Published: September 10th 2009August 21st 2009
Ahhh the momentous occasion finally arrived. The baby of the family finally turned 18, although i'm sure she'd also like to point out that this in no way means she's a grown up...that will come when she comes of age at 25....19th century style.
Nothing concrete had been set for today except to visit the theatre later that evening. My friend Anna had taken some annual leave so was free to show us the sights. She had it all planned out.
So after a lazy start to the morning...i believe that Sarah was just as tired as I was, but for a different reason - teenagerism. Skipped breakfast and took the scenic walk into Edinburgh's centre, walking along the river. Well when i said that Anna had it all planned out...that might have been a tad exaggeration. She knew the general direction where we should be going and proving us with many a moments of laughter with her hesitating 'Errrrr....this way?'
But we did make it so Anna...that's 5 stars to you! Going to Edinburgh at this time of the year is fantastic because of the array of festivals happening in and around the city. The first grand
building we walked past was St Mary's Cathedral, and then straight away you're at Princes Street. At the moment they're building a tram network so there was lots of road works happening but once you overcame where you were menat to cross the road it wasn't that much of a distraction. We walked to the main juction at the base of Princes Street and went down some steps (off Lothian Road) to where the book festival was taking place. Anna took us to a lovely cafe there and we had breakfast....of the cake variety. Sarah was immensely disappointed with the raisons in her brownie...who does that!?
We continued through the Princes Street Gardens to which Anna was acting as tour guide giving descriptions of it's once collection of vile, pathogen loving water that was later drained....where a few bodeis were found rotting. Lovely. Lovely also that it added to the beautiful lush soil that made everything grow well. As we walked through the grounds we couldn't excape Edinburgh Castle luming to our right on top of the craggy rock.
We walked as far as the Scottish National Gallery and then through the throngs of people milling around taking
in the festival. Here there were many acts, part of the fringe festival, trying to get people to come see their show later, and others performing on the street. It felt impossible not to accept the countless flyers being handed out to us, and Anna showed her wealth of experience by demanding to know where it was five star rated! After only passing about 100 metres i had enough flyers and papers to account for the loss on a tree.
After slowly moving through the crowds we descended to the Royal Mile. Here is a stretch of buildings that made up the origianl city. At one end lies the castle and at the other end the Palace. The street was crammed with more street perfomers and touts and we moved slowly taking in the sights. Anna left us then and Sarah and I headed straight or some light refreshments....Starbucks! My oh my they had such a system going on there...not surprising as it was so busy. Onto the second helping of cake...but not that good in the end. We headed back out having made the decision to go see the Castle.
The que was small, not at all
what we expected but i suppose going on a Friday makes a difference. The castle is made up of several buildings and it over looks the city! An amazing sight. It's very well laid out giving you plenty of infomation along the way. By some good luck we managed to jump the que to see the Scottish crown jewels, saving ourselves over 30 mins (that's what the American lady who let us in the que said)....
After leaving we decided to head back to get ready for the theatre that evening. The accommodation was so close to the centre...couldn't understand why Anna had told us about the special bus 36!! (which we had yet to see)
So the theatre....I had bought tickets for Sarah and I to see Macbeth, as she had already studied it. What can I say...we looked fantastic...amd so did Usher Hall. Such a grand building. But here is where there will be a difference of opinion between myself and Sarah. I had thought that the tickets were for a PLAY and not the OPERA! Oooopppps. Probably not what an 18 year old would wish to do on her birthday! But it was splendid...and
all in Italian :) We sat next to a couple who let us share their program for the translation which was very kind of them. The BBC Scottish Symphony were spectacular. Sarah was a good sport to stay awake :)
There are more photos below