Illustrated Adventures » by Alli Campbell

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Rob and I both have a bad habit of lapsing into accents when we talk. We try to keep this to a minimum when we travel, for obvious reasons. But we can’t resist growling “Scoootland” and “Edinbrrrra,” every.single.time. Ay, Campbell is a Scottish name, and Rob’s Dad plays the bagpipes, so we’re claiming all dubious Scottish links for the next week or so. We are sitting here listening to Celtic tunes and lamenting the lack of Monarch of the Glen on the iTunes store. I’m even weighing up whether to get some Campbell tartan on me. I do draw the line at haggis and black pudding though.

It is absolutely freezing but the weather gods have blessed us with blue skies so far and it is oh so beautiful. We are staying opposite Arthur’s Seat and the Royal Park, which we walked up today (pics above). As it turns out, black ice is rather slippery. I only stacked once, but the views were well worth the bruises from landing on my camera. Thankfully, no lasting damage is apparent to me or the camera.

Arriving in Edinburgh was a little bittersweet though. We have reached it by land from Shanghai – what we set out to do seven months ago. In two short weeks, we’ll be home. To what appears to be the hottest summer ever. To family, friends, Christmas, swimming pools and a comfortable bed. Wonderful things. I am trying to focus on the excitement, and not my desire that we be unemployed gypsies for the rest of our lives. We’ve even compiled a list of everything we are excited about doing in two weeks.

Predictably, it’s mostly food related.

  • Catching up with family and friends. This goes without saying.
  • Five Christmas dinners in one week. Hell yes.
  • Morning swims to make up for the five Christmas dinners.
  • A routine. Not carrying everything we own on our backs. Lazy days.
  • A weekend on a houseboat with buddies.
  • Backyard cricket with bros (Rob).
  • Thai food. Australian wine. Pimm’s. G&T. Cider. Emma & Tom’s Juice. Grill’d Burgers & Chips. Eggplant Curry. Mangoes, avocados, Harcourt pink ladies, grapes, cherries, watermelon. Spanakopita. Fresh salads. Red lentil dhal. Gippsland Dairy yoghurt. King Island cheeses. Fresh pesto.
  • Breakfast at Mixed BusinessGreen RefractoryThe Green Olive. I am yet to visit another country with such a passionate obsession with the first meal of the day. I miss that.
  • Chicken Parma and a Bulmers at The Great Northern (this one is more for the company than the cuisine).
  • Unpacking our backpacks. Throwing out most of the contents. A broader range of wardrobe options. Clean clothes. Not having to wonder where we’ll be sleeping
  • A stocked kitchen. Gas hot plates.
  • Less second hand smoke. The eight hour Albanian bus trip sitting behind the chain smoking driver was the low point.
  • Fast internet. Internet on our phones. Using our phones.
  • Sorting through and blogging photos from another thirteen countries. I counted.
  • Sorting through the six boxes we sent home. It will literally be like Christmas.
  • Getting my 50mm lens fixed. This has sat in my camera bag for two months since the focus jammed.
  • Getting some more ram into this painfully slow lap top.
  • Planning some trips for 2013. Rob is already in studying-for-the-hardest-exam-in-the-world mindset, so I’m stressing him by suggesting places I’d like to go. On my dream list: Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Israel, Jordan, Tanzania, Patagonia, Antarctica, Greenland. On the let’s-be-realistic list: New Zealand, Darwin, Lord Howe Island, Japan, maybe USA again. Itchy itchy feet.

In the mean time, we have a two week road trip planned through Scotland and England. We plan on making the most of it, so you may see me around here a little less. Bear with me!

  • Dusty Soles - December 2, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    Love the picture of the swans. very jealous of your whole trip and the fact you’ve made it to Edinburgh. Even though I’m from the UK I’ve never been.

    Happy travels xReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 2, 2012 - 10:25 pm

      It has been pretty amazing. And we love Edinburgh. Go figure that you’ve seen more of Aus than I have, and vice versa – it’s always how it goes!!ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 2, 2012 - 10:35 pm

      I meant to say, I am completely jealous/awe struck/intimidated by your trip as well. You are a braver girl than I! :)ReplyCancel

  • Pam - December 2, 2012 - 10:24 pm

    Absolutely LOVE the swans …oh and the picture of your feet – a lovely contrast to the one taken at Pammukale in Turkey!

    Please tell Albert not to put away his typing fingers just yet 😉ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 2, 2012 - 10:27 pm

      Those swans were rather ballsy. I was standing very close (the camera was protecting my eyes!). And I agree – quite a contrast to Turkey. The foot tan is still going strong though!

      Albert will be gainfully employed for some time yet 😉ReplyCancel

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures - December 3, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    That last shot deserves to be framed on the wall. AMAZING!!!ReplyCancel

  • Serena - December 3, 2012 - 10:20 pm

    I lived in Edinburgh for six months when I was 22, and I absolutely loved it. Everything except how cold it was, because as I’m sure you know, it’s COLD. Hope you enjoy the end of your trip!ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 3, 2012 - 10:34 pm

      It is freezing! I’m very jealous, I’d love to hang out here for a bit longer :)ReplyCancel

  • Kristina - December 4, 2012 - 2:02 am

    Enjoy that last place of your fanatastic trip – you will soon be home and everything you craved for will seem so normal within days!! Wonderful pictures! And hey, at the moment we have 15 degrees, rain and wind outside. Not the Melbourne summer you think you will return too!! 😀
    Looking forward to see all your amazing posts and pictures from your trip and maybe we can catch up for coffee when you are back and settled?
    Kristina xReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 4, 2012 - 6:17 pm

      I think I’d almost take the 15* over the 40* from last week! That’s such a pity when your parents are over though! Let me know when you’re back from WA – I’d love to catch up for a coffee xxReplyCancel

  • memographer - December 4, 2012 - 11:56 pm

    I am so in love with Scotland. Visited Edinburgh three times. Can’t wait for the next visit :) Great post! Awesome photos!! My favorites: the third from top, the broken ice, and the swans.ReplyCancel

  • em - December 8, 2012 - 9:16 am

    vegemite!! gross!!!! you must visit Tanzania!ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 8, 2012 - 5:00 pm

      Em I think you made a typo. I think you meant “vegemite!! grouse!!” Surely.
      SO keen to visit Tanzania!!ReplyCancel

  • Callie - December 10, 2012 - 5:35 am

    Go for the tartan!! What a lovely list of things to return to. I’d be excited too!

    These photos are awesome, too – Scotland looks beautiful and freezing! Love love love that swan pic.ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 22, 2012 - 12:36 am

      FREEZING haha. We have been home for almost a week now, I think I am still defrosting!ReplyCancel

  • Audrey | That Backpacker - December 18, 2012 - 4:07 pm

    I like the sound of all the food you’re going to be having over the holidays! It all sounds delicious! And I love that last shot of the swan spreading its wings for the camera – the lighting is perfect!ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell - December 22, 2012 - 12:41 am

      It’s all about the food! The lighting might be one of the few good things about winter travel – it is almost always perfect.ReplyCancel