Festivities of the Fringe...
09.09.2010 20 °C
It's not always easy to blog while travelling, especially when you don't have a netbook/laptop so I'm posting this (I typed it up on my phone a while ago) a few weeks after my trip...here goes:
Hey guys! Hope you're all doing well. I've been keeping myself 'well' busy. The last few weekends I've been travelling to different cities. London, Liverpool, stonehenge, Windsor, Bath, Edinburgh are some of the sights/cities I've seen so far. I'm on the train at the moment heading back from Scotland...a long 8 hr journey this from Oxford - it runs through Newcastle, York, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and a few other cities before touching down at Oxford.
Had a great weekend at Edinburgh, it was different because this was one of my first completely solo trips. I've gone solo before but it was nice to live the experience again...I met some wonderful people and had some very interesting conversations. On my way to Edinburgh on Friday I met 3 other girls sitting next to me and we spoke at lenght about various topics that spanned from travel to US foreign policy - the latter being a topic of hot contention these days. Edinburgh itself is a beautiful city, I really like the way it was built...a hill here, a castle there, random walkways that lead you to roads at upper/lower levels and a few dungeons that are presently nightclubs! Very interesting to walk around the city which is a labyrinth of roads that go up and under, around themselves but eventually bring you back to the same spot. I was impressed by Edinburgh's main street - The Royal Mile. This street extends directly from the castle and heads out for - you guessed it, a mile.
The fringe festival is quite extraordinary! There are scores of performers on the streets and indoors, each trying to entice the crowd with their skill - be it magic, comedy or theatre. It is amazing to see such a vast pool of talent, varying ages and nationalities...they all come together for a little over a month every year to display their trade. Hats off to you Edinburgh! You host an extraordinary event, it was brilliant to see your Royal Mile transform into fantasy land every morning. I had a chance to meet with some of the performers and have a few drinks with them, they had very cool stories and perspectives - one group of guys were from Sweden and they played this instrument called the 'hang'. It was made by a family in switzerland and there were only 400 made every year, talk about rare...the music from it sounded like a mix between a xylophone and cymbals - quite eclectic.
I did get a chance to snoop around the city and soak in the sights. Some of the monuments here date back to 852BC, now that's OLD! I liked the castle (bit pricey for admission at 14 pounds), but Arthur's seat was the kicker for me...it took around 45 mins to trek up the hill (250 ft) and it was definitely worth it. I also managed to check out the Crags which are a set of steep hills right next to Arthur's seat. The highlight of the trip though was finding this amazing curry house at the Mosque - they served cheap but sumptuous curry...think of it as a soup kitchen made in heaven I went there after it was recommended by locals and there was no turning back, I ate all my meals there for the duration of my stay at Edinburgh. There were lots of people lined up, from businessmen in coats to women with their kids...word of mouth is definitely a strong form of advertisement. Mutton curry was 4.50 pounds while chicken/kebab curry was 4.00 and 3.50. Best meal yet! Also, I showed up at edinburgh without a place to stay, it was really nice of a friend of mine to let me crash on the couch...so thanks Taf!
I've gotten off the train at Oxford and am on the bus headed to Abingdon now, it's a bit of a trek (20 min walk) from the Abingdon city center to my hotel there...I grabbed a quick sandwich at the train station before boarding the bus. I'm rather tired so I can see myself falling dead as soon as i hit the bed...Can't wait to get warm and cozy under the covers. I'll write again soon...thanks for reading.
This is Sandeep, signing out...