocolate itself was not one of those “mainstream” bars, wrapped in a fancy foil stamped with ‘tm’-s and what-nots, which was also divided into twelve parts telling you how to eat it, how much to bite off and how much would be left. That one was sold in huge chunks and was wrapped in plain brown paper. Can you imagine?! You could break it, you could bite it from whichever side you wanted, lick it smearing your lips with that delicious chocolaty miracle!

On my way I stumbled upon an old toy shop. It was full of dolls and bears and a Christmas tree in May! There were so many bears there! There were bears in three piece tweeds, ballerina bears, bears in cute little kilts with skilfully made bagpipes. There was a dark brown bear in a pince-nez – proper Sir! Even a cute little dolly in a delicate white dress. There was also a bear the colour of sand reading an interesting book and a bear with a top hat and a walking stick… And many-many more! I loved those teddy-bears. Each and every one of them had a story to tell! I’d definitely be back…

And then a strong gust blew out of nowhere and millions of pink petals got scattered along the narrow streets. Those pink clouds burst into cafes and restaurants, fell like confetti into coffee cups, flew into shops and windows, danced in a pink frenzy on the cobble stones. I’d never seen anything like that in my life!

Today I was simply happy.

May, 2008

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