Sunday, September 14, 2008

Edinburgh back to Atlanta

Get up early, check out, catch the shuttle bus back to the airport.

Nice sunrise coming up over the North Bridge.

Front seat in the top of the double-decker bus.

Frenchie sandwich in CDG.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Edinburgh (Day 3)

Another day of playing tourist. First order of business, hunt down the local farmer's market.



Oh deer!

Double entrende.


Fresh breads.

Fresh quail? I don't know my game birds as well as I should.



More produce.

Time to eat! I ordered myself a "bacon buttie." What's that you ask?

It's basically a bacon sandwich. Bread + bacon.

Add a little mustard and a little brown sauce, what's not to like? (Also, the bacon is cut differently than the usual strips us Yanks are used to.)

More breads.

Scotch eggs. (huh?)

Hard boiled egg, wrapped in meat, breaded and deep fried. Genius!

National museum of Scotland. Really nice free museum. Wandered around for some a while, but I wish I had more time to see all of the exhibits.

They don't like Scientologists o'er there, either.

Lunch time. Edinburgh is right on the water, and as such they have a good supply of fresh seafood. Oysters!

A half-kilo pot of mussels. Mustard and chive flavored. Yum.

Kids being kids and just playing in the park.

Walked over to the train station.

Taxi pickup/drop off round-about.

I thought that this was interesting. Basically a performance report showing percentage of time trains were on time, late within a certain margin, etc. Imagine how ludicrous this would look for any of the train/subway systems in the US? (0%, 0%, 2%, 0%, 1%, ...)

The city observatory. They used to drop a ball from the top of the tower at 1pm so that ships in the harbor could watch and set their clocks (important for old-school naval navigation... sextants and all that jazz). That's also why they fire the cannon at the same time each day in case the weather was too poor for the ships to see the tower. Perhaps this is also where we get the wacky "ball drop" traditions for New Years...

View from a top the observatory over toward Holyrood and Arthur's Seat.

The Romans were here.

View the other direction back toward the castle.

On my way to hike up to Arthur's Seat, the bicycle racks by the parliament building. Looks like random shapes perhaps...

Until you get them all lined up and then they form the shape of a bike.

Slightly muddy in places.

It was actually nice that it wasn't sunny otherwise it would've been too warm.

I don't always choose the wisest/easiest paths to hike.

Up on top!

Made it back down. Time for a refreshing drink. Irn Bru is a Scottish soda that actually rivals Coca Cola here in Scotland. I think this is one of the few non-global products to challenge Coke reasonably well anywhere in the world.

Back over to the castle where they had fire outside the gate now.

Why back to the castle?

This is why. (I was too hungover the previous day to have ice cream as the first thing in my stomach.)

Really good, creamy, old-skool ice cream. Well worth the walk back.

I then made a stop in the cheesy "Scotch Whisky Heritage Center". They had some funny quotes on this cloth. I liked: "Gentleman, I have just met with the most wonderful adventure that ever befell a human being. As I was walking along the Grassmarket, all of a sudden, the street rose up and struck me in the face." -- Lord Rockville, 1877.

Scotch samples included with price of admission.

Cheesy Mr. Rogers-looking model of a Scotch distillery.

Ok, time to eat again. I was hankerin' for some bangers and mash, so that's what I got.


Bangers and mash.

There was something on the menu called "mushy peas." I was curious, so I ordered it, and lo-and-behold, it was a big ol' bowl of ... you guessed it, mushy peas. Unfortunately, it didn't have all that much flavor.

Why are potato chip flavors in the US so boring?