Well, if I thought having enthusiasm and excitement about this semester might have been a problem, I have already proven myself wrong. Waking up easily at 8:45 (still 3:45 back home) in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep is not quite common for me...plain excitement probably doesn't even amount to what describes this.
Much has happened within our first day here. After being relatively awake for two whole days, exhaustion was inevitable. However, after a quick nap, we were up and at it riding on the top decker of a double decker bus on our way to the farmer's market. Deciding to guess at when we had to get off, we also included a nice walk around the castle (which is in the middle of the city), and finally made it to the farmer's market. That was definitely excitement point number one. All of the vendors were very friendly and helpful and had wonderful goods (everything from minced lamb to 1 pound(dollar) cupcakes!). Apparently, we flew however many thousand miles in order to eat good raspberries. I'd say that makes it a success right there.
We then made a fantastic decision to walk across town to go see where I'll be living. On the way, Mom bought herself a beautiful woolen hat that will definitely serve her well over here and in the winter back home. Pictures will follow eventually, btw. Although I haven't been able to fall back asleep because I've been too excited, I'm still too tired to get up and find my camera.
Continuing on our trek we decided to walk through the Meadows, which is practically the central park of Edinburgh, just with fewer trees and people, but, of course, more soccer games.
I found the cafe that I will be frequenting almost daily until it closes for the season. It is on the edge of the Meadows and looks out onto the Meadows, and it has a great variety of foods and drinks served in dishes from charity shops, I believe. The whole place seemed very Hampshire-like in it's character, which is neat.
Eventually we made it to my University housing complex (like an apartment complex) and creeped in windows to see what the flats would look like. the kitchens have been mostly refurbished, so that's nice. The accommodations in general are relatively similar to Hampshire's so I'm fine with whatever I get at this point. It's in a residential area which is pretty quiet, making it something nice to come home to. The city is a quick bike ride away and easily accessible.
After coming to terms with the housing and getting excited about it, we decided to find the bicycle co-op to get info about getting a used bike for me for the semester. What we found was a cornucopia of bicycles (cycles, as they call them), many at prices much less expensive than a comparable bike in the U.S. So, of course one had to be purchased, seeing as though the effects of bunion surgery are being felt more persistently than had been expected, as well as the fact that the city is quite large, and I enjoy using a bike as a method of exercise. We wouldn't have been able to find a used one for half as good of a price, that's for sure. Definitely one of the better Chanukah presents to date.
Edinburgh is shaping up to be a wonderful place to spend a semester (as everyone has encouraged me so far, of course). I'm indubitably excited to have this bicycle, access to a lovely farmer's market, and, of course, this city which is overflowing with interesting things to see and do. I will definitely post pictures soon, and update the adventure!
(Written Sept 2, 9AM)