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29 June 2009

scotland R&R - edinburgh (mostly in pictures)

april 10th, i landed in edinburgh airport for a much needed 12-day vacation. i was extremely lucky in that i had several friends who were able to meet me there as well. TheEJ was able to come over for a few days, TheJay made it for the weekend, probably the smartest female i know, friend-from college, and former roommate, TheJulie came over the visit her husband, TheBill, while he's working at the university there. it was definitely a motley crew, but it turned out to be an absolute blast as expected.

i got to edinburgh late morning, and TheEJ made it there towards the late afternoon. by the time she'd arrived i'd walked a good part of the area around the hotel near the bruntsfield fields, down through the old town near the castle, and on to princes street in the new town. she'd already been to edinburgh when she was abroad in college, so she wasn't as in awe as i was about the tall and pretty cool spires and cathedrals (that's not to say she wasn't awed, just maybe a bit less so than my first experience with them). while in scotland, i, of course, had to try haggis. for some reason, i had a picture in my head that haggis was this slimy grayish organ filled with animal leftovers that every one the world except for scots thought was nasty. it turns out, haggis is fan-FUKKING-tastic. really, i need to find a hookup in america when i get back. it's not at all what i thought it was. it turns out that it's served more like hamburger. it's ground up and served loose like that or made into meatballs, in stirling, TheJulie, TheBill and i even had haggis lasagna. i find haggis to taste like ground beef with a very black-peppery seasoning to it. i think everyone should try it once, though SOME have told me they find it to have an unpleasant aftertaste, i didn't find this to be the case.

in short, edinburgh was a nice town. the weather was good, a bit brisk. i found a few pubs that were quite nice. my usual was suggesting that we ruminate at a pub while we figured out where to go next. for some reason, i don't seem to have any pictures of edinburgh castle. i'm wondering if i didn't have my camera that day. i'm sure TheJay, TheJulie, TheBill or TheEJ have some i could steal at a later date. TheEJ and i went to a cool place called camera obscura. it was kinda like smaller version of COSI with a big camera obscura on top (those camera obscuras are different links). one night, TheEJ and i ran into an old irish friend of hers and his brother after a celtic (soccer) loss. that was an experience. her friend's brother introduced himself to me on the order of maybr 15 times (no exaggeration, and funnily enough, it turned out to be such a joke that i can't recall his name now). he was plastered having been drinking all day to drown his sorrows over the loss. TheEJ goaded him into wearing his celtic scarf on the outside of his jacket and not to be a fair-weather fan. then his friends came in and ragged on him for still showing his colors. i think i ended up drinking ciders and then jack daniels? it was all very confusing. TheEJ found a pizza place that was open on the way home so we popped in there for some greasy nosh. we got two pizzas but only ate the equivalent of one. i took the remaining frankenstein pizza back to the hotel where it resided on the TV the entire week for whenever i needed a snack. TheEJ was a bit put off that i'd eat week-old, unrefrigerated pizza. it's cute how she worries. hah.

during the trip, we walked a lot, saw some sites, walked some closes (narrow alleyways), toured some catacombs that were not as authentic as we'd hoped, and had a generally good time. here are some highlights from edinburgh, and i'll be one with stirling here soon (and finishing oktoberfest, i'm such a slacker). but you can see, my posting has increased in frequency, so i think i'm back on the horse, and should be caught up soon. here are ALL the edinburgh pix.

the foggy view from calton hill

TheJay and TheJulie taking in the national monument (also known as "edinburgh's disgrace"). modeled after the parthenon in rome, the monument was never completed due to either lack of funding or interest.

a photo of TheJulie taking a photo of the national monument

the scott monument named after sir walter scott, also has been informally described as the "gothic rocket ship".

the scott monument, also called "auld reekie" (old smokie) due to the it's color. the shale rock that it is made of leaks a sort of oil that the air pollution clings to making it look perpetually dirty.

sir walter scott of the scott monument fame.

TheEJ at old calton cemetary

a typical scottish close (narrow walking alleyway)

storage space TheEJ and i saw during the catacombs tour

spooky fog creeping across TheMeadows (which is strangely a public park with a free golf course superimposed on it)

directions for a chewable toothbrush

said chewable toothbrush (to clean my teeth after fried haggis meatballs). mmmmm....

the north side of edinburgh castle from castle street

the national church of scotland, the kirk

the stained glass of st. giles cathedral

haggis, neeps (mashed carrots), and tatties (mashed potatoes) at the tolbooth pub. i like haggis and then "neeps and tatties" sounds like "nips and titties". it's like the best meal EVER!

i can't seem to find any pix of rosslyn chapel. does anyone who was there with me have pix from there and edinburgh castle? i could've sworn i took loads, but they seem to be gone. you can send them or them, or however you wish to get them to me, i'd appreciate it. more later.

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Blogger themom said...

EJ had pics of Rosslyn Chapel on her FB. I was impressed as I related it to the Da Vinci Code - hahahaha!

And NO...I'm not even thinking about ever fixing haggis.

9:23 AM, June 29, 2009  
Blogger swedish chef dave said...


i have to tell you that neeps are Turneeps, Turnip, or swede, not carrots, they are a different colour as you probably noticed, and they taste slightly different also, but with Haggis they taste great anyway, i like haggis with anything but you cannot get it anywhere other than the UK or specialist places, sounds like you had a great time in Edinburgh, we will have to have a few beers somewhere soon

keep safe and happy

ave in the navarra wine region

9:31 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger adhyapaka said...

How could you forget the name? "Hi, I'm Martin...Hi, I'm Martin...This is my brother Martin..." It haunts me. I still think that the pizza is somehow connected to your lowered immunity and makes you prone to strange afflictions. Blech... I was wondering if TheJulie ever sent you the picture of all of us from the pub in Rosslyn after we went to the chapel. If you get it, will you send it to me? Hope you're staying insect free...:-)

7:55 PM, July 06, 2009  
Blogger slyght said...

i have a SUPER immune system. i'm almost never sick, BUT maybe the old pizza gives me a certain "aged" taste that make bugs particular to feeding on me.

3:18 AM, July 07, 2009  

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