Edinburgh, a City I Could Do Nothing In.

Edinburgh, Scotland Travel Photographer | Fine Art Film Travel Photography |

We weren’t supposed to go to Edinburgh this trip. We weren’t supposed to go to Scotland at all. Wait, let me back it up. Before I ever found out I was pregnant with Sofie, we had planned a trip to England and Paris for August 2018. I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday eating a crepe by the Eiffel Tower just as I had celebrated 26 eating gaufre chaude in Brussels. This makes it sound like my world revolves around food. In all reality, it’s the place that mattered, not the dish. Getting side tracked, as usual, and moving on.

When I found out that I was pregnant with Sofie (just a few months after beginning to plan this trip), we decided to take a portion of Ben’s paternity leave to go to Europe for the whole month. We’d never been away this long, and we thought what better way to bond as a family than to be overseas. Truly. It was an amazing bonding period.

As the months went by, our plans morphed. We added cities, subtracted cities, tried to figure out the least number of flights we could take to go the most places. And let me tell you, we were planning all our transportation around how many times I thought my film would have to go through a security scanner, which is a whole other story for a different time and blog post. So in the end, we decided (and this is long so I’ll bullet point the travel itinerary):

1) to fly into Dublin, stay one night, have tea at the hotel then leave.

2) drive down to Kinsale where we would be for four nights

3) drive to Bantry during this time to do a shoot with a very talented wedding planner and drive back to Kinsale.

4) drive to Cork to fly to Manchester to drive to the Lake District (stay a few nights)

5) drive to Bath and explore Bath and Oxford over two days

6) Take the train from Bath to Paris and stay in Paris a few days

7) Fly to Nice to meet my sister for a few days

8) take the train to Switzerland

9) Fly to Amsterdam

10) Fly through Dublin Airport to go back home

Okay Whoo! Told you it was long!

So that didn’t really happen. Okay it somewhat happened, but it was pretty altered from the time we got to Kinsale and found that our Airbnb had no cot (playpen/crib) for Sofie. And at this point in the trip, we were still being quite strict about Sofie sleeping in her own bed for fear she would fall off of ours. We emailed the owner of our rental and told her we wouldn’t be able to stay another night there, found a hotel in Kenmare that only had a room available for one night and then had no place to stay for the next two days. Thus, Scotland. The minute Ben even suggested, no, not the minute, the second he suggested that we fly to Edinburgh and stay two nights there instead of flying to Manchester, I said yes. Without hesitation. And all the other travel alterations are not important to this post whatsoever, so I won’t go into them now, but just know that it ended up involving 12 hours of being in a car from Switzerland to Amsterdam, and it. was. awful. Pretty, yes. But awful.

Now I can finally get to the point of this entire blog post. The thing about Edinburgh is that I love it so much. It’s pretty, it’s old. It’s cold. Get used to it. I’m kidding, but I’m also completely serious. Edinburgh is a city I could do nothing in. For two days we went to Tesco, we went to the market, we walked aimlessly around neighborhoods and tried to imagine ourselves living there. We watched Scotsmen walk away from a rally, carrying their flags and cheering with each other. It made me proud, and I don’t think I have an ounce of Scottish blood in my body. We walked to the top of that hill that overlooks the city and fell in love with each other and the city again. It was a moment I’ll never forget. I imagined that if I lived in that city, I’d come to the top of that hill and let the wind drown out the city sounds and the tourists for the afternoon. I’d watch storms roll in, and I watch my kids roll down the sweet, long grasses that sway so beautifully. I’d let myself cry, just like I did that day, and know that everything is okay, that you just need to do nothing once in a while. We got coffee in a cute little shop and soaked in as many Scottish accents as we could. It was the perfect two days. I always joke and say “when I have enough money, I’ll have a house in this city, and a house in that city”, but in reality, if I had money, I’d want to travel back to Scotland once a year (and then also all the other places I’m completely obsessed with). I’d want to do nothing there except have some tea, read a book, sit on the hill, and enjoy a day of just being. And also I still have a lot of Scotland left to explore so I really have to do that too.

Sarah Carpenter