I totally intended to make a post Thursday night about my Super Amazing Great Plans for Friday, but was distracted by actually having to do *work* at *work*. I was very sad.
Instead, I shall just gloat about what a Super Amazing Great Day I had Friday.
I had three things I wanted to accomplish Friday: seeing the Castle, eating a deep-fat fried Mars bar, and getting the new Harry Potter book. (I had vauge plans of hitting the Harry Potter party-type thingy that was going on along the High Mile, too.) I only actually got to accomplish two of these things, but I'm very satisfied with them both.
The first, and most important, was The Castle.
The queue was about half an hour long, which gave me about 30 minutes to have spasms of actual fangirlish ectacy. I was actually biting my hand to keep from making "squeeing" noises. I'm a history fiend, and seeing this place... god, I can't describe it. It was very overwhelming, and that was before I even got inside!
I'm not quite sure how to describe it from there. It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be. I mean, intellectually I'm aware that castles attempted to be self-sufficient for seiges and the like, but I guess I was expecting it go be all big walls and turrets, not with large open spaces, a graveyard for dogs, and several outbuildings. There were at least two restaurants that I noticed (plus several people selling ice cream), and at least two book/gift stores. I was inside for three hours and didn't see all of it.
The views were amazing.... I got some good pictures of the city, the sea, and of Arthur's Seat.
There were two things inside that really moved me. The Scottish Crown Jewels, and the Scottish War Memorial. The Jewels were beautiful, and included the history of the jewels (such as we know), how the jewels were "lost" and "rediscovered", and quite a bit of information on Scotland's royal history.
I felt the museum around the jewels was one of the better ones I've seen in recent years for making history a very real thing. The displays related the stories of people, which is something I think a lot of history books and museums skip over. It was a simple museum, but one that really made the story of the jewels come to life.
The War Memorial was incredibly awe inspiring. I've never seen anything like it. From the outside it looked like a midieval church, with the huge stained glass windows. Inside... I'm not really sure how to describe it right now, but I found it very moving. It was one of the few war memorials that I've been truly moved by.
I am totally going back on another day. It was so worth the half hour wait and the 9.80£ charge. (The ironic thing being that the lineup in the afternoon was basically non-existent.)
It's been interesting for me because I told everyone at work that I was going, and they all told me I'd be terribly disappointed. But, they're all either from Europe (grew up around castles) or from Edinburgh, and only remember that they had to go as school kids. But for me... wow. I saw a castle! A real castle!
The deep fat fried Mars Bar search continues, but I've been given a good lead on a place not too far from work, apparently. I guess I must have passed it on the way home countless time, but I've not been paying attention. My directions are less than ideal.
"It's across the street from a church."
Yes, that's very helpful. So is most of the city.
Anyway, then I dozed at home until Harry Potter Party Time! This was fairly boring, except for the bit where I got into a lengthy conversation with a girl from Arkansas about who we thought the Half-Blood Prince was (we were both wrong), and a discussion about fan-fic with a couple from Edinburgh. The demographics when I hit line were interesting -- lots of people in their mid-twenties or so. It was the ones later in line that had the kids. There were cheers when the bookstore opened to let us start filing in. I was reading the book before I got out the door.
It was funny, I was winding my way past the line (not walking into any holes, yay!) when a kid stopped me to ask, in a very earnest voice, "Is it any good?" And I had to answer "Yes, definately."
(What else was I going to say, I was 4 pages in! *grin*)
The bus driver didn't want me to say a word, because he was picking it up after his shift. I curled up to try and finish it before it came out in Canada. But I fell asleep in the middle of a sentence, and only woke up again when the book fell out of my hand. It had been a busy day. I did have it finished by around 1 p.m. the next day.
(I'll leave my opinions of the book for another post. But I don't think it's too spoilerific to say that I don't think *anyone* should be calling Narcissa "Cissy".)
I really did have a great day, and I will admit to greatly enjoying calling various people in Canada to gloat about not only seeing a castle, but getting the new Harry Potter book hours earlier than they could. Cuz I'm just that type of person, some days. *wink*