After dinner with my long lost relatives, it was off to the train station to meet up with my best friend in the world, Jessie. Long time readers may remember Jessie from my Chinablog, and our crazy holiday to Beijing (and Steve Irwin impersonations in photo enough to amuse even the most dour of souls).
Gods, but it’s good to see old friends again! Jessie and I have spent the day together today “doing” Edinburgh. And when I say “doing”, I mean “scratching the surface”.
Edinburgh. What an incredible city. I’m in love. I love this city. I was tossing up whether to settle down in Edinburgh, London or Dublin. After yesterday though, there is NO competition. Edinburgh has got to be the most BEAUTIFUL city I have EVER seen. I was actually getting teary-eyed at times, when it was just street after street of incredible, awe-inspiring architecture and vistas.
Being the good little tourists that we are, we hopped on one of those double decker tourist buses, the “jump on – jump off” kind, and did the circuit of the city atop one of these, up behind Edinburgh Castle, (which was obscured at the top by bleachers for the Military Tatoo which happens every year during the Edinburgh Festival)
into the Old Town
down The Royal Mile,
where there was the office of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (may not be a big deal to some of you, but the Edinburgh Fringe has been like the Wonderous Land of Camelot for me for so many years and this office felt like the Round Table, y’know?)
past Holyrood palace (didn’t manage to get a pic of that yet), up into the New Town
and back to where we started at Waverly Station. The tour guide was full of amusing stories and anecdotes about the history of the place (as tour guides are wont to do), and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. A quick Cliff’s Notes to Edinburgh: it’s old. No, not just old. Very Old. Used to be hedged in by the city walls, and everything which is inside where the city walls once were is called the Old Town. As it was explained to me, the fact that they city was restricted by the walls meant that the only way to expand for a time was UP, making Edinburgh home to the first skyscrapers in the world – some of these buildings are not only Very Old, but given their Very Old status, they’re also Very Tall. Finally things just got too cramped, and it was decided to expand beyond the walls, and thus in the 1700s (I think, correct me if I’m wrong, cause I had a lot of dates thrown at me) the New Town was built.
The other main highlight of Edinburgh, though, was FINALLY meeting Webmaster Matt in the flesh. This is someone who I’ve only known via email and chat for almost 4 years now, a veteran Browncoat, who has offered generous tech support, webhosting, website design and general friendship since well before I had even CONSIDERED going to China, and has been ridiculously patient with my constant pestering about “website” this, “blog” that, and “tech-problem” the-other whilst attempting (with spectacular success, as the results have recently shown) to finish his own honours degree in Robotics.
Acting as delightful and knowledgeable host, Matt played the Local Guide with panasche, showing us the back ways through the Old City, finding some pubs to quench the regular cries of “Beer O’Clock” and “I need a toilet” (one following predictably along from t’other), and guiding us to a cinema for some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory action. Purple Nailpolish for a moment, totally fab movie.
Here we are, the three of us:
We also found a cool hat shop (have to share this):
And what trip of Jessie’s and mine would be complete without the requisite “pulling the piss out of Steve Irwin” shot?
And one last photo, not taken in Edinburgh but in Glasgow today, just before Jess headed back to London:
One of the Dr Who generations, we are. Or at least, I am. Jess gets the reference, but I suspect that she still rolls her eyes behind my back (affectionately, of course) at my sci-fi obsessions. The reciprocal pic of me at the Tardis is on her camera, will have to get hold of it soon.2 comments
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