Nov 5, 2012

Edinburgh!

Somewhere in the summer my boyfriend saw that there was going to be a concert in Edinburgh that he wanted to visit. But it was on my birthday. So we decided to enjoy life, seize the day and just go there. And because it was a really nice weekend I decided to write a blog post about it!

The weekend started a bit stressful as we arrived a lot later then expected in Edinburgh, but the flight was really fast. Somehow I'm always surprised by how close the UK actually is. When you don't take into account the waiting time (always a good time for using your sketchbook) at the airport it's almost as close as visiting my parents in the North of the Netherlands.

Our hotel, the Residence Inn of Marriot, was a nice spacious and modern place except for the fact that we didn't get WiFi in our room (but not having internet also has its benefits..). After some refreshing we went to a pub at Grassmarket, where Nick decided to order a drink for me that I 'had to taste' (though I already knew it). We then decided to eat at a really big Irish pub (well, relative to Dutch places) close to the hotel. Funny enough in the UK (and thus Scotland too) food is pretty cheap compared to drinks.
Why? I don't know, because actually it's good and fresh food, though not really that refined but it doesn't always matter. At the pub we could watch a rugby match, which was actually really funny (I'm not into sports at all) and after our stomachs were filled we decided to go back to the hotel and get some rest.

 On saturday we visited a museum and had a big walk through the city while seeing some nice places. I read something about an exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with beautiful illustrations from a book with stories about Scottish folk tales, drawn by Kate Leiper. It was actually the exhibitions last day so we were lucky. The illustrations were nice, though we expected a little bit more of a museum. Too bad we couldn't visited this place more often, seeing as that they hold a lot of nice festival and events, but we enjoyed a nice cup of tea there.
We then proceeded to princess street, princess street garden, visited a lot of shops and walked on a lot of streets. Edinburgh has really nice architecture and it is worth mentioning that because in some parts of the city new buildings were build on (very) old ones you sometimes get differences in heights. While one street might seem 'low' , the next one could be 20 metres higher. Gives a lot of depth and dynamic atmosphere, which is really cool.

When it was almost evening we decided to go to Camera Obscura, which was a lot of fun though we didn't actually see the camera obscura itself until the next day (nice that you can just visit the next day too and see the actual thing). After wandering around some more we had dinner at a really nice italian restaurant called Gennaro. The food was absolutely delicious and somehow magical because Nick and I both couldn't figure out how they cooked it in only ten minutes, and because of that also had to finish that bottle of wine really fast ;).

Sunday begin with a walk on the Greyfriars' Kirkyard, which is known because of the Greyfriars Bobby story but is also somehow worth visiting because it has these kinds of private rooms with graves, almost like a crypt. But next to that some graves look like they were built into the wall of the yard and it all looks ancient.
Of course we couldn't skip visiting Edinburgh Castle, which is an impressive place but all the museums and facts about wars and prisoners isn't really my thing though. So we treated ourselves, at my actual birthday, on some tea in the tea rooms. The rest of the afternoon wasn't really eventful.

The whole point of the weekend was to go to the Distant Worlds concert so we had to eat early and had some really nice fried brie at 'Dirty Dick's' at the end of Rose Street (which is also worth visiting just to see the bar itself) and then walked to the Playhouse which was actually already very crowded even when we were early. The playhouse is an impressive place and we had some excellent seats at the front of the circle.

To hear music from the Final Fantasy games live was really amazing, I even had tears in my eyes while I'm actually not even a FF fan (but Nick is..). That is what music can do with you. Beautiful things like that always remember me of (my) dreams and to just follow them. And also that I want to share that idea with others, even when I'm not really sure how to do that, when you hear music like that it doesn't really matter anymore.

It was really nice to celebrate my birthday at some place else and have an overseas trip. Edinburgh is a wonderful city and I'm definitely coming back some day (to see the rest of Scotland too)!