Monday, March 9, 2009

Edinburgh in slightly more detail and a magical surprise!

So, I have possibly figured out a way around the dongle taking control of the internet. I have yet to see if it works 100%, but currently I'm on the campus wireless, which is awesome. And I didn't have to uninstall the dongle. So this might actually work. We'll see. (That was the magical surprise.)

Now for Edinburgh.
So, train ride was relatively uneventful. We got in at like 6ish, and after being lost for about 5 minutes, we figured out where we were and managed to get to our hostel. Checked in, went up to the room and dropped our stuff off. We had a 4 person room to ourselves the first night, so yay for that. After dropping stuff off, we headed over to Adam's hostel. We would have all been at the same one, but we kept forgetting to book the hostel, and ended up at a different one. Ours was much nicer, just a bit farther away from things, but that was ok. So if you ever have a choice between Argyle Backpackers and Budget Backpackers, go for Argyle. In my opinion.

**six hours later**

So I just got my new video card thingie installed and it seems like it's working, seeing as how I haven't crashed in the hour I've been on, although it only crashed two or three times in the past two weeks and not the crazy way, so dunno.

Back to Edinburgh, that's what y'all really care about.

Anyway, after picking up Adam, we went and got dinner at a pub by his hostel. I had steak & ale pie, which was good, but was lacking in the ale flavoring. I've had better. Then we wandered around Edinburgh for a couple of hours, basically just getting a feel for where things are, and because there was nothing else to do, unless we wanted to get drunk and/or go clubbing, which we didn't want to do. If you all haven't noticed yet, Jake and I aren't big on the whole going out and getting drunk and dancing all night thing.

Around like 10, we started heading back to the hostels, since it was cold out.
The next morning, we met up at like 9:30, and found a place a couple doors down from the pub from Friday night, and had breakfast. When I put up pictures I'll caption the ones with the places we ate, I don't remember their names at the moment. That place had the whole English Breakfast thing, and Scottish breakfast, so if you want one of those, I'd say go there.
Following breakfast, we walked up to Edinburgh Castle and wandered around it. Now, it looks fantastic from the side/bottom. But I think I like broken down castles better than ones that can still be used. It had a bunch of smaller buildings in it and a couple museums, which was all great, but there's something to be said for ruins. Not that I'm saying don't go, you should, but if you have a choice between the castle and some of the other things I'm going to get around to mentioning, I'd almost say do them instead.

After the castle, we started walking down the Royal Mile toward the Palace. The Royal Mile is just another name for the street between the castle & palace, and it's full of stores catering to tourists. Many of them are staffed by Indian guys, which is a bit wierd. I'll come back to that in a bit. The original plan was to do the Palace, but since it was already 2:30 and it closed at 4:30, and since we weren't sure how long it'd take, we decided to climb Arthur's Seat instead, since it was next to the Palace. This ended up being a good decision, since the weather Sunday morning made it impossible to climb.

Arthur's Seat is an inactive volcano mountain thing. I'm not sure exactally what, but volcano was mentioned somewhere. It's a bit steep, but if you have a couple hours on your hand, I would definately reccomend climbing it. The view from the top is pretty awesome. The one downside was that the higher we got, the windier it got. At the top, there were a couple of times that it almost knocked us over. Then it started raining, so we headed down. On the way we found really comfy grass. It was comfy. After that, since it had started raining, we decided to get some food in the hopes that it would stop while we were eating. It sort of did. We went back to Adam's hostel to sort of plot out Germany, then decided to go to ours since I had a headache and wanted painkillers. We sat around for a while, then it started raining harder, and when it finally let up Adam went back to his hostel and we went to bed.

Sunday morning we had originally planned to go to the Palace with Adam before he had to go catch his plane, but he wanted to go look at some other stuff, so we went to Calton Hill and looked around up there. Then Adam had to go catch a bus to the airport and Jake and I went to Holyroodhouse Palace. Definately go to the palace. It's cool. Unfortunately you can't take pictures inside, so you can't see what it looks like unless you go. Also, if you go, get the audio tour (it's included in entrance fee, so no reason to not pick it up), it's very informative. After the palace we wandered down the Royal Mile, had lunch at World's End, and then went and got on a train home.

Back to the whole Indian guys running tourist shops- Jake wanted to get a dirk, but not from an Indian guy, so we found a store with a red-headed scottish lady, and he got it from her.
Also, I have no idea if they sell this in the states or not, but if you are 21, go try and find Bruadar. Best alcohol I've tasted so far. Hooray whiskey.
Yeah, that's it for now. I will try and put pictures up on Friday after classes and after I turn in my essay.

Now, back to working on said essay and away from blogging.
I've wasted enough time today.
Can you believe Apple wanted me to drop the laptop off for 3-5 days? The reason I didn't drop it off 2 weeks ago was because it'd take time and the guy said if I brought it back when the part was in they'd fix it when I brought it in. Instead, I get there, tell the guy why I'm there, and he's all, k, sign this paper saying you're leaving the laptop with us, I'm like, wait, how long is it going to take? Oh, just 3-5 days. Um, the guy before said you could do it while I waited. Hm.. well, let me go ask him. *comes back* well, if you can stick around till 6 (it's 3:15 now) we can fix it today. Ok. *signs paper* *wanders off to find somewhere to read a book on the Black Death for two hours until my eyes are tired of that at which time I go to H&M to try stuff on for fun*
So.. yeah.

Oh. Also, apparently Scotland has coos. Really awesome coos with hair in their eyes. There were pictures of them all over, but I didn't see any real ones. So Jake and I have decided that we would like to go back to Scotland some weekend, probably up to Aberdeen since all in all, Edinburgh really caters to tourists, and we'd rather see the real Scotland.
The end.

EDIT: I lied. One, I posted this and realized how bad it looked without spaces between paragraphs, so I put those in. Then I realized I didn't explain why it was good we did Arthur's Seat Saturday instead of Sunday. Sunday morning it snowed. Enough so all the mountains and cliffs and stuff were covered. That would not have worked out, especially since it had been pouring Saturday night. Would have been super muddy.
Now, THE END. For reals.

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