Dream trip Day 93 Fringe festival, High Street, Golden Mile

I had no idea I was staying during the largest outdoor festival in the UK, yet it is true, check it out.

This building was old, very few outlets, only one in our room so it was full. No power strips either. This was frustrating as most travelers have 3 things they need charged.

It had happened before so you just had to find the correct adapter and take your phone, iPad, battery with you for bfest.

My hostel was next to a pub, restaurant who served basic meals. Eggs, bacon, burgers, chicken options. Nothing too hard or fancy.

Today I got a beer with my meal, figured why not. It was in between time, not early yet not noon.

I was beginning to enjoy an afternoon coffee anyway. Plus free, good coffee here, just tell them you are staying at the hostel. Got a % off food too. Score

It was lightly raining so I wasn’t going anywhere for awhile. And my phone needed charging, I was a prisoner to technology, electricity.

Rugby on the telly here, previous nights highlights from across the nation, UK.

Soon enough my phone was charged and I had an idea where I was, where to go and what to see.

Just up the hill, up 1 of the many hills in Edinburgh, was High Street.

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All along High St and others in the heart of the city, were street performers from all across the UK, hell the world!

You could go into clubs all over the city and pay to see magicians, comedians, anything people could perform.

There was also many street performers, some by themselves, others had up to 10 people in their dance troupes.

Most of High St was blocked off to cars, making walking much safer, easier.

The crowds were huge, it was hard to get a good view of some performers. Due to the quantity of performers, this didn’t matter. Just walk a bit and there would be another performer just starting up.

I walked down the street, passed all sorts of shops, pubs, and food joints until I wound up at a very modern, odd building.

Oh my, Scottish Parliament! This was quite a different style of gov building, Check it out!

I just circled back, taking the same street back to my neighbourhood.

I saw a balancer, well a guy balancing, like I’ve never seen. He was on a ball, changing boards, adding more layers of balance. Unbelievable guy, wow.

Humans and their bodies, their talents can do so many amazing things and I saw a lot on display along the road ahead.

Now this wasn’t free, well it was but you are encouraged to tip, drop a bill in the hat. Thing is  there are 1£ coins so they would comment about how ‘that one didn’t sound like a quid!’

The other joke was when it came time to ask for tips, performers work for tips, give me tips, they always said that ‘if you’re from the States, America, tip 10-20£.’

I’d say most acts had 5-ish actual min of show, the rest of their time was trying to get more people out, jokes, pitches asking for money, just general stalling for the big finish, the denouement.

The show was over with a big flourish! This was the time I saw a big guy stand on a board with nails facing the performers chest. “It’s never been done before!” Next show is tomorrow at 1, 3, 5…

Man it was cool out, even during the day. I needed a hoodie in August!

It took some time but I found the one road that lead to low street, or the one beneath High St. You can’t have a High St without a low road. haha

Down down down the steep street.

I was en route to BrewDog, which is a Scottish brewery. I’d been to one of their brewpubs in Barcelona a couple months ago, so I knew the beer was great.

The pub I was at wasn’t their HQ or their 1st pub, but it was the 2nd one they opened. They had a lot in the UK and EU.

It was wooden and had art on the wall. They only served pizza, pretzels as they only had an oven here.  It was a tiny kitchen, big seating area type place.

Plenty of taps though. Always plenty of taps here.

I picked one of their pub only brews, Hello, My Name is Ingrid, an IPA. It was a nice beer and the bartender and I laughed when I ordered it. I think that was why they named it so ridiculously.

Turns out the bartender is also an American, going to school here and working at the pub during the summer. Quite the life!

Pizza after pizza came out of a very narrow kitchen area. It looked like they could only cook 1 at a time, so they would set one up while another was baking. Repeat all day.

It was soon time to keep moving, can’t sit in a pub all day especially when it wasn’t raining.

Edinburgh was very pretty city to walk through. Cobblestone streets, old buildings, interesting shops all over. I didn’t see many chains, it all seemed local.

After mounting the hill to High St, I passed by an interesting joint, Piemaker. You name it they had it in baked in dough.

This was my first haggis encounter in country as they had a haggis roll, but were sold out at the moment.

There were also traditional English meat pies, lamb pies and mac and cheese pie, what?!

About 1-2£ per roll and they were big. 2 is plenty to tide you over for a few hours. Tasty and flaky rolls you can eat there standing at a small table, no chairs here.

I was instantly revived and ready to walk more! I turned the other direction down High St, away from city centre.

It started out cool but soon with pubs, a shoemaker, tailor but then lead to clothing shops, betting agencies, nothing cool.

