FRINGE WITH A FRIEND
Kirsten and I go way back...4 years back actually. We met while we were both exchange students at Tilburg University and there are many pictures of us enjoying life there together...usually with a bottle of Albert Heijn wine. While I think it's common enough that exchange students, whenever they find themselves in the same area, meet up for dinner and such, I intentionally took a trip to Scotland in order to catch up with a great friend. She was a welcoming host, as were her roommates, as I crashed at her place for a few nights.
Thursday: My favourite festival ever is the Fringe Festival, which actually originated in Scotland. Edinburgh to be exact. It was just my luck that my trip happened to coincide with the festival and my excitement level soared as Kirsten and I headed by train to Edinburgh to enjoy the festivities. We were able to catch an improv show, a female comedian ensemble and a paid show of Andew Lawrence, a popular British comedian. All the while drinking, what Kirsten described as "s*** beer". It was fantastic! And after all, after drinking EuroShopper beer for a semester in Holland, Tennent's was more than bearable. Kirsten and I also made our way up to the castle, and while we didn't go inside for the tour, even the exterior was something to behold. In fact, as I walked around the city amassed with tourists and comedians, I was amazed that it was real. Edinburgh definitely appears to be a city made for a movie. It's beauty was astounding!
Friday: The next day, Kirsten and I took our time exploring Glasgow. In the morning, her boyfriend took us our for a traditional breakfast at a local cafe. It was delicous! Especially the potato cakes. I can honestly say I was not a fan of the black pudding. Kirsten then introduced me to many cultural marvels including Irn Bru and Geoff's. We also took a long walk around her campus which looks like Hogwart's (which isn't that far off since there were scenes from the movie shot there). We ended up grabbing a Starbucks frappuccino and wandering the botanicol gardens before heading home for a girl's night with her roommate. I hadn't had a girl's night since I left Canada so I was definitely looking forward to it. A spread of pizza, chocolate, beer and wedges along with comfy clothes and trashy tv made a perfect night.
Saturday: I was on my own for the weekend, but didn't mind at all! I took the train back to Edinburgh to squeeze in another fringe day. Originally my plan was to see numerous shows throughout the day; however, I ran into the free city tour which was about to start and changed my mind. Great decision! While the comedy shows were great, I was excited to learn more about the city and the three hour tour definitely got me started. There's too much history and detail to explain here; however, my facebook photos describe the tour well enough. To finish off the afternoon I grabbed a beer and sat down to watch one last comedy act before heading home. In the evening we met with Kirsten's boyfriend and her roommate at an Italian tapas bar. Delicious food! And so nice to be out on the town.
Sunday: Sunday I took it easy in Glasgow. I read my book a little at a cafe and wrote postcards to friends and family. They have fantastic shopping in Glasgow! And while I mostly window shopped, partially due to my RyanAir sized bag, I enjoyed the different shops. In the evening, Kirsten and I met at a popular local bar for a traditional British meal of fish 'n chips and enjoyed our last night together.
The entire trip was amazing! Starting off with reuniting with a good friend and being able to enjoy everything her country had to offer. The food, the people and even the beer were incredible! I will definitely venture back in the future.