Monday, 27 October 2008

Chapter Eight

This weekend was quite an adventure. We left on Thursday and made our way to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We had it all figured out, the train tickets were ordered, the hostel was booked. Nothing was supposed to go wrong.... but alas. It did. Everything, well almost everything, went wrong, but it really made the whole trip much more fun and funny and exciting.  

The first mishap happened in a little place called Berwick-Upon-Tweed. I have no idea where that is but we got dumped off at the train station because something or other was going wrong with our train.  Were told to get on the next train heading to Scotland... they didn't tell us the next train heading to Scotland was completely full and that we would have to be crammed in the in-between sections of the train next to the bathroom. Lovely. 

That's not all... the new train decided to stop for 2 1/2 hours.  Not fun.  The upside: we got all our train money refunded, got some really great recommendations of things to do from some Scottish men,  and we had a ridiculously funny situation involving a drunk lady who wanted to have a smoke.  And that was before we even got there.  

We arrived in Scotland far later than we anticipated but still had time to go on a ghost tour! It was really scary and fun.  We went through Grayfriar's Graveyard and Covenanter's Prison, the lair of the Mackenzie Poltergeist. Scary huh? It was... but it was really fun too.  
We got completely lost after the tour, which ended like two blocks away from our hostel.  By the time we got back it was 1:30 in the morning and completely pouring.  It was fun though and we got to see a lot of the city and a lot of drunk people, and enjoy the Scottish weather.  

Friday we went down the Royal Mile and saw fun Scottish sights like the Holyrood Palace and Scottish Parliament, loads of Scottish gift shops, and an awesome indian store.  We went inside St. Giles Cathedral and admired in the quaint, charming Scottish streets. I had no idea that Edinburgh was going to be so cute and charming.  All the buildings in the Old Town were, well, old and cute and charming.  The roads were paved with cobblestones and everything was adorable. 
The gang: me, Anna, Holli, Alison, Hailee, and Lauren

We went to a storytelling festival and the Museum of Childhood. I was basically loving life, I think I am a five year old at heart.  

After exploring we took refuge in The Elephant House, which is where J.K. Rowling conceived the idea for Harry Potter.  We ate delicious elephant shortbread cookies and beef stew, and wrote on napkins.  There were all these other napkins hidden in a drawer on our table from other people who had visited as well. It was a really great time just to sit and think and try to be creative.

That night we went and saw Mary Poppins, it was really good.  The set was amazing, but the story was a little different.  It was fun though.  Oh yes, and in the middle of the show the curtains closed and we had a short break due to technical difficulties... when does that ever happen?

Saturday was almost as much of a success as our train ride. We were planning on going to the castle and to Arthur's seat, but sadly we couldn't do either due to the wind and rain.  The gusts were so strong we could hardly walk up to the castle, or down from the castle, because the wind couldn't decide which way it wanted to blow I suppose.  Instead of going to the castle we went to this awesome museum called Camera Obscura.  Like I said it was awesome.  The whole things is filled with optical illusions and fun things.  

After that we braved the weather and walked to the Frankenstein Pub, which is apparently world famous, although I wasn't aware.  We ate lunch and then headed to the train station to head back to London. Of course the day we go home the rails were undergoing service so we had to go the opposite direction and then back to London, so our four hour train ride ended up being 7 hours.  Needless to say we were pretty thrashed by the time we got back home to London.  The whole trip was so fun, even though Scotland was out to get us. I think Scotland won.  

Oh yeah, and I love this guy.  It's always good to be prepared. 

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