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Lassies Meet World

July 10, 2011

The Best Hostel in Edinburgh!

This weekend, Claire, Em, and I went on a trip to SCOTLAND, home of kilts, bagpipes, and Gerard Butler. We stayed at our very first hostel, High Street Hostel, and found it not at all to be like the movie. The staff was super friendly– they gave us loads of advice on where to go eat, shop, and drink– and the facilities were pretty clean and void of sketchy men trying to kidnap girls. Our room was adorable; it was furnished with about 9 bunk beds and had the cutest, most kindergarten looking decorations ever. I slept in a bed named “Ob” while Claire slept in “Nonnie” and Emily (or Cindy as the person at the front desk named her) slept in “Pitt”.

Edinburgh Castle is an amazing, stone palace atop a steep, rocky hill. The mood was set when the storm clouds rolled in and it started to downpour and even hail. The thunder shook the whole town, but we deemed the weather perfect for exploring an ancient castle. The gloom and darkness added to the eerieness and violent history of this royal Scottish stronghold. We darted in and out of dungeons, throne rooms, and chambers, alternating between feeling cold and wet and warm and dry.

Three Girls, One Umbrella

Luckily, we had our matching trench coats and umbrellas to protect us from the elements, but our sandal clad feet were drenched, so we thought it best to get out of the rain and find some dinner. We decided to finally try British Indian food which we kept hearing has the best curry. We wolfed down our dinner, though we were never quite sure what exactly we had ordered. The waiter’s thick Indian accent on top of a slight British dialect made it absolutely impossible to understand so we just nodded and smiled and ate whatever was brought to us.

Claire and Emily had reserved a “Hidden and Haunted” tour around Edinburgh to visit the sites that their beloved Ghost Adventures team had gone on. I put my foot down on this one and absolutely refused to have any part of walking around in the dark in a strange, old European town listening to ghost stories and visitng violent historic sites. So, I stayed behind in my safe bed at the hostel while crazy Claire and “Cindy” nervously went on their tour. When they returned and I had made sure they weren’t being followed by any ghosts or were possessed by demons and they had settled their heart rates and reassured themselves, we stopped by a local pub, The Mitre, for some drinks to warm up our insides and help us fall asleep.

Harry Potter Fans are the Craziest..I am a Harry Potter Fan...I am Crazy

The next morning, we set out on an exploration of Edinburgh. First, since it was on my high priority list, we stopped by the The Elephant House best known as the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books. There was even a “Harry Potter Toilet” where the toilet and walls of a stall were COVERED in Harry Potter pictures and quotes. I offered a small addition to the decor in this bathroom in the form of a “M6<3 HP” marking.

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most touristy shopping area. Since we were tourists, we thought it appropriate for us to go on a little shopping trip down this “mile”. Emily loaded up on her “Henderson” clan memorabilia while Claire and I messed around with the weird Scottish tourist souvenirs including the  “Edinburgh Castle Rock” candy. This sweet treat is reminiscent of Sweethearts in flavor, but the texture was softer. Made purely of sugar and corn syrup, the warning on the back advised parents to be wary of giving this candy to children since it would affect their attention span.

We finally went on an open double decker tour bus ride courtesy of the lovely and gracious Emily “Cindy” Henderson. All I can say is that Edinburgh is breathtaking. More full of historic buildings and ancient architecture than London, it is surrounded by rolling, grassy hills and beyond that, the glistening, grey sea. The layering of slightly dark, gothic stone buildings with the lush, natural green and the wild, vast ocean is simply unbelievable.

High Rollers...Get it? Cuz we're on a double decker bus?

Our last meal in Edinburgh took place at the Royal Mile Tavern and Restaurant. I tried the veggie haggis which was surprisingly nothing akin to its original counterpart of intestines and blood. It was actually sort of a tomato base-less chilli, full of lentils, oats, and grains. Claire had a MASSIVE baked potato and soup and Emmy had a chicken sandwich. Finally satisfied, warm, and full, we took the 4.5 hour train ride back home, enjoying the beautiful Scottish/English countryside dotted with fluffy white sheep and fluffy white clouds.

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