By now I was checking my phone for weather info. Always important to check the forecast before heading out walking for the day. Especially the UK, storms popped up suddenly and it was cloudy out.

But then it is usually cloudy out in Scotland as I’d find out. I’m pretty sure it was in Scotland I began to wear my raincoat daily.

I didn’t want to risk it so I turned and headed back to the hostel. I was in a steep part of town, there were stairs everywhere.

I almost made it to my place before it rained. Most of the walk was covered so I didn’t get too wet.

It looked like a local futbol match was on, so a pint and footy night it had become.

Had a couple pints while it rained on and off. Saw some locals strolling down the street and a lot of people with luggage. Many rolling cases came down this road since the railway station was basically across the street.

Which makes me wonder if its more correct to say its catty corner to the hostel or kitty corner to the hostel. I’ve heard both at various times, so I presume its a regional thing or I’m hearing it all wrong.

The railway was about a block down and across the street from the hostel is what I’m trying to say. Lots of luggage and people watching as cars and black taxis dropped people off to far away lands.

I had some light conversation with a group of people about to go out clubbing. They had to take a taxi there. I’ve never been a thumping bass and drums man though I kept them entertained while they waited for a car.

My cousins from TX called me, so I talked to them for awhile. They are cool guys, always nice to talk to family on the road. I told them where I was and where I had been.

I had 1 last pint and watched the rain before retiring for the night. 20160825_205812

Song: Travis  All I Want to Do is Rock

Beer: Red MacGregor

Dream trip day 44 Gaudi Park, walking, scenic city views

We agree to meet Alex in front of La Familia round noon 30.

Train up to Gaudi Park for its scenic view of the city.

We follow signs to the entrance and see hills and stairs at nearly 45 degree incline, fortunately there are escalators we can use most of the way up.

More stairs and we are at the top.  Might have had a good view but lots of trees block the city below.

One apt nearest the park has a message about consumerism and US for all to see: occupy and resist.

Find Gaudi’s house, museum. Seems the city wasn’t doing anything with this area so he redesigned it, now a major tourist stop.

Truly amazing views of the entire city from atop the park. You really gain a scale of how big La Familia is as its by far the largest structure in the city.

Back to the metro to the far south, near the port for more views from sea side.

We are heading to Park Grüell and Montjuïc castle, more walking up and we missed that there was a bus that drops off at several points along the mountain.

We get lost after ascending a hill and find ourselves walking near a highway.

Back up through a garden, round restaurants until we see gondola cars like you’d see at a ski resort.

We take a break, it’s got to be 80 and we’ve been walking up hills all day. Time for water and an ice cream.

We take refuge under a tree but soon a couple girls seated near us run away and point up: a group of birds are roosting in the trees and shitting at will.

We still aren’t sure what it is we are going to see when we reach the top but still solider on.

Cool views are about it as far as free attractions go once we reach the top. There is an old fort with admission but only Jeremy goes in to wander around.


The three of us find a bench and discuss Brexit and how English politics works. I learn MP literally means Member of Parliament, duh me!

We decide to head down to a small cafe for refreshments.

We learn how expensive the ride down in the gondolas is and it doesn’t end at the bottom either, stops about half way down so likely better for ascending trips.

Jeremy joins us and we all enjoy a beverage and a cool breeze for a change.

Jeremy locates the bus stop and sure enough a red bus swoops by to take us down the mountain!

We pass by the Olympic village that we thought was on the top of the park. Didn’t look like too much to see but you could walk around inside the stadiums.

The bus drops us off near La Rambla and we are in search of a bar to catch the evening match.

Usually we have no set destination for dinner or to catch games and while it can be frustrating and unsuccessful at times, most of the time we stumble on a great place like BrewDog, a Scottish brewery and they have several pubs throughout Europe, including Barcelona!

Got a seat next to huge screen and ordered burgers.

After returning from a restroom break I find a guy in my seat who then moves and remains at my feet the rest of the match. I’m shocked neither he or I kick over his beer resting near both our feet.

Alex is in town another day so we decide to meet up at his hostel in the morning.

Jeremy and Si have very early flights, sad to see them leave.

I figure I’ll stay at his hostel for the night too, seems close and inexpensive.

We make a stop at the groc store to get a couple beers.

The night ends watching a whodunnit murder mystery about an accountant at a resort. I don’t stay up to finish it but seems like he did it.

Song: Michael Bloomberg and Al Kooper Fat Grey Cloud (Live)
Beer: Five AM Saint