Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Castles, Monuments, and Plaid . . . Oh My!

Today we walked, and walked, and walked, and walked.

We started the morning by climbing Calton Hill which gave us a nice view of the city and surrounding islands. We saw the National War Monument, which was actually left unfinished and modeled after the Parthenon in Rome. We were also able to see out across the Firth of Forth and see the sea around Scotland. Say that five times fast. We then proceeded to make our way across the city to Salisbury Crags, a hill type mountain that is an extinct volcano, a place that is the home of Arthur's Seat (whatever that means). Anyway, it was a very steep hike! Here is a picture, and if you look closely, you can see people climbing the path up the side. The views were beautiful, but it was very windy and a bit chilly!

Next, we took the hop on/hop off bus to the Edinburgh Castle and toured it. We were there for about 1 and a half hours. It had some pretty awesome architecture and was enormous. However, many parts of the castle are still being used as meeting places and private living quarters, so we didn't get to see as much of it as I would have liked to. It seems like all the old buildings here are either abandoned or being used as something else, which in reality makes sense, but I just wanted to see old buildings as such.

After the castle, we walked around some more and went to a Tartan shop where we watched a man work with a machine to weave wool material for kilts. It was pretty cool and kind of loud. It took forever for the machine to make the finished material, and they told us that a kilt takes between 7-9 yards of fabric. Wow. That's a lot of plaid!

We didn't make it up the tower with all the steps today, but probably tomorrow. We were going to go under the city, to the catacombs of sorts--the famous Mary King's Close--but, I didn't want to pay for it today, so I didn't go. Maybe I'll feel like it tomorrow. I feel like such a tourist going to all these attractions. Yes, I know I am a tourist, but I just like enjoying the city more than paying for attractions. Proof that I am actually in the city and not just posting random pictures:

We then came back to the hotel where I proceeded to read and take a four hour nap. I know. Then, we went to dinner at this local restaurant away from the center of the city that was called Vittoria. It was a little Italian place that was delicious. I'm sure at one point or another that our waiter thought we were stupid Americans. He asked where we were from, and I said the United States. He looked annoyed like, "Yeah, I knew that," and so I said Utah. He said, "Oh, is that by Hollywood?" I said, yeah. About 800 miles close. :) (I was just guessing). He had no idea where Salt Lake City was, even after mentioning the Olympics. Oh well.

That's about all for today! Plus, I only had to get out my umbrella once and got sprinkled on three times. Pretty good for one day!
On a side note . . . Yesterday, we had fish and chips for lunch at the Prince Street Mall. The guy who was taking our order was talking super fast. I just looked at him when he asked if we wanted a side of mushy peas--because I had no idea what he said--and he replied, "You want me to say that again faster?" By that time I had processed what he said, laughed, and told him no. He was quite the funny guy. Then, there was this older lady that was ordering, and when she got her order she said, "Am I feedin' the whole place?" :) She had an enormous piece of fish on her plate. These people are funny.


DEFRIEZ said...

I have so enjoyed reading these!! I am glad you are having fun!

Jen said...

Keep posting Michelle! I am on vacation with you...I heart you!

Janica said...

don't forget to try the blood pudding.