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I can’t believe it… I leave Edinburgh in three days.  It’s been just about a year – eleven months – and the time has flown.

Now I’m getting all sentimental.  No more walking past castles and cathedrals every day.  No more glorious view from the kitchen window.  No more day trips to beautiful places, hiking in the highlands, flying to foreign lands…

But I’ll be home with the people I love and somehow, I’m okay with that too.

With the Olympics going on down in England and the Fringe festival approaching this week and the regular summer tourists flooding the city, Edinburgh is completely mad.  It’s packed with people.  And they’re photographing everything.   They even photograph my building on a regular basis and gawk at me as I enter or exit.

You can tell what they’re thinking:  People live in this city? Real people? No way!

Well, to make use of a random warm day and in honour of the fact that I’m leaving and feeling all sentimental and nostalgic about dear old Edinburgh, Hannah and I decided to become crazy tourists for a day.

Tourist Fact #22: It is your duty to be photographed in front of Every. Single. Big. Building.

Here I am in front of St Giles Cathedral.  I pass by it practically every day, often lugging bags of groceries and feeling annoyed about the length of the Royal Mile (I swear, it’s longer than you think).

But today, I am standing in front of it because it is big and old and I am a tourist.


Tourist Fact #319: Statues = Status. Tourists also like to get pictures with statues.  It is essential to get your picture taken with every statue you see because they are famous people, and if you get your picture taken with a statue, you will forever be associated with knowledge and culture and awesomeness.

Clearly, David Hume was not having one of his most awesome hat days, but still…

Tourist Fact #237: Red Phone Box = Britain. Anyone who comes to Britain knows that unless you get your picture taken in a red phone booth, you have failed as a human being.  

Tourism Fact #319 again… Never mind how creepy the statue is.  It’s not like it will come to life… and kill you in your sleep… or anything like that…Tourist Fact #0: Always knock on the door when you see a Police Call Box.  You never know. 

Doesn’t she look ready for space adventures?

Tourism Fact #K: Visit all the tourist shops or you will miss the Perfect Souvenir.  

(Oh, and never say no to that incredibly embarrassing or tacky knick knack/ t-shirt.  You will love it forever and never regret spending all that money on it…)
Tourist Fact #999: People dressed in costumes? PICTURE!!!!!!!!! And don’t mistake their glum expressions for boredom or annoyance. Really, they are having a super lot of fun, just like you!

(We actually chatted with this lady for quite a while about tourists and the city.  We are friendly and nice like that.)Tourist Fact #3: It doesn’t matter if you look really teeny tiny in the picture so long as the background is clear because where you are is more important than you.

This is a picture of me with a lamp post.  I don’t need to explain myself further.

Tourist Fact #7.5: If it has a big shiny sign claiming something or someone famous was there, get that photo and absorb some of that fame for yourself! Osmosis is our friend!   

This is another place that I pass by on my way to university every day and without fail, there is a hoard of tourists around this window, blocking the sidewalk, snapping photos.  The sad fact of the matter is, it’s not even the birthplace of Harry Potter.

They do make a splendid pot of tea, though.

(Hannah represents your average tourist)

(I represent, well, me)

Revisiting Tourist Fact #319 again… A dog this time.

Oh, dear old Bobby.  This is another place where tourists inevitably cluster.  Because a statue of a person is one thing, but a statue of a dog?  Famous and cute?  How could anyone resist?

Tourist Fact #1: Most important to remember – anything and everything can be photographed in your quest to make memories.  

Here, Hannah is being photographed with other tourists!  Even they are a part of Edinburgh’s scenery that must be recorded.  Here, we see tourists clustering in front of The Elephant House, marveling (little do they know) at the false advertising in the window…Aaaand Tourist Fact #finally: No matter where you are, ice cream = holiday!

And thus ended our day of epic touring.  I think everyone should do a little ‘touring’ in his or her own home town. It was an enlightening experience.  We learned much, we saw much…

We photographed much.

I’ve toured a lot of places since I’ve been here, but since Edinburgh is where I’ve lived, I treated it like home, exploring at leisure, and not with that intense flurry of excitement you get when you only have a few days to see somewhere before moving on.  But now that I’m leaving, I want to absorb and appreciate as much as possible in the little time I have left.  Now I am feeling how short time can be when you want to see and do so much. Three more days.  I can’t believe it!