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Edinburgh – Day 1

I’m not staying at the Travelodge, but I know where the nearest one is

So, I made it to Edinburgh without losing any travel companions, despite the best efforts of the Metropolitan line to stretch the bonds of friendship and cause deep examination of the terms & conditions of our train tickets. The journey up was uneventful for me, as being a group of 5 we had a table + 1 seat. I took the +1 and ended up surrounded by a lady and her two children – one in mid teens, the other an acrobatic toddler who spent most of the time claiming that she wanted to eat yoghurt, only to get bored after she’d played with a spoon for a bit, and trying to disassemble an iPod rather than watching the bright shapes of the Tellytubbies bouncing around on its screen. I wish I’d had Tellytubbies to watch. I ended up abusing the train wifi to natter on twitter and attempt to read my email, an endeavour that didn’t seem to work all that well due to the flaky nature of the connection.

We eventually rolled in to Edinburgh, saw two fights before arriving at our flat (10 minutes walk from Waverley) and then had the heavens open for about 5 minutes, causing the rest of the posse to desert me and hide in a nearby cafe while I waited for the keys to our flat to turn up. Which they did. I thoroughly recommend the Auld Reekie Apartments – good price, and Craig, who seems to be the bossman, is a nice chap.perbandingan smartphone

We had lunch in the cafe place that was used to shelter from the rain – rather than being simply a purveyor of coffee and the like it turned out they are a Turkish cafe and restaurant, and our stack of hot and cold mezze were rather excellent.

After a quick shop and stop to grab tickets (the Fringe shop has a row of swipe card readers attached to ticket printing machines in their basement – swipe card, get booked tickets, little queuing. Nicely done) we ran towards the Gilded Balloon (running for reasons of me thinking the show started half an hour after it did…) for our first show of the festival – A-Team: The Musical.

It was a good start – shaky in places with chunks that seemed to be very much more loved by the cast than the crowd, but with some flashes of excellence that made up for any missteps. There’s something quite marvellous about the four people badly impersonating (apart from the guy playing BA, who had the disinterested look of contempt down well) the A-Team running around the stage while squatting in a wooden replica of the A-Team van and being chased by two guys in a wooden replica of an army jeep (which ends up turning over on its side…). The singing was variable and the analysis of the structure of an A-Team episode sometimes over done, but I rather liked it. The bad guy (Action Jackon, father of LaToya and The Reverend Jesse) did an especially good job, stealing the songs by rapping in a wildly changing accent and cultivating rather excellent ginger sideburns.

We finished the evening with dinner at The Witchery (after a swift half at the rather excellent Brass Monkey – the back room is a giant bed like area for people to lounge around on, and they did not only a nice pint of Deuchars but spent some care in preparing a gin and tonic). It was a strange meal, with quite different opinions of the food – the starters were uniformly great, as was the one dessert we tried and cheeseboard, but the main courses were variable and expensive for what we got. My trio of smoked fish to start was very nicely put together, but my main of lamb loin was quite pedestrian, if nice and well cooked. I was also slightly dismayed by the whisky selection which, while reasonably priced, wasn’t particularly interesting. It’s the second time I’ve been there and last time was quite special, this time not so much.

To properly end the night we had a look for a bar that would still serve us a couple of beverages for the road, and after a false start at a just closed Monteith’s (which I liked a lot last time I was up here but looks like it may be sliding) ended up in Whiski, which was great. I tried the last Springbank that they had which I hadn’t tried (Madeira Cask – disappointing) and after a chat with the barman was refused a dram of Hazelburn and was instead poured his recommendation of Longrow Gaja Barolo, which seems to be the whisky that I’ve been looking for for a while – Campbelltowny saltiness with a nice chunk of peat to it. They’ve got a few more Longrow’s on the shelf and are open late, so I may have now found my new best friends…

Anyways, as half of the posse decided that they should do some investigating of the late night drinking potential of the area the flat is now quite quiet (although it wasn’t quite so quiet at 4:30am when they got back) and I am investigating the potential of the Free Fringe. I also need to find out what time Cadenhead’s opens, as I hear they might have a cask Longrow in a barrel on the counter that I can buy some of…

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