Posted by: Team McSlade | July 10, 2010

Edinburgh dreaming

On the whistle stop tour of the UK, we have entered our third country and Scotland is its name. There is conjecture over Wales being a country or a principality, but since ’98 they’ve had their own Government separate from the London’s Parliament House – one better than England.
With that brief social studies lesson over we move on to Edinburgh and all things Scottish.

Checking where our apartment was prior to leaving Liverpool helped immensely and even though we had a few dud turns due to roadworks and dodgy signage in the docks, we did find our pad for two evenings with a modicum of ease.
We had ‘ocean views’, a loose title if ever one was coined. Yes, we could see directly out to the Forth of Firth (no, I did not make that name up, the Scots came up with that gem themselves) but the view was over re-claimed docklands and a port too. Slightly better than Pt Adelaide’s Newport Quays as we also had the Royal Yacht Britannia in plain sight and we could see clearly back to the city, Edinburgh castle and the outskirts of the city.

As we arrived late in the day, dinner from Walmart’s European cousin, Asda, was purchased and the best ‘local’ flavour of chips ever was purchased in a 3 for £3 deal.
As the previous TMS rant, Patatas Fritas will attest, I (Ryan) love chips. So when these Scottish taste sensations came up for grabs I was in there like a pig at a trough. Standard Salt and Vinegar and Aberdeen Angus Barbeque were good for starters but the third bag tore the roof off.
Haggis and cracked black pepper.
Yep, a mental giant in the Scottish chip industry managed to get oatmeal, onion and minced sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs) onto a chip. Bless that individual.

Genius. Pure genius.

With a surname like McEachen, you’d imagine that there would be some Scottish blood in my veins. I don’t bleed tartan, however I checked and found that our small posse originate from the Western Isles and are part of the McDonald of Clanranald Clan. A kilt could not be sourced in our tartan, but a scarf and a book was, so I got those (to go with the coffee mug I have somewhere at home).

As for Edinburgh, they know how to turn on an architectural show. The castle on the hill is majestic, the Royal Mile is studded with gothic marvels and on Princes St they have the Scott Monument, a memorial for Sir Walter Scott. Instead of just bronzing up a likeness of Sir Scott, the fine folk of Edinburgh stumped up the dough for a grandiose spire (and a statue too).
We used the monument as a meeting point for catching up with Chloe and Mark, friends in this wee bonnie city (sorry, some faux Scottish had to get a run in this edition). Chloe is a former serf of the juggernaut that is UniSA, she worked with Jo in the Division of Business.
Mark’s place of employ, Kilimanjaro Coffee was ventured to for a beverage (excellent coffee, do stop by if in the area, it’s on Northbridge) before they needed to sign away the potential earning capacity of their possible first born in triplicate to get a bank account. Never has it been so hard to just ask someone for a place to keep your cash; and with how stuffed the European economy is I would imagine the banks need all the cash they can get.

Scott Monument

Dinner that evening was at our apartment and with our latest ‘adopted’ home nation of Spain in the semi-final of the World Cup; the idiot box was on too. Before the kick-off Zach wandered the halls to get a decent roasting tray for two chooks (chickens for the non-Australian viewers) and spuds to go into the oven on.
Chloe and Mark joined us for this tribute to sport & food and the ladies worked on kitchen stuff, while the XY genetic crew kept a keen eye on the soccer. A boring first half was viewed, dinner was served and enjoyed. Zach, who was wearing his Spanish strip decided to wash the chicken from his hands, as he did this Spain scored the only goal of the match.
A cry of “Great.” with defeated jubilation was heard from the bathroom. At about the same time, Chloe was about to call the bank and inform them that her first born was forming. She had a ‘food baby’ from eating far too much chicken, pumpkin and beans. Luckily we had the great unfiller of dessert on hand, thus the bank was not phoned.

Edinburgh in summer is a dandy of a town, not sure how we’d go in the dead of winter there, but I guess with the new tartan scarf and a thermal-lined kilt one could survive. Peak district, London town and a plane flight or three to go…

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  1. Hurrah! So glad we could catch up while you were on your travels 😀

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