Well, my god mate, you can. The Scottish diet and cuisine choices are blossoming. Healthier food choices are a part of the diet and Edinburgh has a thriving vegetarian and vegan scene. In fact, I may have eaten at more plant-based restaurants in Edinburgh than I have in other cities in Europe.
While Britain feels seemingly close to America, to me, Scotland feels more European. In fact, I believe the Scots are proud to be European. You can see it in the streets and can experience it in their mindset and politics. And there was not cuter way than to combine a quaint European café with eastern flare than at the Himalayan café.
Before heading to the airport, I bussed up to Himalayan café, dragging my suitcase across the puddled sidewalks with my right hand and my left held my umbrella and IPhone while my eyes gazed at the little blue dot.
I entered the café with a warm welcome from the owner and was greeted to a colorful table outlined with vibrant pillows. Chilled to the bone, I ordered their popular chai tea.
With steamed milk, I sniffed the aroma and licked the cinnamon-flavored froth. Upon that first “sense-ual” experience I transported back to India. I became amazed (once again) at how powerful our senses are. What we hear, see, smell and taste are imprinted memories that ignite our soul. It felt like just yesterday I took my first footsteps onto Indian soil, when in fact it's been eight years. That's how powerful our senses are.
My mind raced with all the memories of chai I drank in India. Back to reality, I gazed out the rainy window to people watch men dressed in suits running to and from work. I then thanked the universe for that opportunity to have a year off to experience the world.
And then another customer entered the cafe and greeted the owner, Reka. I thought, "Jesus where am I? Have I transported back into time?" The owner of the yoga facility of where I studied yoga in India is named Rekah. In that moment, I knew I was at the right place at the right time.
In fact, the experience was more symbolic as I just finished writing my travel memoir, Finding Om. Like any regular person with emotions, I had doubts about my upcoming adventure, but I felt as if like reassured me to move forward with the project. I believe in signs and the funny conversations I have in my head with the universe somehow needs to be reconfirmed that I am on the right (or wrong) path.
Hungry, I wanted to try everything on the menu. Should I order breakfast or lunch? From simple wraps to local cuisine, I did not know what to order. Closing my eyes, my fingers touched down on the avocado pistachio pesto wrap.
The café inspired my culinary adventures as when I returned to Germany, I immediately transformed my original pine nut pesto into a pistachio pesto. Delightful and delicious, my soul became energized from combining whole foods stuffed inside a tortilla. Now the question of the day is, "Do I order the red velvet cake or no?"
Processed colored cakes do not really exist in Germany. I opened my wallet and made a conscious decision to save some money and skip the cake. Though, it did make me extremely sad. Cake is one of the best pleasures in life.
Along with the cafe and tea room, this place offers gifts sent directly from Nepal, Tibet and India. So, whether you're looking for a snack or a Buddha coin purse, you can find it here at the cafe and therapy center. Situated in Edinburgh's Old Town, look for the green building that says, "Free Tibet" and enjoy a cup of spicy or sweet chai to stay warm on a traditional cloudy Scottish day.
20 South Clerk Street
Edinburgh EH8 9PR
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