I haven't been keeping on top of this as much as I'd like to, but it feels reasonable to neglect this in favour of the trip in question.
I'm now in Aberdeen after one last long weekend in Edinburgh with Jake. He left this morning for a flight to Berlin, and the rest of his trip. It feels strange to be back doing a solo trip, especially as the last fortnight has been so epic and eventful. I honestly just want to get to the lighthouse now. I'm more than ready to start working again, but there's still 3 weeks to kill before I head on up.
Edinburgh felt like a different city after Fringe. The busloads of tourists were still around, but that crazy frenetic buzz of Fringe had died down so the air didn't feel so heavy/claustrophobic.
Edinburgh Castle is hard to miss, sitting up on it's huge rocky hill in the middle of the city. It's also another overpriced and overhyped tourist trap. After the lavish excess of Dunrobin, Edinburgh Castle just felt like a weird medieval theme park - complete with bad actors in costume and poorly painted facades.
So I'll skip right past that and have a gush about the Botanic Gardens. Jake's probably more of a plant obsessive than me, but we were both super keen to go see the ten enormous greenhouses - stuffed full of ancient palms, huge lily pads, monstrous climbers and aroids, huge terrariums of carnivorous plants and other incredible specimens that were growing at such an unthinkably oversized scale. It was a magical place (and I couldn't keep my camera down).