Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Journey to England Part IX

I won't tell you much about the train ride into Edinburgh, because I don't really remember it. I guess I'm trying to win an award for "most pointless introductory sentence". Anyway, Edinburgh was huge and awesome. Hmm no, vast and majestic. Yeah, that makes me sound smarter. 

Remember how we were tired of carrying our packs after the first day? Well now it had been a week, so we immediately sought to get rid of them somehow. Should all hostels have been booked up, we probably would have thrown them off the nearest bridge. Were no bridges nearby, we would have...I don't know, shut up.

We found a place called the Castle Rock Hostel, so named either because it was built into the castle rock, or because it was near the castle, and also rocked. All of the beds in the rooms were named after castles. I was castle Dunnottar. 

Here's the grossly colored room:

Mike was pretty excited about it.

So remember how I felt underwhelmed by that last castle! WELL WE WENT TO ANOTHER ONE! Haha! This time I went with the full understanding that this was more a museum than anything else. So with no hopes to be dashed, it was fun. GIANT CANNON TIME.

The people on either side of me are perplexed.

 So after some fun exploration, we went to the grocery store and GREGG'S. Oh man...


I don't know, maybe it was the result of being a bit more hungry than usual, but I lived for this place. They sold cheap things like sausage rolls and meat pasties. As much as those sound like obscure sexual maneuvers, they weren't. They were delicious foods for weary travelers like ourselves. I've just realized I may have mentioned Gregg's in a previous post, but if so it bears retelling. 

Then we did some more sightseeing. We checked out the royal mile, Edinburgh's main street, a famous graveyard, some monuments, and a museum, all the while listening to some bagpipes somewhat against our will, because just one player in the middle of the city could be heard EVERYWHERE. We didn't have much time in the museum since it was kind of an afterthought and was closing soon, so you'd probably expect us to have made the most of it. I can assure you, we did.

So as I've mentioned before, our budget was stretched pretty thin, so we went back to the hostel to get some more food rather than spend money at some restaurant. In the common room, we found droves of people from all over that seemed to live out of the hostel for weeks at a time. They had their own mini-fridges, and were setting up shop in the kitchen chopping vegetables and preparing elaborate meals. Mike and I ate some bread and peanut butter and did our best to avoid eye contact with these people. 

For that evening's entertainment, we went to a pub to get some beer and watch some soccer. Looming in our view outside was this:

Naturally we thought: Let's get drunk and climb that. So we grabbed the cheapest 12 pack we could find and off we went. God I'm starting to sound like an alcoholic. Didn't I just mentioned we ate shitty food to save money? 

That mountain was called King Arthur's Seat. There was probably a trail somewhere, but we just hiked up the side, which was the steepest fucking hill in all of time and space. Then we realized there were two ways to the very top, going all the way around, or scaling that rock face you can see in that picture. So for some dumb reason, I dropped whatever I was carrying to give the rock face a test. It wasn't too difficult, but then there I was at the top, without my stuff, so I had to climb back down and grab it. We both climbed back up, and then I realized I'd forgotten my hat, so I climbed back down again, then back up a third time. It was getting fairly dark and we weren't exactly waiting to get to the top to open the 12 pack if you catch my drift, so I was really pumped that I didn't fall. The view from the top of that hill was astounding.

We wisely decided to take the long way down after it was dark. 

It turns out being drunk also makes you hilarious, so at some point here we thought it'd be funny to start talking to everyone/each other in Scottish accents. Although probably better than I can do now since I had been surrounded by it for a few days, I'm sure it was still terrible. Nobody said anything though, and it continued for the rest of the night. 

I don't really remember what else happened, although these two pictures help fill in the blanks.


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