Ah, Edinburgh!

Hey kids,

So, after being about four days behind, here I am in Edinburgh, during the International Festival, Fringe Festival, and every other festival known to man right now.

I got here in one piece (and unwittingly managed to buy first-class tickets for the train rides up – like that’ll ever happen again), and have been staying with my friend Cindy and her cool flatmates, Brad and Lindsay, at their place just off Leith Walk.

For you film-saavy folks, Leith is the same strip that features prominently in the movie Trainspotting (says Cindy). In real life, Leith is apparently dodgy enough that any friend of Cindy or Lindsay’s (well, maybe just a few) who find out they might be walking home after a night on the town immediately orders them into a cab, rather than walk. We were out last night, and (touch wood) we were just fine.

It’s been a pretty lazy stay in Edinburgh so far. I spent the first couple of days just sleeping in, loafing, and then only really doing one tourist attraction a day. On Monday, it was Edinburgh Castle. Tuesday, I dragged Lindsay and Cindy on a tour of the new Scottish Parliament.

Tuesday night, we went club-hopping. Cindy – who never drinks – had a couple and it was, well, interesting. We made three stops. The first was to this place called Opal Lounge, where apparently Princes William and Harry have frequented when they are in town. Second stop was the biggest, tackiest meat market in town, (almost aptly) called Espionage, which could give Joker here in Toronto a run for its money. The last – and briefest – visit was at this place called Frankenstein Pub, which was almost dead, save for about 25 people in the place. It was thoroughly cheesy, but fun nonetheless.

Today was slightly better. Cindy and I went to the Writers’ Museum, where I took in exhibits on Robert Louis Stevenson (didn’t know he was Scottish!), Sir Walter Scott, who has tonnes of books and poetry to his credit, and a huge hulking monument built to him in downtown Edinburgh (near the train station), and the man whose birthday I share (which is celebrated by Scots here and around the world), Robert Burns. It was good.

Then I went over to the Royal Museum. Meh. I spent way too much time among the stuffed animals in the BioDome, and not enough time in the upper levels. And I ran out of time, so I couldn’t go to the adjoining Museum of Scotland. I might try doing that tomorrow.

This evening, I managed to go on the Real Mary King’s Close tour (yay!), which showed what life was like before part of the old town got demolished and built over. This, I recommend. Partly cheesy, but very infomative.

It’s getting late here, so I should go to bed if I’m going to cram stuff in on my last day in town. I’m not sure when I’ll write next, but it’ll most likely be when I’m back in Toronto. Oh, God. I am SO not looking forward to Friday.

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