27 November 2014

Edinburgh Part 1

This has been my year for bucket list traveling! First a safari in Africa and now Scotland. Scotland may seem less exciting to some but it's been on my travel wish list for about as long. I mean, have you heard them speak?!

First of all, if you're ever in Edinburgh you need to stay at Adria House. Those pictures above? Our room. For a mere 80GBP/night. The room was bigger than my entire apartment. It's really well located and the brother-sister team who run it are so welcoming, friendly, and helpful.

A crepe break from walking the mean streets of Edinburgh

I know my sister is going to roll her eyes at this post. She always calls me out for only taking pictures of buildings. Not taking pictures of buildings in Edinburgh is impossible though! This city is so old and it you can feel it under the thin layer of modernity. The "new" city is 200 years old for pity's sake. And the instant you plunk both a castle and a palace at opposite ends of a street you can't help but feel the history. There's a reason the city is a World Heritage site.

Edinburgh Castle from Princess Street

Unfortunately 95% of my pictures have white or grey, at best, skies. This is not actually a complaint though. November in Scotland and all we had were grey skies and a few brief showers? We had only one rainy (i.e. downpoury) morning but all in all we got really lucky with the weather. We also got ourselves a little lost the first afternoon. Having just come from London we were prepared for the early dark (4 PM!) but it didn't make finding our way any easier. Sometimes getting lost is great though. Without getting lost we never would have found Oink.

Greenmarket Square

West Bow St.

What is Oink? Only Nirvana for the pork lover. They do one thing: roast pork sandwiches; and they do it soooo well. If the name weren't enough to draw in pork lovers the whole roast pig in the window surely would. It's what caught my attention. At Oink you choose your size sandwich, haggis or sage and onion dressing (like there's really a choice), and your sauce. My friend L., with whom I was traveling, is from the South and she said Oink has the best homemade barbeque she's had outside of North Carolina. As good as the sauce is though you almost don't even need it. We've been roasting pigs for years for family parties (there are always enough people to put away 200+ lbs of pork) and my dad built his own pig roaster...but, and sorry for this Daddy, the flavor of Oink's pork put what my dad does to shame. It was beautiful. I went twice.

Edinburgh Castle

The Royal Mile

While I may wax on about it; the pork roast isn't the only thing in Edinburgh to love. There's also cider! Kidding. Sort of. Pork and cider aside, I fell completely in love with Edinburgh. If I could figure out the visa issue (and, you know, money) Sherlock and I would be there in a quick minute. Even the chill felt homely*. Although I suppose a Michigan girl would feel at home in 50 F weather. That's downright balmy where I come from. And the accents certainly didn't make me want to run away.

The Royal Mile

Edinburgh by evening was just as lovely, if not more so, than by day. For one thing it seemed that the sky cleared up most evenings which made for some really beautiful sunsets. At night lamp light softened the stone buildings and cobblestones and shop windows (those still open anyway, city shuts down early!) glowed invitingly from the street.

Royal Mile

Scott Monument (L) and Waverly train station (front)

Royal Mile and St. Giles

Sigh. Seriously I loved Edinburgh. So it's not surprising that I have an estimated three to four more posts until my pictures are exhausted! During our first night of semi-lost wanderings we came across a club with blacked out windows advertising pole and lap dancing. I've taken many classes on both of those; figure I could manage it. I've pretended to know how to do more complicated things for a job. Wonder if they're hiring and offer visa support?

West Bow Street

*When and why do you suppose Americans changed the definition of this word? I'm curious.

Update: My sister said she rather liked the buildings :)

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