|It was sooo awesome! It's just got the best atmosphere in the world, no matter what time of year - and at Festival time it's even better!
Monique and I got the six o'clock train out of Kings Cross, well equiped with Archers Aqua, tortias and salsa (Sue missed it because she went to Waterloo by accident - oops!) and were in Edinburgh by 10:20pm. We checked into a really nice youth hostel called Brodies which was right on the High street (read Royal Mile!) and went for a bit of a walk, lovely! There were about ten of us in total staying all over the city, which always makes it more fun!
On Saturday we had to decide what shows to see and picked five, some based on recommendations, some just randomly. It's weird walking around being accosted by the actors themselves trying to sell their shows! And so many to choose from!
So we decided to see Naked Voices which was acapella and excellent. I think we all agreed that it was the best performance of the lot in the end. Then we wandered about, exploring the city and in the evening went to see "I love you, you're perfect – now change!", which Laura had seen off-Broadway in NY and had recommended we see. It was very good - so funny that we were just about rolling on the floor! Then lots of beer (only £1.75 a pint!) in this historical pub called the Mire and off to bed - we had a serious snorer in our room too, and all I can say is Anthony, thanks again for those ear-plugs. Oh, and Monique says thanks too!
On Sunday we saw Animal Farm and this woman was phenomenal. She did all the characters, with movements and voices and all tirelessly for over an hour. More energy than I could hope for in a lifetime! We saw the Castle, walked around some more, explored the shops, had a yummy dinner and then went to see Opera Galactica, a show that can only be described as slap-stick Opera. Interesting. I really enjoyed it, though. The singers were obviously well trained, and the sets and effects were brilliant. Basically a great skit on Star Wars (Nina, I think even you would have enjoyed this!).
Straight after that we saw "A Spice in Salsa" which was Afro-Cuban dance - and I have to say, a new one on me! It was kind of weird, more African than I had anticipated. This one scene was sooo amazing. They had a Maypole and all twelve dancers each had a ribbon and to the beat of the drums and the wailing song the dancers slowly wind a pattern in and out amongst each other, sometimes all twelve of them, sometimes only six or three, gradually weaving a pattern on the Maypole. Then, quick as lightning they switch into fast forward (rewind?) and reverse the pattern faster than you could imagine. So complex that I can hardly describe it. Absolutely breathtaking.
Had fab cocktails at this place called Tonic – had such a hard time choosing form the biggest cocktail book you can imagine (second only to Blah Bar in Cape Town, I think).
On Monday had an interesting morning at the Mind Body Spirit Festival, and (amongst other things) learnt all sorts of interesting things about firewalking and am almost tempted to sign up for a course. Hmmm. Then Monique's Edinburgh friends kindly offered to drive us out to Glenkinchi Whisky distillery which was really an experience. The entire process is so interesting and at the end of the tour you can taste just about any whisky you like. They must have had over a hundred different malts and blends, and apparently it's the only place where you can taste all the whiskeys and not only the ones that that distillery produces. Not being much of a whisky drinker this was really an experience, and now being well educated on Whisky ;-) we of course tasted only the Malts - including the Glenkinchi, Talisker and Dalwhinnie, all very good, even to me (can't remember the others!). Have to say that it went straight to my head, though! Dad, you really would have loved this, I thought of you and if
you ever come over I'll definitely take you there!
And then it was home again and back to reality, but I really feel that I had a fantastic holiday and almost as if I was away for a week!