Friday 23 August
Edinburgh: a city made entirely of UP! No matter where you are, the place you want to be will be UP! And then, to get back to where you started, you will have to go UP! You think I’m joking, don’t you? Go there. Try it.
From the “Only in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival” files: while at lunch, I went downstairs to the loo. And there, in a room near the loo, was a free comedy play. Should have gone down there first so we would have seen it all. Lots of street entertainers, some better than others. Some really good, like the Australian (whose name we missed). The performance included physical comedy, improv, juggling and whip cracking. Pity anyone walking by who didn’t know what was going on – like the lady whose push bike ended up in the performance. Caught the end of a performance of a fellow in his jocks climbing in and out windows (and not ground floor ones) and up and down drainpipes. Guess they have different Workplace Health and Safety rules at the Fringe.
Up to the Castle – half price with our English Heritage membership. Entry includes a short and informative guided tour then there’s plenty of museums and views to enjoy at your leisure.
After dinner on the run it was the main event of the day – The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I’ve wanted to go to this for years and was definitely not disappointed. My only complaint – not enough of the bagpipes. Fabulous performances and an amazing light show projected onto the Castle wall. Our seats were right at the end facing the Castle. Not super-expensive “premium” seating, but the most expensive of the standard seats. I still didn’t think the price was too bad and would recommend that section to anyone going for the best view and the beautiful backdrop.
After the Tattoo we met Stu’s cousin, Amiee, and her friend and waited for Gordon to arrive, then went for drinks. Arrived home at 3.00am. Good grief. I’m beginning to forget what it’s like to go to bed before midnight.
Saturday 24 August
This morning, after breakfast, we headed off on a mini road trip via:
Queensferry and views of the Firth of Forth rail bridge
Falkland, a favourite hunting spot for Mary, Queen of Scots, and an outside view of the Palace
a stop at a farm shop – many of these have become commercialised and are now huge and all selling much the same thing. Look for the small, genuine ones selling their own local, in season produce. They’re fewer and further between than on previous trips.
to St Andrews. Not being golfers, this wouldn’t have normally been on our agenda. Well, golf was the only thing I knew about it. I had no idea it was a University town and, for some reason, no idea it’s right on the sea. It would have been nice to spend more time walking around, but the weather was against us.
Back down the coast to get ready for dinner at a local Indian restaurant and home at midnight – an early night. Ha!
Sunday 25 August
Stu and I caught the bus to the local markets. Markets were lovely. The bus drivers here are so rude and could take lessons from the drivers in Bruges. Perhaps they were just sick of the tourists but they haven’t impressed us.
Amiee met us later and we headed into town to begin the great gravy fat separator hunt. Well actually, we just went to look around, enjoy the Fringe and pop into a few shops. One of the shops just happened to be a kitchen shop. Yes, I know. What was I thinking, letting Stu into a kitchen shop? Of course, he bought a plastic gravy fat separator. Not quite what he wanted but the only one he could find.
“What souvenir did you bring home from Scotland?” “We brought a gravy fat separator.” Said no one ever, until now. I compensated by buying a wee Scotty dog Pandora.
We watched a few street performers, though none as good as the other day, had a quick drink and lunch before going to a free comedy show. I could probably get you back to that pub but don’t ask me to get you back to that room. What a rabbit warren! Somewhere in the bowels of that pub we went down so that we could go, you guessed it, UP into the room. The show was pretty good without being too special, but then it was free. They do, of course, want you to give them something, which most people do.
Back home to get ready for dinner. Having discovered that Gordon and Stu share a birthday, we decided tonight would be the night as Gordon would be back in London on “the day”. So it was off to a very nice steak restaurant. Unfortunately my steak was underdone but everything else was really good.