November 30, 2008

Edinburgh Sparkles

The City Chambers lit up for Edinburgh Sparkles Christmas Spectacular

It didn't take long for The Royal Mile and Princes St. Gardens to light up like a Cruise Ship and Disney World's illegitimate, yet shinny, child. Alright, that sounds a little harsh, but seriously one day it was just pitch black (at 3:30pm) and the next day it was all lights and rides. It just proves that the rumors are true - Edinburgh really does sparkle in the wintertime. That's their catchphrase: "In the winter, Edinburgh Sparkles"... we're making t-shirts... be-dazzled t-shirts... and then maybe a really awesome song... with a great 80's beat... and a chorus of "Let's Go to the Castle"... or something. I haven't really thought about it too much.

Dome Bar and Hotel on George St.

On Thanksgiving, Edinburgh had 'Light the Night'. There was a great big countdown and then all of the Christmas lights were turned on all over the city. We were busy stuffing ourselves with turkey and sweet potato casserole, but later that night Laura, Rachel, and I took a stroll through New Town to enjoy the Christmas lights.  

Rachel sporting a Loch Ness Monster hat

The city set up an ice skating rink in Princes St. Gardens, which my friends and I later enjoyed. There was also a Highland Market, which sold crazy Loch Ness Monster hats. My favorite was the traditional German Christmas Market in the square of the National Gallery. (After I went to Munich and Berlin for actual German Christmas Markets, and lots and lots of them, the one in Edinburgh seemed a bit puny by comparison). But at the time, I enjoyed the crepes and Christmas ornaments. There were some carnival rides set up along Princes Street. We went on the Giant Wheel, which normal people would call a ferris wheel, which had amazing views of the city from the top. There were so many other things, like the Christmas Carousel, the Bungydome, Winter Wonderland Snow Cars and Snow Slide, Workshop at Santa's Igloo Village, real Reindeer, Christmas at the Castle with Santa himself and a jazzy performance by the Swinging Santas.

The Giant Wheel behind the Highland Market      

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