August 10, 2012

Confessions of the Euro-fluenced: Days 29-31, 34

Edinburgh, Scotland: home of bagpipes, The Fringe Festival, Harry Potter, rain, the lady with the most piercings ever, plenty of friendly, hip Australians (Cheers, mate), haggis, more stairs than I ever wanted to climb, and overall a good vibe.

Along with Basel, Edinburgh is a city of which I wouldn't mind returning to. It's a walkable city and there is plenty to do. Andrew usually does quite a bit more exploring than me, though. There are times where I chose NOT to hike or go to the museum or the walking tour and , instead, let Andrew explore on his own. There are many reasons for this... Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I'm hungry. Or it's rainy and cold. Or I am just not interested.

[Wow! That just painted me in a horrible light.]
I don't know about the rest of you, but I seem to be one  of those unfortunate folk who is needy listens to her body  a bit too much. "I need something to eat NOW." "I need to go to sleep NOW." "I need to go to find a bathroom NOW."
[Anyone want to put money down on how fussy I will be as a pregnant lady?]
[Stop it, I'm not pregnant.]
 A quick Starbucks stop, however, usually gets the synapses firing again and I am rearing to go!!

My point is not a serious one but just to say that hubby and I sometimes have two slightly different experiences in the same city. We are learning that no two people travel exactly alike, especially after MONTHS of travel. So, Edinburgh has indeed been one of these experiences where Andrew has basically done some of the exploring for me.

After all, isn't marriage supposed to make us "one?" So why should I exert more energy than needed?

[I think I may be chronically lazy. Hm. I wonder if having nothing to do in London (while Andrew studies) will cure or feed that tendency?]

So, because Andrew has been the explorer among us, I have to give a shout out to him for taking many of the wonderful photos. Credit to you, dear! Thanks for making me feel as if I was actually there!

[Its amazing how much I can see from the window of the hostel.]

It's really NOT as bad as it sounds, though.  I mostly just refuse to walk about for hours with no goal (or food, or coffee) as the reward!

However, I never pass up a good meal. We indulged in some hearty pub macaroni and cheese that first evening. Very satisfying. I've come to appreciate how Europeans eat because it makes me feel as if
my eating habits are NORMAL...

...Along with having vinegar as a main condiment, its very common to have sandwiches filled only with coleslaw and cheese, or cream cheese and cucumbers...
... It has taken me the better part of my life to accept the fact that I am vegetarian. I don't know why, but growing up in a farming community and NOT enjoying meat wasn't very acceptable to some (or most) people. In retrospect, (this is going to sound funny), many times I've felt discriminated against for not eating meat. People have laughed, rolled their eyes, and have always questioned Well, what WILL you eat if
you don't eat meat?

News flash, friends, meat is WAY over-rated. So, for instance, I love myself a sub without the lunchmeat, a burger without the patty, or a loaded hot dog with out the dog. 

Go ahead, laugh all you want. What's the point of eating a hotdog with out the hotdog? BECAUSE the sauerkraut, onions, cheese, relish, and mustard ARE SO YUMMY!! 

I don't look badly on those who eat meat. I am just severely grossed out by the thought of eating animals, and yes, sometimes feel bad for them. 

Anyway, now that being vegetarian is trendy again, I appreciate the sandwiches Europe has to offer. My lettuce, onion, and cheese sandwich seems to be a staple of European culture of which I am super grateful. 

So where is Edinburgh in all this? Oh, yeah, great macaroni and cheese.

...and haggis.

Haggis is like the opposite of a cheese and coleslaw sandwich. It is everything a vegetarian DOESN'T stand for. Take the sausage out of the animal. Then grind up everything that remains.. Voila! Haggis!

Edinburgh is also the birthplace of Harry Potter. Rumor has it JK Rowling began writing Harry's adventures on a napkin in a little cafe called The Elephant House. We had the privilege of eating there. Once inside, it's obvious where some of her inspiration came from. Looking out the window, you can see a castle on a hill which very much resembles Hogwarts (in the first film). There is also a pretty graveyard nearby that has both McGonagal and Tom Riddle on the headstones.

No funny hostel stories this time around. We stayed in two different ones. The first was a bit smelly and noisy since we had eight other roommates. The second hostel (go ahead and Google Budget Backpackers) was way hip, friendly, and efficient. We had our own room and slept well that night. Would highly recommend it if you ever are in town.

Oh, and one of our hostel mates decided to sketch me while I was reading! Cool!

>Food 1
>Location 1
>Activities 1
>Comfort .5
>Hostel .5
The FLACH? 4 magical stars.

Beef and Gravy. Macaroni and Cheese.

Sitting where JK Rowling sat!

Andrew quickly fell in love with the surrounding hills.

I think this is what JK Rowling was insipired by as she looked out the window... Doesn't it remind you of Hogwarts in the first movie? High up on a hill? And there's even a Quidditch stadium!

Finally, a sunny day to relax in the park!

McGonagall headstone.

Tom Riddle headstone.

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