An exciting day in Edinburgh!

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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The Royal Mile
The bus ride from Glasgow was beautiful. When I wasn't asleep, I was watching the stretches of countryside. Not to sound cliche, but the grass here is a lot greener than it is anywhere else I've ever seen. It was so nice to look out at the rich colors, and the sheep and cows and horses... Simple, I know, but this satisfied some necessary "to do" item in my mind... traveling through the countryside in Europe, looking out the window pensively... like you can find all the answers to your life out in those hills.

Anyway, we got into the station in Edinburgh and met up with my friend Jessica from high school, who is studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh.
See, it's so dark!
She was a WONDERFUL tour guide and hostess. Edinburgh is AMAZING. It is so beatuiful... Walking along Princes' Street to her flat we got to see the long park on Princes' Street, a bunch of dark, old buildings, and the Edinburgh Castle. The dark green grass and black rock holding up the castle give it a very impressive look. After we took a nap at her flat, and got to meet her flatmates (two of them are from France, and one is from Greece... they were SO SO SO nice.... and it was really awesome to be able to listen to French again!), we walked back to Princes' Street. Aysha convinced us to buy some chestnuts (and heck yes, they were roasting on an open fire). We ate them in the street, and they were strange, and kind of messy, but nice and warm. We shopped a little bit, and then did something daring: ate at a Mexican restaurant.
Edinburgh Castle
We had all been missing it, so we thought it would be worth splurging on. It was somewhat disappointing, ($22 for a burrito half the size of the ones in California!!!) but still managed to fulfill us.

What we did after dinner was possibly the coolest thing I've done in my whole life. Well, at least the coolest thing I've done since I've been here. Jessica's flatmates told us there was a "Ceilidh" that night (pronounced "kay-lee"... I know, weird) that the school was helping put on. They told Aysha and I that it was Scottish dancing, and that it was really fun. I didn't really want to go, because I imagined a really smokey bar with a bunch of old, drunk, Scottish dudes doing dances that I didn't know how to do, while I sat in the corner while everyone else got drunk, and watched, and got cancer.
Eating chestnuts!
However, we didn't have anything better to do, and it seemed like an interesting cultural thing, anyway, so we went. Turns out, it was the most awesome thing ever. First off, there's no smoking indoors in Scotland!!! What a nice surprise for me, after having to deal with it everywhere I go in England! Also, since it was put on by the school, everyone there was our age. There was a band playing traditional Scottish music with a modern twist to it (they were very, very good), and a bunch of college age students hanging out in Halloween costumes (it was themed, unbeknownst to us), and most of the guys were wearing KILTS!!! How cool is that?!!? To settle my last fear, the dancing wasn't scary, because it worked as follows: The leader ofthe band would take a break from playing to explain to us what kind of group we needed to get into (groups of 8, couples, etc), and then explained how to do the next dance.
St. Gils' Church, which we went in later...
It was all easy things, like holding each other's hands and spinning in a circle, or putting your hands in the middle and walking in a circle... nothing too hard for an inexperienced dancer. So then he would start playing, and we would do the dances! It was SO FUN!!! Everyone there was so into it! The coolest one was called "The Basket," where two guys stood opposite each other and lifted up two girls and spun them around really fast. In the last one you had to spin with people all the way down the middle of the room, and you got really dizzy. I can't tell you how much fun I had. I kept thinking, "We would never be able to do something like this in California." The dancing was so much more traditional and innocent than what we consider social dancing to be at home (i.e.
My favorite picture of Edinburgh Castle, with Princes' Park below. The rock it's on was once a volcano!
molesting each other with minimal clothing). If we were to try to do this at home, people wouldn't come, and if they did, they would sit on the side and wouldn't dance (EVERYONE danced here), and the guys certainly wouldn't be cool enough to dress up in kilts. As a result, Aysha, Jessica and I decided that we need to bring the Ceilidh to Southern California so we can enjoy nice, clean fun, and culture, two things that Southern California lacks. So, LOOK OUT!
imaginger says:
I am so down, you don't even know.
Posted on: Nov 27, 2006
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The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
See, its so dark!
See, it's so dark!
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle
Eating chestnuts!
Eating chestnuts!
St. Gils Church, which we went in…
St. Gils' Church, which we went i…
My favorite picture of Edinburgh C…
My favorite picture of Edinburgh …
Enjoying painfully over-priced Mex…
Enjoying painfully over-priced Me…
The student union-y building in wh…
The student union-y building in w…
Being excited about going inside
Being excited about going inside
YAY!
YAY!
Scottish guy with a fiddle
Scottish guy with a fiddle
Scottish guy in a kilt!!! Aysha to…
Scottish guy in a kilt!!! Aysha t…
The band
The band
Charula (or something... shes Gre…
Charula (or something... she's Gr…
Aysha and I, bringing UCI love to …
Aysha and I, bringing UCI love to…
All of us... look how happy we are…
All of us... look how happy we ar…
Learning another dance
Learning another dance
Edinburgh
photo by: vances