Friday, 6 December 2013

Tales of Scotland: Edinburgh's Christmas Market

Tales of Scotland
Edinburgh's Christmas Market

Last Friday a couple of mates and I went into town to visit the glorious Christmas market and generally just take a break from finals to enjoy the beautiful city of Edinburgh. I am sure everyone else who is stressing out from finals can understand the need to take a break once in a while and just enjoy our surroundings. Sometimes all you need to do is clear your head and have a change of scenery and then your mind is fresh, clear and ready to take on exams. At least that's how it is for me...

We left uni to catch the train heading from Musselburgh into is only a 3-4 minute route so it is more convenient to take the train rather than the bus. Also, there is the added bonus of multiple choice that comes into play when you are taking the train. I've gotten very used to taking this route so it has become a game of selecting the right carriage that is the furthest away from the ticket person as to avoid paying the toll. This only works during off-peak times though because sometimes they catch you when you get off the train...which is unlucky. I was saying... Oh yes! Christmas Markets! Well before I get into that I should mention the fact that it was 3pm in the afternoon and anyone who enjoys visiting the Christmas Markets should know that it is better when it is dark out because it is the only way to properly experience the festivities when you can see all the twinkling lights and decorations. So that gave us about an hour and a half to explore the city before it got dark (nightfall comes very early in really lives up to it's gothic reputation).

We walked up the hill towards the Greek and Roman inspired architecture (think columns, lots and lots of columns) and we reaches Carlton Hill. This was the first time I made the trek to this part of the city and I am kicking myself now because I should have been here sooner as it offers utterly breathtaking views of Edinburgh. It is also the best place to watch the sunset!

If it wasn't for the cold weather and the heavy winds I think that it would be a perfect spot for a picnic. However I won't be able to test that theory until Springtime, but I will definitely keep it in mind!

After we watched the sun set we went back down the hill and headed towards the Princes Street Christmas Market. As soon as we passed the double-tiered merry-go-round decorated in lights and holly, I fell in love. I just love Christmas time! It is such a happy and cheerful atmosphere, the smells are absolutely amazing and don't get me started on the food! Christmas dinner is BY FAR my FAVOURITE meal of the year (that and Thanksgiving...I just love my turkey!).

One thing I am going to be seriously missing this year (other than family and friends ..and good beer...of course) is the baked brie that get's served on Christmas Day. This pastry-covered delectable cheese is filled with cranberries and by god my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I made the terrible mistake of missing out on the delicious appetizer one year and every year since I make it a point to wait until it is served and then grab a chair and sit right next to it. From that moment on I will not move until the last piece is consumed. Everyone in my family knows how crucial this is because if you are even 5 minutes late to it's serving will be gone. So yeah...I am definitely going to miss that. I'm sure my family is happy that they will have more to themselves though. You bunch of scoundrels you! You take after my own heart :) Got a tear in me eye!

That aside, there is still one universal Christmas-time snack that I won't miss out on and that is Hot Chocolate! This market made them extra special and gave mine all the trimmings of a luxury hot cocoa - whip cream, white and milk chocolate pieces, mini marshmallows, cocoa powder and a chocolate flake. I also asked for a shot of peppermint in mine because it just tastes much better with it...and it reminds me of home. I wish I had taken a picture of this god-send cup of perfection but I drank it rather fast...also I am not a tool who takes pictures of my food.

That is a lie. I totally do.

Okay, but it just looked really good and I couldn't be bothered. I did however totally embarrass myself by getting whip cream on my face and nearly spilling it on myself in front of some cute guys so there we go. I didn't have time to take a picture but I had plenty of time to look like a complete tool.

A massive ferris-wheel was brought in specifically for the Christmas market but it had a massive queue and there was no way I was waiting hours to sit in a tiny pod as it took me in a circle at the speed of a sloth on crutches, no matter how good the view was.

They also had a rink but I didn't have any skates with me. However there were these ghastly bright-orange coloured skate-like contraptions that you could rent...frankly they looked like shackles they would lend to prisoners if they fancied a little ice skating. It was way too expensive to skate anyways and the rink wasn't that big...just a lot of people watching others skate around in an oval. Boring! To be honest I would have definitely went if it wasn't as expensive and if the line wasn't as long as it was...even if it meant wearing those hideous skates. But alas I am an impatient person and I don't particularly like lines.

I was more interested in the stalls anyway, specifically the food stalls. Like I said Christmas food is my favourite. Unfortunately there were a lot more German food stalls than Christmas goodies...which is good for anyone who likes sausage (get your mind out of the gutter! I am talking food here!) but I don't so it wasn't exactly in my favour.

But it didn't even matter because I got my hot chocolate so I was good.

I didn't buy anything at the stalls because it was way too expensive but it was just nice to look at everything and take it all in. I was eyeing the belgian white-chocolate fountain in particular and having some pretty vivid dreams of sticking my head in the fountain Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style...but alas it was only just a dream *sigh*

If I ever come into a large fortune my second purchase will be that fountain...the first being a Tim Hortons ice cappuccino maker. These are my goals in life. Dear god with my appetite you will surely find me one day at Green Earth reincarnated into tiny gold statues of me sitting in the lotus position. Call me is a fatal condition...

After we walked around the stalls for a while it started to get colder so we decided to head to a pub and get some liquid warmth. It was my friend Vino's birthday so shots were obviously taken to commemorate this special day. Then we went back home and crashed. All that food and beer gives you serious itis - in other words: a food coma.

All and all it was a good day! I can't wait until I visit the German and Austrian Christmas Markets :) Mmm! 

Did I mention I LOVE Christmas?


Oooo Btw I made this little photo compilation thingy and I thought it was kinda feel free to watch it! :) I will try to post a proper video soon. Until then, I wish you all happy holidays!!

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