Edinburgh

Since I’ve been quite busy lately and didn’t get to share the experience with anyone, I’ll try to write a short review here while memories are still fresh.
There’s way too much to say about this city, even aftr only 4 days. Its center is so full of old buildings but not the depressive kind. Or well, just the buildings themselves are probably depressive due their dark greish colors. But alltogether with the streets, some colored house inbetween, the shops, the pubs and especially the monuments make it so pleasant. p1090158It feelt like a trip back in time, somewhere like2-300 years ago. Yet, the cars and supermarkets wake you up to reality. One thing I liked is that I haven’t noticed the classical gypsy beggars that fill up all touristical places I’ve been to. Maybe it’s not their season.

My first impression of Scotland actually was in the train from Prestwick to Glasgow. First 10-15 minutes the train lines were crossing through golf courses…I amnot a fan of golf, but just to be able to walk on that grass right by the sea would make me a huge lover of this ‘sport’. And the Scottish green is…different. Or at least it felt like.
In Edinburgh, my nice Aussie/Tasmanian host waited for me at the Weaverly station and walked me through some streets going upwards, paved with stone and then through a huge park (The meadows)p1090139 up till a very silent british looking street and up to a cool messy appartment where she rented a room. I slept in a top room, on the floor, among a dozen or more instruments and abillion of papers that belonged to the owner of the place – a teacher at the Uni.p1090109

Friday started around 10 I think as Melanie offered to guide me through the city. She showed me where witches used to be hanged, took me to the entrance of the palace, went to the gift shop there and bought Whiskey flavored tea. Seeing the castle I had an even stronger Harry Potter feeling (I’ve been obsessed with these books lately).And they have built a mini stadium right at the entrance that they use for their Tattoo festival. And it felt like a quiddich game is about to begin.
p1090174
Then we stopped by the weavery where they expose a lot of wool&others made products, of course kilts and lots of their squared materials. Also more gifts and pottery and the interesting thing I noticed is that a lot of stuff can be bought in a clan’s colors. Cups, cards, guess clothes too. And a pro bagpipe was more than 1k Pounds.
At some point we stopped by Scott monument. A 60m tall amazing monument that you can climb up using some spiral stairs that grow smaller and smaller and you can stop at various levels and admire the lovely views on all sides. So you get a 360 view over the city and it looked amazing. They have regulations for building heights so there’s nothing that really bothers your eye. Except some greek columns 🙂
Anyways, I am in love with this monument. p1090264

I was by myself in the afternoon, dropped my stuff at Sherwood guesthouse – a nice and cozy place – failed to start the water in the shower and had to call the owner. They have this weird system that you must spin a wheel counter clockwise and it starts from very cold to very warm. But when you think you found the right temperature, colder or warmer water starts pouring. Guess it explains the term scottish showers. Oh and for water they have separated taps for cold and hot. And separated pipes. So if you want warm water in your sink, you have to fill it and wash in there – toothbrushing for example. Eek.
At lunch I found this place where the tours through city undergrounds started and I was really curious. But they needed at least 2 people and as I don’t eat enough…I couldn’t take it. Twice 😦
Wandering on the streets, I found some shops where they sell witchcraft stuff like skulls, wands, etc. One where they sell fossils. One where they have a collection of 3000 hats or so…And god, a billion souvenir shops. And there’s a lot of tempting stuff in there actually.

I left for a walk up to Arthur’s seat. Oh my god, what a lovely thing to have such a hill 20 mins outside your city…You climb for about half an hour up 200 meters, either on rocks or on the long formed paths and end up in a windy dream place from where you can again, see the whole city.p1090352 I had a snack up there and would have stayed for hours if it hadn’t been for the wind. I went down as
I spotted some ruins and encountered a rabbit who was eating orange peels. Or well, smelling them at least. It was cool to see many people jogging on the way to the hill and on the hill as well. That’s quite some training. Ah, about snack.When I stopped in the shop to buy something to eat, most of the bakery stuff was filed with meat. Sausages and such.

I moved on and since I couldn’t feel my feet I decided to walk some more and see what the heck are those greek columns. Surprise, greek columns…Apparently a monument built to celebrate something related to Napoleon. They are up on Calton Hill for those of you who are curious to read more.p1090800
In the evening, the gang arrived (Carmen from Romania, Thor, Danne and Stänk from Sweden). I drank a strawberry flavored beer – interesting. The guys went to a moretrditional pub but we, the girls, went to zzz early.

Next day only 4 of us made it to breakfast (thank god they had normal stuff for breakfast) and then moved along and visited the castle (might bother to write about it later). Afterwards, we stopped for a drink and I tasted one of the best beers ever – produced by Innis&Gunn brewery some oak aged beer. Mmm.p1090571
We walked around the city, mainly shopping at suvenir shops and actually 4 of us ended buying kilts. Then due some SMS deal, I bought a kilt for my boss as well. In the evening we took a Terror tour or something like that where you hear a little about how the city was built, how wooden top floors fell off due wind and storms, how the term shitfaced was invented etc. Then you are taken underground in some haunted old streets as they say. And were wiccans practice their…whatever they do. Nobody fainted or felt fingers around their hands. But then, we couldn’t visit the room where the poltergeist was encountered as rocks were falling in there. And ended up in a shitty pub after the tour.
Moved on from place to place, ate in one, drank in another. Took a cab to some rock pub with ’24’ in its name. It was EMPTY. Thhey just had a power cut and crowd left. But the power just came back so the music was extremly loud as they were probably testing. We ordered some stuff but the power went down again so we had to leave after some friendly words exchange between a drunk Thor and a girl from the staff.
Was nice to walk back to the hotel at around 3AM. Quiet, fresh air. Ah yea, there’s such a fresh air in that city. And nobody picked on us, nobody was yelling too much…Simply enjoyable.

Next day me and Carmen visited Camera Obscura p1090671– I’m in love with that place where you can see a lot of optical illusions and play with all sorts of mirrors and nice objects – and next time I go back half of my money will be spent in its shop. Then we went to the Whiskey experience where we learn about whiskey making and we get to taste a Single malted type. Might go into details into another post.
The guys joined us later and we went to this pub called Royal oak where I saw the best jam session ever.It started out with 2-3 guitarists and a guy witha violin. I took Carmen back to the hotel and then returned and there wree few more guitarists, a girl on the violin, a cello player and a girl with a flute. And at the end a guy plaing the washboard joined. It was amazing. One of them was starting a tune or a beat or so…another one was joining, the 3rd one joins too then all of them are singing a nice song. From country to jazz to irish/scottish. Absolutely full of joy. I’d love tohave such a pub here. Videos taken mainly there

I had to leave at 3:30 AM…took a cab at 3 and it took 5 mins to take me to the station so I had to wait a while. It drove for like 2 hours…Glasgow airport is rather small and despite the fact that Ryan air keeps telling you to only have 1 luggage,max 10 kilos, I had a HUGE backpack – twice the size of a normal hand luggage – plus a plastic bag in my hand, pretty full. But I made it through, hihihi. I don’t recall what happened on Monday…I had been awake since 8 AM on Sunday and had very interupted few hours of sleep. Then I went to work and well, think it all went well.
Conclusion -MUST go back to Edinburgh. And YOU must make sure to visit it. And don’t be surprised if you encounter flying witches. It feels so natural for them to be there.
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