We're staying with my cousin, Willa, and her husband, Jon. Despite our taking over their living room, they have been fantastic hosts! Letting us tag along to their music gigs, feeding us haggis, and showing us to the best pubs in town, it's been quite the treat!
Our first day in Edinburgh was full of great music. Jon, an accomplished fiddler who plays in several bands, had a gig with his rock band at a music fest. We went with Willa and were wowed by the unique sound, we especially loved hearing Jon improvise on his electric fiddle!
Later in the evening we tagged along with Willa to a session, or a gathering of musicians at a pub. This was no ordinary session, there were some dynamite musicians and Katie and I felt privileged to sit in a listen! For those of you who have heard her play, as you might have imagined, Willa was a huge hit on her bagpipes!
Meanwhile Jon was off playing another gig, these guys get after it non stop!
Yesterday Katie and I ventured around Edinburgh and explored Edinburgh Castle. There's so much history in the castle and in the whole of Edinburgh. The castle houses a few museums as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels. We enjoyed brushing up on our Scottish history with the castle as our backdrop.
We wandered the streets and stumbled upon these two brothers busking, or playing street music. They drew quite the crowd with their rendition of 'Scotland the Brave'.
When we returned to the flat, Jon had prepared haggis for an early dinner! We were corrected of our haggis misconceptions very quickly. For all you haggis novices out there, first off it's delicious, we both went back for seconds. Haggis is also not sheep's stomach, but is baked in sheep's stomach. It's ground meat mixed with oats and spices, and it's oh so delicious. We had it with homemade mashed potatoes, Jon is quite the cook!
After dinner we went to a pub known for its selection of German beer to meet up with some of Willa's new classmates. She's just begun an intense creative writing program at a university in Edinburgh. It was fun to socialize and sample some great beer!
We have certainly not been disappointed with the beer in Edinburgh. Where it's been hard to come by a solid beer for a majority of the trip, Edinburgh has been a fountain of refreshing ales. We've tried some really great local beer from William's Brothers Brewery and Stewart's Brewery. There's also a new growler store around the corner from Jon an Willa's flat, the first in the UK! It opened a couple of weeks ago an sells local craft beer and cider by the jug-full!
We're enjoying a cozy, rainy morning at the flat catching up on journaling and reading before we brave the weather and head to Arthur's Seat, one of the best viewpoints of Edinburgh.
We're really enjoying our last stop in Edinburgh. We need to be careful for our last few days or we might just decide to up and stay!
Will and katie