Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lovely, rainy, crazy Edinburgh I

My trip to Edinburgh a few weeks ago with my best friend Rara was my original summer holiday before Slovenia was even a twinkle in an eye. We wanted to go somewhere cheapish* that we hadn't been before, but that had plenty to do-and Edinburgh did not disappoint!
It all began on Monday the 1st August at stupid o clock in the morning. That's no exaggeration-our train was at 5.30am! After a horrifically cold shower, and a lot of grumbling we were ready for the off. Thankfully my new Sheffield house is only a twenty minute walk from the train station, so it wasn't too much hassle getting there. After changing trains at Doncaster we slept for most of the journey, thankfully! I did wake up in time to see the Angel of the North, and work out where we were crossing the Scottish border though, and our holiday had finally begun!
The minute we emerged blinking from the train station, (once we had actually found an exit that wasn't closed and was actually an exit!) we saw a traditional style topless bus pull up opposite us. As my mum had given us some money specifically to spend on "Going topless in Edinburgh**" we decided that's what we would do for the morning-see the city and decide where we wanted to visit. So we toured, we took photos, and we absorbed the beauty of the place we were to call home for the next few days. We ate our lunch in front of the Royal Yacht Britannia, just because we could.
That's it there. Yes, it appears to be in a cage.
By the time we had gotten the bus back into the town centre, we were definitely starting to flag due to lack of sleep, so we headed to our Travelodge, checked in, and HAD A NAP! We are so very rock and roll! We woke up a good two hours later, and with rumbly tumblies went foraging for food. We found it in the form of an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant near the station and boy did we take them up on that offer! Stuffed and happy, we headed back to the hotel for crap tele and sleeps.

The next day dawned bright and...chucking it down with rain. After all-we were in Scotland! This did little to dampen our spirits though (just for you, Mr. Matt), and we spent the morning perusing all the shops along the Royal Mileandabit, which were in turns very tacky and very expensive-but it was a nice relaxed way to pass the time.
Rara bought an AWESOME hat!
That afternoon, after soggy sandwiches in a shop doorway, we went to the Camera Obscura , which was pretty awesome as far as I am concerned! The Camera Obscura itself is a 160-year old lens which looks down at the people of Edinburgh walking past and used to freak Victorian ladies out, which is still pretty damn cool. The rest of the 'museum' is full of optical illusions and magic tricks and general fun stuff/stuff that makes you look generally unattractive.
A me and Rara hybrid. Voldemort nose anyone?
After the Camera Obscura, we headed up to the castle, decided not to pay the £15 entry fee, and went to that most important of places-the gift shop***!
On our way back to the hotel that evening, we bought ourselves a Scottish delicacy from the seediest chip shop in the world-a deep fried Mars Bar. If you didn't let yourself think about what you were eating, it wasn't entirely all that unpleasant. I don't think I will be buying one again in a hurry though, put it that way.
That evening, we ate at an awesome pub called The Jekyll and Hyde, which was decorated with all manner of interesting bottles and diagrams and pictures. Plus the toilets were hidden away in a sufficiently mad scientist-horror movie sort of way, so it was quite a fun eating experience all told. And for 2 meals for £8, it was pretty tasty food too!

So that was our first two days in the lovely Edinburgh...the rest to follow shortly.

Hope you have all had fun holidays!

*It was cheap to book at under £100 for 4 days, 3 nights. But NOT cheap to holiday there. I am not sure I even mind.
**Yes, that is exactly how she phrased it. She's filth my mother.
***Can't visit a museum and not the gift shop. It's the rules (Graham).