Where else to drink Scotch???

Edinburgh Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 45 › view all entries

Ahhh… Crazy times to follow the crazy times. As usual I headed to Scotland with the intention of having a quiet time, catching up on my blogs and journal, and seeing the sights… Yeah, right!

Found a hostel and met some backpackers in my dorm and sat and had a beer with them and decided to try to catch the walking tour with one of the guys, Nico, in the morning before getting a early night. Really, truly, no exaggeration, an early night! Yay me. My liver will thank me one day.

Got up early, had some breakfast and went to shower before leaving. I don’t know what it is about me that attracts disaster, but when I went to get out of the shower the lock on the door was jammed. Like, JAMMED. I was so stuck in there, I was the only person in the shower block, and I was jammed!!! Ugh. Such is my life. After calling out for help for the longest time finally Nico heard me and went to get help. The hostel guys banged and jerked of the door, there were tools flying everywhere and it didn’t budge for the longest time until they finally decided to take the door off the hinges. Ugh. Luckily I was fully dressed, would have absolutely sucked to be stuck there in a towel. Needless to say we missed the walking tour because it took so well. Oh well, life goes on. Armed with a map we decided to head out and see the sights on our own, so started with the castle.

Edinburgh Castle is amazing, the architecture, the exhibitions, the oldest building in the country (St Margarets Chapel), there’s so much history there, so much to learn and see that we were there for about 5 hours. So much for seeing everything that day! Did manage to see Parliament House (geeks!) and catch a glimpse of the looming Arthurs Seat and just wander around the streets and stores looking for a grocery store. Went into a music store to check out some cd’s and saw Band of Horses advertising a show in Glasgow in a couple of days, and the guy only had 2 tickets left (didn’t intend on heading to Glasgow but was tempted to go there just to see them…) Then got talking to a Canadian girl (Hannah) who’s studying there and next thing you know she’s offering to feed us! It was great, went to her apartment and had a (delicious) home cooked meal for the first time in too long. She was a really nice girl, very randomly feeding us poor lowly backpackers. Sat around for a while before heading back in the rain to the hostel bar for a few drinks. After a few drinks and then a few more, all of a sudden it was 5am and definitely time for bed if we were going to have any hope of making it up Arthurs Seat alive in the morning.

Got up early ready to climb and conquer the 251 metre high peak of Arthurs Seat. Of course it was absolutely freezing, and the wind was outrageously strong. But 3 of us braved it anyway, you kind of have to once you’ve seen it, it‘s likke a great big taunting challenge. The wind was so strong I got blown off my feet a few times and was convinced that I was going over the edge sooner or later. I could barely stand at the top because the wind was just flooring me, I can’t imagine how many people have been blown off the top, but it’s a long way down! The view from the top is stunning, you can see forever and ever. Wandered around the town and finally bought some new shoes (shut up Justin, I needed them, my old ones had officially given up living) and went to see the Museum of Scotland where, amongst other things, Dolly the sheep is stuffed and on display. Kinda creepy and gross if you ask me. But it was interesting to read about I guess. By this point a couple of us had decided to head to Glasgow to catch the Band of Horses gig, for £ 13 it was just too good to miss, so checked out the buses and went back to the music store only to find that he’d just sent the tickets back and we’d have to try our luck at the door. Oh well, worth the gamble… Night was, well, pretty standard, drinks with randoms and then got an early(ish) night.

Next morning after checking out of the hostel we finally managed to catch the walking tour and see the rest of the sights in town. Learned a lot of history, most of it was gruesome things like nailing peoples ears to doors for little reason, witches being burned at the stake and drowned in the loch, violence and bloodshed, you get the picture. I even got a detailed description of what it actually means to be drawn and quartered… I won’t subject you to it, but look it up, it’s horrific… Kind of makes you appreciate the times that we’re born into, really. Saw the castle that JK Rowling based Hogwarts on in Harry Potter, saw the café where she actually wrote the book too. It was a pretty good tour, even if my toes were about to drop off they were so cold! After the tour was over we booked bus tickets and Nico, (a random French-Canadian guy) and I headed to Glasgow.

