Our Trip to Edinburgh

It’s official…I’m the worst blogger ever! Huzzah! Seriously, it’s just been hard to find time to blog, much less keep up with e-mails, phones calls, Facebook, etc. So much stuff has happened…is happening…that you should know about!

Let’s start completely out of chronological order with our trip to Edinburgh, Scotland (I’m starting here because I’ve already uploaded the pictures).  It was a 3-day weekend, and it just happened to be during the Edinburgh and Fringe festivals, so we decided to endure the lightning quick 7-hour train ride from London.

We arrived in Edinburgh around 11:30pm and still had to walk to our hotel.  Our first impression of Edinburgh:  damn, it’s cold!  We finally get to our hotel, and our room is very nice and posh!  Sure, the window overlooks a garbage pile topped with disgusting mattress…but the room is very nice!

The next morning, we have a nice breakfast and start walking towards Edinburgh Castle.  Our second impression of Edinburgh:  what the hell is that smell?  Seriously, all weekend – no matter where we were in Edinburgh – we’d occasionally gets wafts of this odor.  It’s not a bad odor, by any means…just unusual.  It reminded me a bit a bakery (which is an awesome smell…who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked bread?), but it was a bit off.  And we couldn’t find any bakeries anywhere!  It remained a mystery all weekend until we got home and asked my dear friend Google.  Apparently, it’s the smell of roasting malt from a nearby Scotch distillery.  There ya go.

We made it up to Edinbugh Castle and were greeted at the door by statues of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.  I waited (and waited, and waited, and waited) in line to get our tickets, and then we were inside the ancient castle walls!  First of all, the castle is built way up on a cliff and has amazing views of the city and the sea.  Second of all, we’re surrounded by buildings over 800 years old and amazing history.  Cool.  We gawked at the Scottish crown jewels, the giant cannon Mons Meg (if a cannon has it’s own name, rest assured that it’s bad-assed), and the rooms where Mary Queen of Scots lived.  I think the highlights for us were St. Margaret’s Chapel (very small, but very cool nonetheless…and the oldest building in Edinburgh being built around 1130) and the Scottish National War Memorial.

After leaving the castle, we strolled down the very crowded “Royal Mile“.  Since the Edinburgh Festival was going on, there were lots and lots of kooky street performers doing there thing.  We stopped to watch a couple, but as it was so crowded it was hard to get a good look.  We also popped into St. Giles Cathedral along the Royal Mile.  We ate lunch around this time, and I decided against getting haggis, which is a decision I held onto throughout our stay in Scotland.

Right next to downtown Edinburgh, there’s a huge park (Holyrood Park) built on top of several tall volcanic peak…the tallest of which is called Arthur’s Seat.  So the next day we said “Let’s climb that sucka!”  And we did!  What a beautiful park!  So green and lush, yet rugged and rocky…and spectacular views of Edinburgh.  On the way up, we stopped at some cool church ruins to take a few pictures.  When we reached very near the top it became very windy, and the last 40 or so feet up was very rocky and slippery.  Fortunately, I am all man and laugh in the face of danger!  So Sarah and Simone stayed behind while I made the final treacherous climb to the tippy-top of Arthur’s Seat, took a couple of pictures as proof, and then got my ass back down again.  We then descended out of Holyrood Park with Sarah and Simone in awe of my bravery!

At the foot of Holyrood Park is Holyrood Palace (which is the official residence of the Queen whenever she pops up to Scotland…which I don’t think is very often), so we went inside to check it out.  It was all regal all palacey, but I guess that was to be expected.  While we were there, Simone got to make a bizarre unicorn mask.  The highlight, though, may have been the abbey ruins right next to the palace…very cool and photogenic!

The next morning we were at the train station waiting to go home, and we were left to ponder our time in Edinburgh.  We haven’t been to that many places around Europe yet, but everywhere we go we’re in awe of the beauty, history, and culture…except in Edinburgh.  Both Sarah and I felt the same way and neither of us knew why.  If you look at the pictures, Edinburgh looks amazing…and it is for a lot of people!  For whatever reason which will always remain a mystery, Edinburgh only left us feeling lukewarm.  Oh, well.  To top it all off our trip, our train was late.  Then they announced that our train was coming into a different platform, so everyone grabbed all of their luggage and pushed and shoved their way to the other platform.  Where we waited.  And waited.  Until they announced that our train was coming into the platform we all had been originally standing at in the 1st place!  So we all pushed and shoved our way back!

Finally on the train, we dove into the Subway sandwiches which we picked up at the train station…which gave Sarah food poisoning.  She spent a good part of the 7-hour train ride back to London with her face in a public train toilet puking her guts out.  Finally back in London, we took a taxi because Sarah didn’t want to vomit on the tube.  Fortunately, the taxi driver was quick enough to pull over in time for her to blow chunks by the side of the road.  Boy, I love her!

To see all of our lovely pictures of this (Edinburgh, not Sarah’s vomit), check them out in the Gallery!

2 comments to Our Trip to Edinburgh

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>