Monday, May 11, 2009

Nae Drinks Ootside Efter Neene

... Written on the inside of a door to a fabulously dingy, cheap, Scottish pub that was pretty much everything I wanted Scotland to be. Translation: No drinks outside after 9. And the seemingly dodgy bar had some of the best live music I've ever heard. Any decent cover of a Jim Morrison tune by a teenager in a Dr. Seuss hat has my vote. 

Edinburgh is exciting, quaint, and charming. The people are genial, warm, and like to have fun. What more could anyone ask for? From start to finish, our holiday was perfect. Quiet, clean, smooth 4-hr train ride, and a surprise from Andy, who was waiting at the station! 

The hotel was on Princes Street right in the center of the city. 5 minutes to the botanical gardens, 10 minutes to the Edinburgh Castle & the Royal Mile, and smack inbetween the 2 main spots for night life. We did the whole touristy sight-seeing thing during the day, and walked along the Royal Mile a bit before heading out in the Grassmarket. 

The Royal Mile is a mile-long street with tons of restaurants, pubs, and shopping. We were noticing that every single place we passed was somewhere we wanted to go. For every meal, we passed about 10 places that we said, "that looks great... stop or keep going? let's just look at the next place..." I'll admit it... I didn't try haggis (traditional Scottish meal... sheep bladder, liver, and other body parts). I wanted to! But not enough to actually do it...

The Grassmarket was filled with clubs, lounges, and pubs. I absolutely love the crazy names that pubs have, especially in Edinburgh. In London, too, every pub is a noun beginning with "The." The noun is always something having to do with Britain or royalty. My favorite was one on the Royal Mile called "The Malt Shovel." After a few drinks, I thought it was called "The Manure Pusher." The place we went to was called The Three Sisters. It was a massive lounge/club with a DJ who was using a fake headset to look cool. Just as Andy predicted, about an hour after we arrived, all of the guys that had been standing at the bar drinking were suddenly forming awkward packs on the dance floor and spinning around in circles with their arms in the air... really innovative dance moves. 

Word of caution - don't go to the Scottish House of Parliament. The only things in it are a gift shop and carpeting swatches from the Parliament House. It's not even worth getting out of the rain... which is the only reason we went in the first place. 

So who knew that the best place to find Mexican is in Edinburgh? We went to Miro Mexicana on Rose St. (right before the pub with live music) and had the best fajitas I have ever had. Good mragaritas too. But, if my Mom were to have tried them, she would have taken one sip, smirked, shook her head, and muttered "weak." After the pub, we went to a really nice whiskey bar, since apparently Scotland is known for their whiskey. So naturally, I had a strawberry beer. The length of time it took Andy to finish his whiskey (about an hour) is proof positive that my beer was a good choice. 

So, other than some rainy weather, a fabulous trip! If I could spend every other weekend in Edinburgh, I'd be a happy lady. I guess Edinburgh is a bit of a hike from NY for just a weekend... 

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