Traffic jams delayed us a little, and by the time we actually got there and went on a mission in the rain to find a hostel (we got soooooo lost…) we arrived saturated and with no time to spare cos we had to get to the venue to try to get tickets at the door. Luckily we did get some, and the show was fantastic. Man, to hear them playing “The Funeral”, his voice is amazing live and he hits every note as well as on the album. They brought out a big wooden harp and everything. They’ll probably never come to Australia ever, unless they make it huuuuuuuge, and then the tickets wouldn’t be 13 pound, so I’m so glad I saw them. The support act was really good, I think that they were called The Cave Singers… Very random, a little whiny, but really good. It was a great night, I was so glad that we had randomly wandered into the music store in the first place. Made me crave live music though, and I started looking at who else is touring Europe. There are so many people around, I wish I was rich! There’s some really good acts that I’ll probably never get to see live, but I guess that’s how life goes!

The next day was Nico’s birthday and since he was stuck on the other side of the world with a random Aussie chick we figured we had to celebrate. Spent the day just meandering through the city centre shopping and whatnot (did I really just say “whatnot“???), just relaxing for the day before going out for dinner (another real meal!!!) and then had some champagne at the hostel before going out in search of a cool bar. The place we ended up, well, at least it was cheap. It was a really good bar, the music was cool, but the people were all, well, young. Very young. Oh well, the music was good and the drinks were cheap. Anything and everything was £ 1.50. Woohoo… And ugh. Scotch, beer, scotch, beer, scotch, beer… Then we ended up at a random Russian bar which was huge. There was a massive dance floor but nobody dancing. Didn’t stop us though! Scotch, beer, scotch, beer… Eventually made it back to the hostel barely in one piece and crashed for the night.

Decided to head to the Highlands to a city called Inverness to try to track down the elusive Scott. Oh, and the Loch Ness Monster too…! Sometimes I think that I have more chance of catching sight of Nessie than I do of finding Scott!!!

Got the bus to Inverness which seemed to be the longest day in the history of mankind, arrived and chilled at the packed hostel for the evening watching Brokeback Mountain and hanging out with randoms.

With no map of the town in sight, we were going to head to the tourist office to see what was around, but of course it was closed for the day so we went for the longest walk along the river checking out churches, an ice rink, the stunning architecture of the town and some lovely parks and gardens. Since arriving in Scotland the weather had been freezing, freeeeeeeeezing cold and windy and rainy, but the sun came through for us and it was a really nice day. The views of the Ness River was great, if I ever sort out the pictures I’m sure that they’ll be impressive! But anyway, we made our way back to the centre of town in time to get a bus out to the infamous Loch Ness and learn all about the history of the highlands before going on a boat cruise across the Loch to Urquart Castle to see the ruins and learn more gory history details that I’m going to have nightmares about for a log time. Really, I’m so glad that I wasn’t born into medieval times. I don’t think my stomach would be up for a life of brutality and cruelty.

The Loch Ness was cool… I guess that you go there knowing that Nessie’s not gonna stick her head out anytime soon, and really, if there is a monster in there I don’t particularly want to be the one to see it. I mean, it would be really sucky to get to see something like that right before being eaten without the chance to even tell anyone what you’d seen, right? The boat ride was fun… The wind was full-on and everyone was getting blown back and forth, and a few people got completely drenched by the massive waves (yes, of course I was one of those unlucky ones and spent the rest of the afternoon freezing my butt off in wet clothes!) but it was an adventure just to try not to fall overboard. Knowing my luck and coordination, if I was to go over the edge that would be when the elusive Monster would make a public appearance. Ugh!

Went back to the town on the tour bus with the cutest little old Scottish man as our guide, he whistled every time he said the sound “S” and told the funniest stories, just like you’d expect a little old Scottish man to do!!! (Blair, imagine your old man voice with a Scottish accent, that was him!!!) More drinks that night with more randoms, such is the story of my life at the moment.

We had booked an overnight bus from Inverness to London which was going to be absolute torture, over 12 hours long, but it was only 17 pounds and it would have cost 4 times that to fly or take the fast train. So we had an extra day to kill, but the weather was miserable. Spent it checking out more of the town, finally made it into the Cathedral and wandered around the streets and stores being tourists and contemplating buying kilts (why???). By the time we actually got on the bus I was well and truly ready for sleep, but thanks to a few really loud obnoxious girls on the bus that was going to be mission impossible. But, eventually, after 12 hours of suffering through their deafening mind-numbing conversation I arrived back in London looking like a derelict and feeling, well, like a derelict!!!

So, there is it… I’m getting closer and closer to being caught up… Now if I could just get past Croatia in my journal… Too much beer not enough writing I think… J

Well kiddo’s… Until next time, love you all, miss you all… Stay safe and miss me lots!!! See you in Oz in May!!!



nabilbo says:
Hey! Love how your first day began!
Posted on: Mar 13, 2008
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photo by: vances