Haggis, haggis and still more haggis
03.10.2012 - 03.10.2012
Ah what a lovely sleep! Since we're staying two nights in our luxurious Edinburgh apartments, we don't have to pack everything up this morning - such a good feeling!
Simon and I head into town and do the ultimate condensed version of Edinburgh Castle. The Honours of Scotland are impressive, but it's the views from the castle walls that are most captivating. Although our short visit probably doesn't do it justice, it's enough to get some insight into the torrid and brutal history of the Scottish monarchy.
1pm is tour time - we meet at the traditional Scottish cafe (Starbucks) with Miguel and Lizzie (who have now booked their Greek adventure) and Steph. Alan the Hagrid-esque tour guide takes us around the city and tells some fascinating stories. There was Molly Dickinson, who was hung until dead and lived to tell the tale, and Deacon Brodie, who set out to catch himself but ended up being hung on the gallows he built. Greyfriars is an eerie cemetery, especially the prison, but Greyfriars Bobby makes the world seem a better place again. Bobby was a little terrier who stayed by his master's grave for fourteen years - so loyal! Somehow I don't know that Chuck would have the attention or memory for such an act... Then of course there's the heart in the pavement that locals spit on to show rebellion against authority, and this is the very same heart that tourists walk through, and in extreme cases, propose on. Robbie Burns gets a few mentions as well. Plus we see a few Harry Potter themed locations, including the school that fits the description of Hogwart's.
At the end of all this, we are staaaaaaaaaaarving. A hearty lunch/dinner (linner?) at the 1780 pub - Highland Chicken (chicken breast stuffed with haggis, and served with whiskey sauce). Mmm...
We walk back to our apartment for some respite from the cold. Poor Mick and Lizzie are absolutely freezing at this stage, and I'm not exactly feeling toasty warm. Once we've all reached a pleasant temperature (and have put on our thermals!), we venture back out into the brisk Edinburgh night. Dinner is at the Elephant House cafe (where JK Rowling sat and wrote Harry Potter), and Simon shows his true Scottish spirit by having haggis, neeps and tatties. Then we go to the highly recommended Sandy Bells pub. Unfortunately it's a little bit too recommended, and everyone else in Edinburgh is also trying to be there. There's live folk music, but we have to abandon it in the interests of being able to sit down and not be constantly intruding on someone else's personal space. A few beverages later, and we make our way as quickly as possible back to the apartment. Simon and Miguel contemplate a kebab on the way, but decide against food poisoning in the end. A brief reminder of the American Pie phenomenon before bed, and that marks the end of another interesting day in Scotland. Is it bedtime now? Aye!