Sunday, November 20, 2011

Edinburgh, Part One

During Fall Break, I headed to Edinburgh to visit Lyla.  Lyla has been staying with her grandmother there since she finished her masters program in September.  Her whole dad's side is from Edinburgh, and her dad grew up there as well, so Lyla has been there to visit several times and knows it pretty well.  I left Budapest on Saturday evening, just in time for an amazing sunset over the clouds.  After running to make my connection in Amsterdam, I arrived to Scotland with no problems.  Lyla and her cousin picked me up at the airport, and I spent Saturday evening chatting with Lyla's grandma and watching British TV.
On Sunday I chatted with Lyla's grandma some more, and then we headed into Edinburgh and checked into our hostel.  We relaxed for a bit, then took a walk around the city and finally wound up going to get some pub food.  I had fish and chips, cider, and even ginger beer.  It was awesome.  After that, we decided to catch a movie and went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which was a rather slow spy movie.  Oddly enough, though, a lot of the action took place in Hungary and there was a whole lot of Hungarian being spoken throughout the film.  It's a small world!

Monday we woke up for sight-seeing in earnest.  It's worth mentioning that I was blessed with some uncharacteristically awesome weather for Scotland in the last few days of October and first few days of November.  It only rained on my last day, and even then only when I was waiting for the bus to the airport, and it was actually quite warm.  I only had to wear my heavy coat on a few occasions, otherwise my jacket was plenty.  Anyway, here is the old town of Edinburgh atop the hill.
Me with the castle in the background.  The castle was built on a f-off big old rock so that it was only accessible from one direction and thus extremely defendable.  Lyla and I made quite a few boiling oil jokes on the way up the hill, because we are both nerds currently reading A Song of Ice and Fire.
It was a long walk up the hill, but so green and pretty!
Once we got up the hill and realized they were charging 12 entire pounds to just go in and walk around the castle, we were offended and decided to skip it.  As you all know, Lyla and I have seen plenty of castles.  We did go around the outside a bit, though, and check out the views.
me, all my enormous hair, and the castle gate
just two girls with flowers in their hair
After playing around the castle, we wandered on down the royal mile and checked out the architecture.  This is the Saint Giles' Cathedral, which we also went inside.
the back of the cathedral, with Adam Smith
I actually did not try any whisky while in Scotland, but I did bring a bottle home with me.  I took this picture because THIRTY POUNDS (about 45 dollars) for a nip of whiskey!  Eep!
This is one of my favorite streets, because it curves and all the buildings are so similar and lovely and old-timey looking.
I love this!  It's a tartan-wearing stuffed tiger also sporting highland fluffy cow slippers.  Awesome.  Mo is so jealous.
A cute tote bag covered in little Loch Ness monsters, each displaying a different emotion such as "Happy Ness" or "Sleepy Ness."  I love puns.
This is the new Scottish Parliament.  I did not love the building.
Monday night was also Halloween, so Lyla and I dressed up and headed out for a night of crazy fun.  It was awesome.
The next morning we somehow drug ourselves out of bed and headed for our tour of the Mary King's Close.  This is a tour of one of the old streets of Edinburgh, similar to the underground tour in Seattle.  Essentially Edinburgh has been built on top of itself a few times, and one of the old streets was somehow preserved.  Now you can go down with a tour guide "from the 1600s" in traditional garb and learn about life at the time, the plague, and other such things.  It was really cool and delightfully cheesy.
Here is a perfect example of how Edinburgh was built atop itself.  On the level we're on are a bunch of shops, and above them there is a road and more buildings.
Well, thank you Mr. Seal!  We saw this fellow on the way back from seeing Contagion, the creepy new plague movie.  So between the Close and the movie, Tuesday was basically classified as Plague Day.  Which might not have been the best choice before spending Wednesday on a tour bus full of people with colds!  On Wednesday we headed out for our Highlands tour, which will be in the next blog post.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

LL's Mom said...

I am glad you and Lyla had a great time. I loved the bag. Love and miss you so much, Mom xo0xo0o0