Too much sport is never enough

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November 25th 2006
Published: December 4th 2006
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(acknowledgements to Roy & HG).

Headed to Edinburgh on the last weekend in November to see the Wallabies play Scotland with my brother and another couple of Aussies.

We hired a car and drove to the game - stopping overnight on Friday night near York and completing the 8 hour drive home on Sunday. All of the English people we spoke to thought we were mad for driving so far - but that kind of distance is nothing for an Aussie (OK, OK - it is quite far - but do-able). It is just funny that English people would never consider driving that distance! Lots of the drive is lovely - and along the coast, which was great.

After a shaky start to the match (10 - 0 to the Scots - I think they might have been buoyed by the fireworks and the gun salute that greeted the Scots as they ran onto the field, while the Aussies got nuttin'), the Wallabies hit their stride (although they never quite worked out their line-outs) and roared to a 44 - 15 victory. Very happy we did not drive all that way for a repeat of our loss to the Irish.

The Murrayfield stadium is amazing - over the edge of the stadium, you can see the castle and the city's church spires. Nearly makes up for the fact that the stadium is completely dry (that is if you don't count all the clandestine hip flasks full of whisky). Well, you can until it gets dark, and the temperature drops (and drops and drops and drops). Luckily, mum has sent over a Wallabies beanie and a scarf, so next time I will be more prepared.

During the game, we got talking to some Scotts and Aussies sitting near us. Turns out they were all in the wine industry (the Aussie an exporter from WA) in Scotland. Anyway, they invited us for a beer after the game .... at their car .... in the carpark! Sounded a bit dodgy, but as there were a group of us, I thought - how bad can it be? So after the game, we headed to the carpark with our new mates. Turns out it is a Scottish tradition to have carpark parties after the game (kind of like the American football thing). They had a table, beers, snacks, hot soup and, of course, wine. There were lots of others braving the cold at their cars and enjoying the aftermath of the game.

The hot soup warmed us up, and the wine and beer helped with our 'alcohol coats' but as it became pitch black, we started to feel the chill of the wind and our thoughts turned to a warm pub and a full dinner. Given the darkness, we thought it must be 7 or 8 pm. Hmmmmm, appearances can be deceiving - turns out it was only 5.30pm!!! Nevertheless, we headed to off on a pub crawl, and a big night of celebrations on the town.

The next day (slightly worse for wear), we headed out to check out some of the sights of the town. Edinburgh is way cool. The old city is compact (I love a walled city), the castle is on a craggy peak and people actually were wearing kilts!! It was disappointing that we did not have much time to see the city - because of our sleep in and the long drive back to London. Will definitely have to come back one day with more time (and maybe more time to visit some of the many, many castles on the way).

Bring on the Rugby World Cup!!!


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