Saturday, June 07, 2014

Scotland 2014 Day 11: Edinburgh

Scotland 2014 Day 11: Edinburgh

The blind in our hostel room only closed most of the way, so it was a little open and a little bright at the grand old hour of 7:45am, so we got up and figured we may as well just get to it. It's a Sunday, so the shops were not open yet, so we decided to go check out Edinburgh Castle.

Impromptu march
Walking towards Edinburgh Castle
From the castle, there were some great views of the city, that spiky tower thing, "my" cool Art-Deco building, and the general gloriousness of Edinburgh. We walked inside the castle for a bit, saw the "Crown Jewels" (heh heh-- but seriously, they were cool) and then saw a very knight-y room filled with armor and lots of swords.

View from Edinburgh Castle
My favourite building again on the right
Enter the swordroom
This place is armoured-up!
Don't sword me, bro
Don't want to be on the wrong end of one of these
Sweet gun clock, bro
From there it was off to the Scotch Whisky Experience to see what the deal was there. We didn't end up going in on their "whisky barrel ride" ride, but they did have a pretty impressive selection in the shop, including some weird and impossible-to-find stuff. We figured our entire trip in Scotland was "The Scotch Whisky Experience" so we figured we'd learned "on the road" as it were.

At the Scotch Whisky Experience... holy moly
From there we wandered the city some more, and ended up back in new town to have tea at E-ticket - I meant "Eteaket". :) It was a tasty scone, and the clotted cream/double devonshire cream was REALLY good. Man, the UK rocks so hard at milk products! I chose the Scottish "Breakfast Blend" tea which was good, but wasn't quite as Lapsang Souchong-y as I had expected! I've only tried Scottish Breakfast once before and it was a bit smoky, so maybe they have different definitions of what a "Scottish Breakfast" tea is! Anyhow, amazing times, and really great to just chill out and have some tea.

It's tea time!
Hilarious Britishy poster #1
Hilarious Britishy poster #2
Hilarious Britishy poster #3
We walked around more in New Town and then back to Old Town so Matt could get a pig sandwich at a place called "Oink" that was clearly not the most kosher of shops. While Matt was chowing down, I started to look through all of the "Batboy" artwork and cards at the art store we saw yesterday. It was really funny and I loved all the artwork and decided to get a print for me and a card for Frank and Jess.

Wow that is Scottish
Matt eating some pig
The best purchase of the trip
Also, I got a kilt towel.
Back to the hostel we went and I unpacked EVERYTHING and went on a massive throw-out of anything I didn't need -- wrappers, receipts, paper, maps, containers, extra granola bars... the whole thing. The aim was to attempt to get my suitcase adequately re-packed and to load up my backpack and a carry-bag for the plane for tomorrow so that I didn't have to pay the exorbitant $100 overweight bag fee! It took a good hour and a half to fully re-organize everything and also to carefully pack my whisky bottles in padded carrying holders I'd brought specifically for this. I was so psyched we did this earlier in the afternoon instead of leaving it too late... I told Heev afterwards, repeatedly, that this was the "BEST thing we did all day!" It worked out really well, and apparently I've bought a LOT of snacks and food... that carry-on bag was probably almost 10 lbs! My suitcase was finally feeling reasonable, and I was mentally ready to head to the airport the next morning, so we headed back out to do some more random exploring.

Royal Mile Whiskies was our favourite shop!
Inside Royal Mile Whiskies
Wow some old Glenmorangie
All the Octomores!
Crazy Laphroaigs too
We went back to our favourite shop, Royal Mile Whiskies, just to hang out :) There was another spot down the road where I saw a Glenmorangie in a ceramic bottle... wicked. They also had EVERY Octomore... well... except for our special Octomore "Beta Edition" that we tried at the distillery! They also had weird Laphroaig's of all kinds there.

We wandered more, and got an excellent Kebab for dinner, and sat down to eat it and people-watch a bit. From there we went back to the hostel again, and had another of the excellent Passionfruit & apple ciders from New Zealand at the hostel cafe. Heev and I chilled there for a bit and chatted about how well the trip went, and made a list of every single whisky we had tried (many of them just tastes, but still it was a staggeringly large amount!)

Back at the hostel, this Cider from NZ rocked: "Making fruit more useful since 1947"
Awesome backpacker's cafe
Cool Nessie drawing and stairs up to "treehouse"
We then decided to take another neighbourhood wander, and we walked the other way this time, more into the old town direction instead of down the hill back to new town. This was a great idea, as we walked right through the University of Edinburgh. It was super green, and just a really nice, long walk. I found a grocery store at some point and got some more sweets to take home, and also found another random fish and chip shop and got some more chips... naturally! That was funny as they had vinegar in a spray bottle, and they used that to spread vinegar out on the chips. Haha. Tasty.

Taking a walk in University of Edinburgh's gardens
Goodnight, Edinburgh!
We walked for a while and ended up in new town again, and so we took some nice photos of the castle and then headed back to the hostel. But first... a quick last stop at Bow Bar again. :)

What an awesome trip. We had no 2nd roommates tonight, so just our own room tonight for next-to-nothing. Score.

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