Whither Must I Wander


The Remote Part/Scottish Fiction

My friend Georgia refers to Scotland as “Och Aye Land” and that’s not a bad moniker. I had an easier time understanding French than some of the accents we encountered. Scotland was the country I was the most apathetic toward before the trip, but it quickly became one of my favorite places. It had elegance, edge and, uh, Edinburgh. And other things that start with 'e' I'm sure.

I fell in love with Edinburgh. Similar to London, but with more room to breathe and a little more relaxed. The area we were in is divided into the Old Town and the New Town and the above castle is located, of course, in the Old Town. It’s funny because you'll walk out of TopShop or H&M and across the street is a trench surrounding a mountain and on top of said mountain is the above castle. Doesn’t happen so much in Canada. This is Edinburgh Castle, by the way.

This allows for another Pants story. Our first night in Edinburgh we grabbed some sandwiches from, you guessed it, M&S, and sat in the park at the base of the castle and watched expectant mothers smoke and drink Guinness. Lovely. The Pants tried to take pictures of some 'lads playing football' as she termed it. I tried to convince her that it was creepy to take pictures of people without their consent, but by the end of the trip she'd convinced me otherwise. Other people are more interesting. The above is her attempt at surreptitious photography. We later attended a production of "Les Liasons Dangereux" in this fancy theatre. We walked in off the street, bought the most expensive tickets ($40 CAD, can you believe it???) and had great seats. The usherette kept asking, "Are you sure this is where you should be sitting?" We did look rather dodgy. The next day I suggested going to see some sights and maybe the castle. “What castle?” asked The Pants. “You know, the castle,” I said. Blank stare. “You know, the castle looming above us as we ate our sandwiches last night?” Still nothing. We made our way to the main strip and as the castle came into view I pointed it out. “Oh, that castle.” My sister, folks.

Edingburgh had an excellent free gallery, the National Gallery, to be exact. We saw a Botticelli, lots of Rubens and a John Singer Sargent that we both loved. Outside the gallery was a couple of punks doing these amazing chalk drawings (I am in no way an artist so they looked good to me). We gave them a pound and then took their picture. I don't think that's very punk of them. But who am I to argue? And speaking of punk, I've never seen so many elderly women with pink/green/blue hair as I have in Edinburgh. Which further explains why it rocks.

Our brother, Seth, (who apparently is exempt from anonymity) insisted we bring him home a kilt. I tried to tell him how freakin' expensive they were, but he thought I was just being cheap. This is only one of many pictures indicating that I was right, as usual.

Two shots of Glasgow - the bottom one is the view from the hostel. Ask anyone in Edinburgh about Glasgow and the immediate and inevitable response is, "Why would you want to go there?" But I loved Glasgow. We were there on a Sunday so our activities were limited, but the hostel was adjacent to a gorgeous park and a beautiful University campus. And the accents were top notch. 'Pairfect'! I also bought an obscene amount of books in Glasgow. All the music stores carry cheap books so my addiction was further fueled, much to the chagrin of my suitcase. I still have blisters on my hands from the damn thing.

This might be my most favorite picture fromt the entire trip. The Pants had read in British Vogue about a good vintage shop in Glasgow called Starry Starry Night, so we mapped it out and hiked across town to see what treasures we could find. It was located in this dingy alley next to a hemp store - we were stoked...but it was closed. The sabbath strikes again. So we took a picture of The Pants looking forlorn and she plans to mail it to them to accompany the note she left expressing her dismay. So very sad. I do wish we'd spent spent more time in Scotland, but there's always next time.

Up Next: Ireland


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