Edinburgh [read: not where they held the bagpipe worlds, apparently]

Going to a city when its population doubles is always fun. Lots of weaving between other tourists who we don’t want to associate with because we’re obviously in this for a less touristy and better experience (obviously). What a time to be alive.

Phoebe & Sabrina managed to get me on a train to Edinburgh at 6 AM this past Saturday, only slightly hangry, which always bodes well for a trip. Breakdown of Saturday:

  • Went straight to Elephant House (for our main girl J. K. Rowling) but couldn’t really get in with all the tourists hovering around the entrance so instead we got great Italian food. Phoebe took a bite of bruschetta and managed to drop Italian-spiced tomatoes in her lemon water. It was her low point [read: comparable quesadilla experience].
  • Checked out the National Museum for the Pringle exhibition (no, not the chip) on knitwear and history. Great museum with Fringe performances of traditional Scottish music. Someone teach me how to sing. That way I won’t fail at karaoke and will actually participate in the pastime of my generation.
  • Went to the University Library to see Dolly. Now this is a story. For the past few weeks, basically since we planned this trip, we’ve been really excited to see Dolly. After all, she’s a clone. We heard she’s normally in the National Museum and so we got concerned. How do they keep a sheep there? And, as Sabrina asked, does she get to frolic? We went to the museum first, and it was a very nice museum, which we believed would be great for Dolly. We could see how she could live there. The library though? That’s no zoo. We figured we’d find out. We walk into the exhibition, with our rainbow Dolly stickers on, so excited to eventually tell our grandchildren about how we saw Dolly alive. I see a glass case, with a taxidermy sheep in it, turn around and say, “It never occurred to us that Dolly was… dead.” No, it really never occurred to us. Dolly, in fact, has been dead for 12 years. The three of us cried and laughed and tried to look at the exhibit (I couldn’t look at our crushed hopes and dreams, so I refrained) and move past it. A moment of silence for Dolly and our idiocy.
  • Hit up a Pimm’s shack at Fringe for a bit. Felt sacrilegious as I wore my Guinness sweater. Saw some leashed dogs and leashed children.
We didn't plan ahead so we missed Austentatious. Reasons to return to Edinburgh: improv Austen.
We didn’t plan ahead so we missed Austentatious. Reasons to return to Edinburgh: improv Austen.
  • Bought a tartan scarf. Really excited to wear it with my ‘Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal’ sweater for the first 25 days of December. Stay tuned, my friends.
  • Walked up to the very imposing castle from which we heard bagpipes. Assumed it was the World Championships (after all, there was a Snapchat story for it) but soon realized that wasn’t it. Then why were there so many old people in line? Military tattoo we’ve been told, but we don’t really know what it is. Either way, cool things happening in the castle makes that place even more imposing. Classic castle.
  • Caught a sketch show called Bafflesmash (sp.?) by a troupe from Cambridge! Just doing Cambridge things when we aren’t in Cambridge and are instead at Fringe. If you’re reading this, Pembroke Players (I think that’s who you are), the seagull sketch was genius. Never change.
  • Went back to the Elephant House and it was relatively empty, so we had a pot of tea and chocolate cake with ice cream. It was so quiet, and calm, and warm that we realized this must’ve been how J. K. Rowling wrote here. Can’t describe the vibes, just know they were really really great. Truly magical.
The spirit of J. K. Rowling was at this table, hopefully smiling at us talking about how she made each of our childhoods.
The spirit of J. K. Rowling was at this table, hopefully smiling at us talking about how she made each of our childhoods.

Saturday was asdkjfklj;clkjsdf, so we were excited for Sunday! And here is that day:

  • Arthur’s Seat. Having been told it would be a leisurely walk, we cheerfully got onto a bus in our jeans and warm clothes. Got to the spot past the palace (unicorns everywhere!!!!) and spotted the trails. Picked one and got walking. Unfortunately, we accidentally chose the ‘blue’ path for intermediate hikers and adventurous locals. Neither of which are categories/descriptions for us three. The struggle up 279 meters was interesting. Amazingly, we got up there, did all the hard work, and then there were more rocks up to the summit. That’s when I sat down. Of all the things I’m not good at (believe me, there’s a list of those) the one I am potentially most abysmal at is finding footing. I just never know where to step. One wrong step, and well you’re in a ditch on the side of this cliff thing overlooking Scotland and that’s just a bad day for everyone. So I sat down, watched Phoebe & Sabrina stare at me eventually gesturing me to get up before a Spanish couple reluctantly and graciously helped me find my footing (muchas gracias a mis amigos veros) to get to the top. View? Fabulous. Walk down? Also difficult. Sabrina broke her shoe too and had to MacGyver it for the whole day [read: what a trooper]. Glad we went to the great outdoors for a bit! Maybe I’ll take up hiking. Phoebe is cringing somewhere reading this, I know.
Resilience, thy name is Sabrina.
  • We worked up a hunger (hanger? that doesn’t make sense, that’s just another noun) so we found a cafe for some real breakfast food, sat for a really long time, and recovered. Sustenance.
  • We had tickets for All the King’s Men A Capella, and we were the first in line, standing outside, just chilling and drinking and recalling our Dolly experience until we got to sit inside. Perpetually laughing at ourselves. Quite the amazing show (I always get goosebumps and/or cry at a capella, no shame) and definitely preferred their version of It’s Raining Men most of all. Better than the people singing it outside my window the other night at 1:20 AM (I’m sure they’ll return because it’s only right to sing that song under a statue of Henry VIII).
  • Caught the train back. Very groggily wandered back to King’s wishing I was an outdoorsy Scotswoman.

Solid, Scotland, solid.

It really does make it seem like I enjoy the outdoors. I do enjoy the outdoors, just controlled and without bugs and slippery rocks. Does that count?
It really does make it seem like I enjoy the outdoors. I do enjoy the outdoors, just controlled and without bugs and slippery rocks. Does that count?
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