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Why the bloody toast? What Wonderbread, hiking and street parades have in common | It Starts With Ken

It’s Saturday and I feel better. A lot. A bit of a late start, but just about on time for the last minute call for an 1/8th of a breakfast.  It wasn’t really breakfast, the only food available were bread… a mother-load of bread, a toaster, and absolutely no butter, or any kind of jam.

After we scarf down our 2 rations of sliced wonder bread, we stroll up Royal Mile and check out The Elephant House, a place Chris holds dear to his heart. He loves this place, and soon after find myself feeling the same.

And if you’re ever in Edinburgh, and you happen to walk into this cafe, you have to check out their unobstructed views of Edinburgh Castle and their bathrooms. They are… very… quaint. And if memory serves me right, their faucets combine hot and cold water!

***OK, backtrack a little bit since this was NOT amusing to me.

So it’s earlier that day, I go to wash up (this was right before the sliced wonder bread fiasco) and I look down and see two separate faucets in front of me. Okay, no big deal. They split the hot and the cold. As I remember, hot is left, and cold is right (feel free to double check your bathroom/kitchen sink faucets!). This little application of knowledge from experience clearly and utterly failed me. Cold is left and Hot is right.

***

While thankfully, The Elephant House had edible food besides sliced bread, and I enjoyed their latté and croissants. I also made use of their internet café (to which you are reading this now) while Chris checks his email, and most likely his travel blog too.

We head out to Arthur’s Seat trail in Holyrood Park to enjoy the elusive sun (that was out for the first time in weeks). On the way Chris decides to fork over some £’s for a pipe set. He laughs as we’re walking off the pipe shop as he tries to convince me that he’s made a wise choice considering he has waited 3-4 years to get one since his last stint in Edinburgh. We start climbing the trail, but it ends out being a wash because we didn’t have enough sun and by 4 p.m. the clouds and rain have started to come back. We end up coming down, but not before soaking in some panoramic city views.

The search for Arthur's Seat proved fruitless as the sun set and the winds picked up.

We end up at The Tass while Chris enjoys his beer and I scarf down some non memorable Scottish smoked salmon sandwich. It tasted tuna to me. We return to the hostel and chill for an hour. Next on the agenda is the George St. parade. We walk down Prince St. and see a huge group of crowd huddled in the corner of Scotland’s National Gallery. The whole crowd erupts to a roar as the festival begins again with a big band of bag pipers leading the way. Now if you want to get in front to see the whole thing, you definitely have to push your way through. And that’s what I did. If you also want to lose your friend stat, this is definitely the way to do it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this at the time, so when I look back, Chris was no more, lost in the sea of people.

It was too much fun watching strangely dressed performers dance around with ten foot LED lit poles and giant headphones strapped to their heads while giant balls of fire explode over their head. Oddly enough, 4 hours into the street parade, I bump into Chris, haphazardly and literally. The festival has switched gears and if 4 hours of in your face pyrotechnics, confusing theater and weird acrobatics haven’t tired you out, the Scots have more in line for you. And they sure did not disappoint with their live bands, bratwursts and Ceilidh line dance (in no particular order).

I highly recommend doing the quarter mile line dance at least once (and only once!) if you ever come across one. Mix hyper giddy and friendly people with flailing arms and you have a cocktail mix of the extremely fun and the dangerous projectile limbs at the same time.

About the author

Kenneth's a self-confessed technophile, WordPress tinkerer, sweat addict, compulsive list maker, avid photographer, and tea lover. If you wish to get a hold of him, you can do so here, or if you want to follow his professional work, here.

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