Edinburgh, Scotland: Picnics & Perambulations

In the spirit of saving precious time and energy, the following paragraph is taken directly from my dear friend Kara Simpson’s notes:

“One week into our trip, Kara and I (me) spent the morning in the Smart City hostel cafe, writing postcards, checking our email, having tea and playing pool. It was very very nice and relaxing. Once 2 o’clock arrived we went and checked into our new hostel (right next door to the Smart City Hostel), the High Street Hostel. It was a little bit of a downgrade, but for the price, could not be beat.

After a little rest, I (Kara S) headed to the airport to pick up Bill and Katie. They arrived without problems and after getting settled into the hostel we headed out for dinner. We were recommended a pub that had a backpackers menu called Castle Arms. Bill got Haggy, Tatties, and Nips (basically Shepherds Pie with haggis, turnips and potatoes) and I (Kara S) got the Yorkshire Pudding (sausage and potato in this pastry type bowl). Yum Yum. To fully embody the Scottish way, Bill ordered a whiskey. I must say, I don’t think I will ever come around to the stuff. It’s an explosion of burning alcohol in my mouth, and I don’t find that so pleasant. Strongbow suits me just fine! For dessert we ordered cranachan – an oats, cream and raspberry parfait thing. I think I prefer chocolate in my dessert.

That was much easier for me to copy and paste than to write altogether again. Plus, I’m being extra lazy today. I slept most of the drive up to our hostel, Loch Ness Hostel (http://www.lochness-backpackers.com). We are currently situated in the village of Lewiston near Drumnadrochit, and just a few minutes walk from Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. But the weather is terribly dreary today, which is appropriate, I suppose – sort of how I anticipated the Loch Ness area to be.

Yesterday we met up with a friend of Katie’s and her two children, had lunch in the Edinburgh gardens,  and checked out the Edinburgh National Gallery, where we saw a couple of beautiful Rembrandt’s, and a Rubens. Afterwards, I was also able to find REAL soft serve ice cream (!!!) which made up for the crazy fake stuff I’d been falling for repeatedly and being disappointed by. After saying adieu to Jackie (Katie’s friend), everyone returned to the hostel, while I walked around the many tourist gift shops and purchased some random pieces of Scottishness, and a couple gifts. Money is deteriorating fast here, however, what with the pound being worth so much, and our dollar being worth so little. Sad face. 😦

For dinner, we went out to Biddy Malone’s, which was the same Irish pub that Kara and I had been stalked at only two nights earlier by some drunk Irish guy. This time, however, was much more enjoyable for we had dinner at a discounted backpacker’s rate, and were able to finally try Sticky Toffee Pudding.

My favorite part of the evening was after dinner when the band started setting up. While they got ready, a group of Irish step dancers performed a couple songs, and there was a great feeling to the pub. In fact, the pub was having a St. Patrick’s Day Party since it was 6 months til the actual day. So we hung around, and enjoyed the dancing adn the music. I was totally infatuated with the band, for they were so authentic and fun, and the Irish music was terrific. Makes me excited to hear all the live music in the pubs Kara and I will go to in Ireland. 🙂

Enough of this updating crap. I’m going to enjoy the fireside and the Scottish air. 🙂

1 Comment

  1. MOM said,

    September 18, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    NICE update! Hope you’re not getting hooked on the ALE!

    Love, Mom

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