who the heck knows anything, anyway

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sort-of-Last Day in Edinburgh, and Trains to Oxford (Or: Days 5 & 6)

The first leg of our trip is officially done. Yesterday was our final big day of touristing through Edinburgh's city center (we'll have a few more days up there at the end of our trip before we fly back, but we wanted to see most of the big stuff during this first go-around) and today we spent almost seven hours riding/nearly-missing/catching trains. We should have had twenty minutes to make our final connection in Sheffield, but our previous train left eight minutes late. Daniel wins 10 points for putting up with my panic. Fortunately, all of that platform navigating is (for the next few weeks, at least) done, and we are settling in to our flat in Oxford, which is where we will be hangin' out for the next few weeks. But let's jump back to yesterday for some re-capping and a few pictures:

First, we walked to Leith and checked out an awesome used book store called McNaughton's*. When I say "used book store", I don't mean by West Coast standards. Instead, imagine the Rare Books section of the Pearl Room at Powell's: that's what I mean. Only, it's in a small, sub-street-level shop with one girl at the counter (reading, naturally) and all of the books are just there for the perusing. It's strange to be in a part of the world where they just have old books lying around. The U.S.--the Pacific NW, in particular--is such a new little baby when it comes to all things not-geo/ecological. A cute baby, but still a baby. 

Sadly, the only picture of the bookstore is rather poor quality, and I'm too lazy to get it off of my phone. I do, however, have pictures of my lunch from Cafe Marlayne: 

pretty pretty cafe (and pretty daniel, too)

they called it "boudin noir" on the menu. tricky tricky.
(the infamous--delicious!--black pudding)

haddock with a poached egg, hollandaise, and spinach
Daniel and Catherine got sandwiches, but I looked at the menu and picked the two things I knew I had never tried before. It was the richest meal I've had, possibly ever; I couldn't even finish the haddock, despite its being spectacular (and fish is the one thing I'm really picky about). And it was only £10 for this two-course lunch--side of beans, broccoli, and potatoes included! Totally sold. Cafe Marlayne. If you're in Edinburgh, go there. Apparently they also have a full restaurant, which Catherine says is The Amazingest**.

Calton Hill was after lunch. Check out that view, man.

After this was window shopping, tea, and the bus ride home. We were going to go out, but then we decided to nap and eat leftovers instead. 

This morning, we caught our first of three trains at 10am, with only a little confusion about how the tickets worked. This is what the Scottish countryside looked like today:

Yep. Sixty degrees and sunny. The walk from the train station to our flat was just lovely. 

Oh, and I am going to add that an 80ct package of PG Tips only costs £2.75 at the corner store half a block away. Even with the conversion rate, that's so friggin' cheap. Most things may cost a bajillion dollars here, but at least my tea habit will be well sated. Aaaand the corner store is called the Grog Shop. They basically sell milk, tea, sugar, and booze. Good times.

More to come soon!

*Coincidentally, this is my family's Scottish name on my mom's mom's side.
**I'm paraphrasing