Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Final Smattering of Enigmatic Edinburgh Photos

This last entry concluding Scotland is going to be a short and sweet one ;-)

Judith and I made the climb up to Calton Hill, a famous viewpoint that gives a stellar panorama of Edinburgh below.  Really, really pretty.  We loved this.  However, the wind was whipping quote hard on this day.  The wind was so strong that it was slightly difficult to walk!

After we clamored to the top of Calton Hill, Judith opted to do a bit of shopping while I went off in search of a cozy little tea shop where I could do some reading and writing.  I settled on the Sir Walter Scott Tearoom.  I just stumbled upon it randomly while walking, and it looked like a good spot, so I went inside.  Judith and I parted ways at 1pm and agreed to meet up at 3pm.

I made my way up the antiquated stairs and into the charming, cozy, slightly shabby chic tea room which was situated at the tip top of a particularly ornate building.  I hadn't yet sampled the supposedly incredible, very Scottish dish of a scone with a side of cream.  So I decided now was as good a moment as any ;-)

I ordered the plain scone with a side of clotted cream and jam.  I expected the usual when it came to scones.  A softness closer to that of a rock as opposed to something moist and yielding.  However, the latter is shockingly what I got!  I bit into the scone and was totally surprised to find it was cakey, soft, moist, slightly sweet, a tad crumbly, and just REALLY delicious.  I smeared on the cream and jam.  My god.  Explosions of awesomeness began to take place in my mouth.  I was suddenly really, really enjoying myself.

I sat there by the window with a fantastic view of the Ferris wheel and the Scott Monument literally just across the way from me, while I ate, wrote a lot and read.  It was the best.

After I finished my scone (debated ordering a second but then restrained myself) and tea, I headed out to meet Judith in the nearby park we had designated as our meeting point.

See the very tip top set of windows??  That is where I sat.  I got a window seat!!  I had the best view.  It was warm and cozy inside, a super welcoming respite to the chilly, drizzly day outside.  I really enjoyed this.  The tea, scone, view and warmth.

Judith and I had an awesome afternoon in this park.  You can see that, right? ;-p ha ha ha.  All joking aside, we sat on a stone wall, the park was packed with locals, revelers, tourists, students, couples, etc.  We people-watched, laughed a lot, chatted about a variety of interesting topics, this was an especially great time during our trip.  It was one of my favorites actually.  I really enjoyed this moment with her.

As part of this fun few hours in the park, a woman passed by us and stopped to hand Judith a package of these odd looking pictures one could hang from their nose.  The pictures depicted particularly disgusting looking mouths and teeth, all rotten and gross.  Apparently the point was to promote prevention of gum disease.

Suddenly, I grabbed one, put it on and said to Judith, "put one on!  Lets take a photo, it'll be perfect."  She protested a bit, feeling embarrassed about people watching us.  But I pushed her and said, "aw, come on, these are awesome.  Who cares?  Lets just have some fun."

The above photo resulted.

Literally every single time we looked at that photo over the course of the next two days, Judith and I both would just lose it, howling and howling with uncontrollable laughter.  We agreed it was a spontaneous silly moment that yielded a pretty awesome and gut-busting-laughter-worthy photo.

Another one of the photos from our gum disease prevention photo shoot ;-p

This street was just, wow.  Stunning.

This was a particularly yummy meal.  Judith had chicken stuffed with....drumroll....haggis!!!  She took the plunge and tried it.  For those of you who do not know what this is exactly, its a Scottish specialty dish, a traditional dish.  Its made of Sheep heart, liver and lungs.  I know.  DISGUSTING sounding, right??  I literally tried a bite the size of the head of a pin.  I admit, it tasted similar to stuffing.  But I refused to try any more sizable portion.  Knowing what it was ruined that possibility.  Judith raved about it, saying how delicious it tasted though.  I admired her for that. She was a brave soul.  I opted to stick with my quinoa, walnut and butternut squash salad, which was super tasty. 

Tea and cake at Patisserie Valerie.  This chocolate cake was INSANE.  It is one of the richest cakes I have ever eaten.  I could only finish about half.  Whoa.  Delicious but SO intense.

This street was awesome.  So narrow, intriguing, creepy, lovely.

Where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter <3

Oh my gosh, Judith and I were so lucky.  I don't think we had a single meal that was short of totally delicious.  All of them were super yummy.  Whenever we got hungry, we took our time a bit.  Checking reviews online and reading the menus outside of each place.  As a result, we ate REALLY GOOD food during our entire trip.  And nothing pricey either.  We were both talking excitedly about this by the end of the trip, how great all our meals had been.

Anyway, this breakfast was another thumbs up.  The location was Saint Giles Cafe Bar.  I had another scone here.  My second one of the trip.  It was great as well, though the one I ate at Sir Walter Scott's tearoom was much better, I have to admit.
For a drink, I sampled an Edinburgh Fog.  This was Earl Gray tea mixed with milk, honey and vanilla.  This was lovely.  Light, sweet and tasty.  Judith had yogurt with granola along with a ham and cheese croissant, both of which she said were excellent.

The atmosphere in this little cafe was great too.  Heavily wooded giving off a warm, inviting air.  It felt homey, comfy and like a place one could hunker down for the afternoon with a great book.

This looked like, to me, where someone like Tim Burton might live ;-)

We snapped these two photos inside the bar called Banshee Labyrinth.  Judith had really wanted to see this place, so we went and checked it out, had a few laughs inside ;-)

Edinburgh has definitely been catapulted to the top of my list of favorite European cities.  I really loved the atmosphere, vibe and architecture of this city.  It had a great mixture/balance of both darkness and light to it, which I found especially intriguing and fun.  The city felt like the perfect setting for a Gothic, darkly glittering haunting or fairy tale.  But on the other side of the coin, the architecture was absolutely gorgeous, ornate, old, everything one looked at was beautiful, literally all of it. 

I am itching to come back to this city and explore it even further.

If anyone has any recommendations for Edinburgh of their own??  Other favorite spots in the city that they discovered which I haven't mentioned in my Edinburgh blog entries?  I would love to hear them!!

Here is a quick link to Part ONE photos of our Edinburgh Trip.
Another quick link to Part TWO of our Edinburgh trip photos.

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