So today was our first and only day in Scotland post-fringe. We had a nice lie-in (well, most did- I got up early and had coffee with my new friend Jaylene, and then came back and cleaned up the living room). Once we were all suitably roused, we went for tea at Eteaket, an unbearably adorable tea place with delicious teas. Also, we had tasty sandwiches and tiny pastries.
Then we headed towards Arthur’s Seat by way of the Royal Mile. We had never really ventured any further East than our performance venue, and it was amazing to see a new part of the city. It’s so easy to get used to the same path you tread each day and never realize what else was just a block or two beyond. Even before we got to the Royal Mile, we made discoveries. We had jokingly planned to pick up a bucket of KFC to eat at Arthur’s seat, but as we walked down to Princes Street we passed thorough an outdoor market with lots of little stalls selling delicious foods, mostly run by French people, it seemed. We picked up a hard sausage, some delicious triple cream cheese, and a baguette. We also saw a fresh crepe stand, and a couple of booths serving food out of four foot woks. Then as we walked along Princes, we had an amazing view of the Castle and beautiful rose gardens. Every ten feet someone remarked “I wish we had known about this! I wish we had more time…”
But the time for wishing for other things was gone, it was time to enjoy the new things that the day brought. It was clear and cold when we left in the morning, but as we approached Arthur’s Seat the weather turned colder and threatened rain. As we ventured eastwards of the good ole Radisson Blu, we experienced the city anew. Fringelandia slowly fell away, and the buildings looked a little less commercial, a little more old. We sampled fudge at the fudge kitchen and marveled at the beautiful yet eerily creepy modernism of the Parliament building. We took the long away around the base to get to the direct route up Arthur’s Seat, and we began to climb.
The Fringe was nothing if not an exhilarating challenge, and climbing Arthur’s Seat was the physical manifestation of our three week trial. As we climbed higher, the wind blew harder and the rain began to sting and pelt us. The rocky path was damp, narrow, and slippery. We grew warm with the exertion while the wind froze our poor faces. We became damp beyond relief. We carefully trudged our way up the hill, step by step, and when we reached the top, dizzy and soaking and exhausted, it was the best feeling in the world. Crouching, huddled together, we tore into our meat and cheese and sausage, with no knife to cut, only our numb fingers to rend. It was one of the best meals of my life.
We made our way down. Much easier but much scarier, with our already downward intention needing only the slightest wrong step to hasten itself to at least a twisted ankle. But we made it down safely, wandered back to our flat deflated and satisfied, and got warm before enjoying fancy cocktails and a delicious meal at Tigerlily. Now we go drink with new friends. A well-earned ending to a wonderful month at the Fringe.