Just to get this good and out of the way:
DOUNE CASTLE. Leave it to me to be intrigued only because of its place in my current architecture texts, but of course when I was told this was the famed Monty Python and the Holy Grail filming site, it became even more awesomer. Apparently also a filming location for the Game of Thrones series, in segments taking place at Winterfell. So they say... I have no idea because none of it seemed recognizable after all of the CGI they do in GoT.
Anyway. Enough babble about filming. But it is pretty cool!
Being a rather glaring mid-morning (autumn, I blame you, but... it's okay) the light was kind of terrible for getting a good non-silhouette image of the castle from the front. Either way, it was a joy to walk around, as it sits on the scenic River Teith. Again, I played the cheap-o student card and didn't pay to go inside (partly because I was there with a huge group and prefer, if I'm going to pay to see something, that I have all the time I want). The outside was nice enough. ;)
We really had the best kind of day for traipsing around grassy hills and castles. It had been sunny all weekend so the ground was also dry, save for a bit of morning dew.
Getting out of the city for the day, albeit on an organized tour which was go-go-go, was really wonderful. The thing is, Edinburgh isn't really a tall city, or even a massively packed one. We're obviously not talking Manhattan here, but still: living in the center of the center (aside: I'm starting to type "centre" and have to correct myself back to American -- we'll stick with American for the time being) of tourist-angled Edinburgh really wears on a person. I'm not at all cynical about this (yet, anyway), but being in the middle of it all makes me want to hop out to the country more often. Particularly because I can see the country from my kitchen window and it's like those green hills are taunting me. Ha!
I've been here a month already and I can hardly believe it. I've met so many amazing people, visited some wonderful places, gotten a good start in my program, taken the beginning steps of my internship (with the National Trust for Scotland!!), and continued to just settle in and have a good time. One thing about being in a city is that there is always a ton to do. Too much, really. And part of the fun is finding the good shows, the best eats, the best visits--and the best coffee! Of course!
And by the way, I went to see Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit last night at the Pleasance Theatre, and wowwa. Wow. I haven't seen a show that great in a lonnnggg time. Bolstered by one of his openers (who was incidentally also part of the band), Cosmo Sheldrake, it was an absolute wonder of a show. Apart from having to sit down the entire time -- when one wants to dance! -- it could hardly have been better. I strongly recommend both Johnny and Cosmo if you're in need of some new tunes; Johnny Flynn just released his latest album a couple weeks ago, titled Country Mile, and it's super good.
Just another Sunday in Edinburgh! ;) Hope everyone is enjoying a great weekend.