Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I am recently back from a weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Long story short: we had a great time!

There is quite a bit to tell, and we experienced so many new things.  First, I'd like to say how Edinburgh is beautiful and charming.  The impression I got was of a city that is very much in touch with its history and culture, especially relating to its artistic and literary past.  Though it is the capital city of Scotland and the second-largest, it is very easy to travel around; for a city its size, it is very pedestrian-friendly.  Everywhere we went, we walked.  This included the great free walking tour we took the first full day we were there, and that evening's ghost tour.  We visited interesting spots such as St. Giles' Cathedral (interestingly it isn't a cathedral because that name implies the presence of a bishop, which is absent in this Presbyterian place of worship), the Writer's Museum (which houses artifacts from three of the city's, and Scotland's, most beloved inhabitants: Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns), Arthur's Seat (the peak of a mountain overlooking Edinburgh and its environs) and even a kirkyard or two where we were told ghost stories stemming from the city's sometimes violent past. 

Of course, a trip to a new city would not be completely satisfying if we didn't sample the local culinary customs.  Of course there was a pub crawl, a strange local soft-drink known as Irn Bru (which notably outsells both Pepsi and Coke in Scotland) and an eye-opening experience with a battered, deep-fried Mars Bar (fried food is apparently an obsession), but the best part was the haggis.  I don't want to go into the details of what haggis is made of (for good reason), but whatever its reputation is abroad, I can vouch for how delicious it is, especially served with its traditional accompaniments "neeps and tatties" (Scots for shredded turnips and mashed potatoes).  Small wonder Robert Burns wrote an ode to it.

I loved my experience in Edinburgh, and I highly recommend at least a weekend visit to the city!

That's it for now, but in a week or two expect another entry from me, as I will be visiting Dublin for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday and London for the three days following.

1 comment:

  1. I joined Joe during his sojourn in Edinburgh, and personally vouch that everything he states is true.