Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snowflakes in the City

Today was definitely one of the best days I have had since arriving to Scotland this past September. It is hard to believe that when I left the States just three months ago it was close to 90 degrees. The weather has dropped in Edinburgh, and has been hovering in the low 30's all week. You may remember from yesterday's post the city got it's first taste of snow this season. The pictures below are the views from my flat at Pollock.

My office

Last night on my walk home from a fabulous night out with friends, the snow started to shower down again. This morning when I woke up, it was still snowing and in total we got around 6 inches! After filling my stomach with a traditional Scottish breakfast two of my friends and I bundled up in our snow gear and headed out to play in the snow! We climbed up Arthur's Seat and every direction we looked were people enjoying the snow and sledding down the hillsides. It was great!

Karate Kid Style!

I really need to invest in a good sled!

Rad and Kristin even had some extreme snow ball fights which I had the privilege of documenting. Even though Rad towers over my friend Kristin, being from Buffalo she was able to sneak in some good snow ball shots!

Still friends in the end!

Last weekend at Firbush I spent the day hiking up a mountain. So, we decided to head to one of the peaks on Arthur's seat. The views made the hike worth wile!

As the sun was setting the fog started rolling in over the city. The views were beautiful and unfortunately my camera does not do the sights justice!

After returning from our 3 hour hike in the snow, I ran into my good friend Nik who was stuck with his car in a parking lot.  Nik is from Edinburgh and has never attempted to drive in the snow. Thanks to my mom I learned to drive in the snow when I was younger. So I hopped in the car and helped Nik get out of the parking lot. Then we went for a ride around the city. I explained to him the concept of "doing doughnuts" in a parking lot. He loved it!
Nik stuck in his car:(

Tonight I am having some friends over for an Italian dinner and movie. There is nothing better than some good comfort food after a day playing in the snow.  Forecast for the week: Snow, snow, and more snow! Until next time, I will see you on the internet.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Last night when I was heading to bed, snow started falling. I felt like a little kid this morning when I drew back the curtain and to my delight the city was covered in snow! This is my first snow since moving to Scotland and it was so picturesque.  On Thursday the German Christmas Markets started in downtown Edinburgh, so I decided to bundle up and take a stroll through the winter wonderland to check them out this morning.  Back in 2005 my mom and I went on a Christmas Market tour of Eastern Europe. It was one of my all time favorite vacation's, so when I found out that Edinburgh celebrated the holiday's with Christmas Markets I knew I would be in for a treat. 

The sidewalks were quite slick with ice on the walk down to the markets but the sun was out and shinning bright. I arrived at the markets after a 20 minute walk from my flat, and I was delighted to see that not only do they have traditional Christmas market vendors but they also have a mini amusement park full of carnival rides and an ice skating rink!

Their were also a variety of food vendors where you could buy candies, sweets, sausage, crepes, german pretzels, hot roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and much more!

There were also shops where you could buy an assortment of different gifts. I especially enjoyed the vendor where they had animal hats and highland cow slippers!

If you fancy a fortune reading there is even a wild gypsy on hand to tell you what lies in your future....

 And now, back to more food.....

 Chocolate covered peppers anyone? 

The picture below shows a desert called chocolate covered kisses. They are marshmallows with a waffle coating dipped in various chocolates. Yum!

When we saw chocolate covered strawberry's my friend Amy and I couldn't help but indulge and as you can imagine they were magically delicious!

Giant gingerbread cookies to welcome all the people to the city

Since the markets started this Thursday the place was crowded with people. It was fun to walk through the crowds and see all of the food people were chowing down on.  

I am really looking forward to taking a ride on the ferris wheel. I am saving this for a night time activity because the markets are decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. I hope to get some pictures of the markets during the night time activities later this holiday season. 

This was an interesting attraction for kids. As you can see each kid gets their own bubble which is on water. They can run and bump into the other bubbles inside the dome. A futurist version of human bumper cars.

The sign below translates to "You are Cordially Welcome." The market definitely put me in the holiday spirit, especially since I missed Thanksgiving this year.  I am really looking forward to the arrival of Christmas! I will be traveling down to Amsterdam to meet up with some family friends and then we are traveling north to London for Christmas.  Going to the markets got me excited for my upcoming trip and I can't wait to spend the holiday's with friends from back home! Until next time, I will see you on the internet.