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Revisiting the ‘Edinburgh Bucket List’

Towards the mid-point of the semester, I made a list of the things that I wanted to do with my remaining time in Edinburgh. Now that I’m back home in the States, I thought going back to the list would be a good way of reflecting on the latter half of my semester.

1. Climb Arthur’s Seat

Thankfully, as predicted, I did manage to do this. Twice. The first time was with Karen and Morgan. Because we absolutely refused to not climb Arthur’s Seat, we sat down and picked a day in between all of our exams when we could all manage a study break for a few hours. Though it started to rain as we made our way towards Holyrood, by the time we got to the base of the volcano, it was sunny again. We managed to correctly choose the less difficult route (apparently a lot of tourists accidentally take the difficult path to the top) and made it to the top in about an hour. It’s a beautiful walk to the summit, and the path was surrounded by these gorgeous yellow flowers that somehow smelled like coconut. It was, however, ridiculously windy. I was literally blown over and had to sit/crawl when we got to the summit. The views were still out of this world and I would highly recommend making the trip if you get the chance. Afterwards, we stopped to refuel at Mimi’s Bakehouse on The Royal Mile, checking off another item on our list of things to do during the semester.
The second time I climbed Arthur’s Seat it was 5AM and I was alone. Towards the end of the semester, my sleep schedule got completely messed up, probably due to the two all-nighters I pulled and just general insomnia. Once the sun started to rise, I gave up on trying to sleep and decided to try to climb Arthur’s Seat again, taking the route that starts near Pollock Halls. It was significantly more difficult. I don’t know if it’s because I just took a wrong turn on my way up, but there were moments when I was basically rock climbing It was really fun, but in hindsight probably not the smartest thing to do alone and with no sleep. After I reached the top, I rested for awhile just looking over the city. It was still only around 6 AM, so everything was insanely quiet and peaceful. I then spontaneously decided to walk to Leith and hit another bucket list item.

2. Spend the day in Leith 

3. Have a picnic in the Meadows

This just did not happen. But Karen, Morgan, and I had so many picnics on our Spring Break trip that it didn’t even really matter.

4. Go to a show or gig

So this kind of happened in that we went to Student Band Night at Teviot one evening. But other than that, I didn’t make it to any other gigs. We did, however, go to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, which was excellent and so well done.

5. Go to the National Gallery

As I said in the original post, I went with my friend Steph. It’s a really nice gallery – small enough to be manageable but still large enough to be interesting and entertaining for a few hours. Steph and I accidentally spent like three hours just wandering around, talking, and looking at the paintings, especially those where babies were drawn with less than perfect accuracy. I’m not an artist or art critic, but for some of the paintings it was like the artist had never seen a baby in real life.
I also ended up going to the gallery a second time, but with Morgan and Karen. Karen and I were looking at paintings to get inspiration for our Visualising Scotland paper, so we focused on the Scottish artists like JMW Turner.

Though I ended up doing a decent job of checking off the ‘bucket list’ items, there were still a lot of things I didn’t get to do. Once we returned from Spring Break, life just got really busy with things like preparing for final exams and writing papers. But when I inevitably return to Edinburgh (how could I not, it’s my new favorite city), I will make sure to do things like go to the top of the Scott Monument and walk out to Cramond Island. Even though I didn’t get to do absolutely everything I wanted to, it was still an amazing semester and probably the best five months of my life thus far.


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