Edinburgh, Fringe Festival Style

080808 Edinburgh (71)

We spent the first couple of days of our trip just wandering around Glasgow, sleeping off jet lag and visiting with family. Although by all accounts the weather (a topic of great interest to Glaswegians) had been glorious the prior week, it was largely dull and grey for much of our trip. (Hence, not a ton of photos of Glasgow, since the light kind of blew.)

Then on Friday, we headed to Edinburgh for the day. It's a quick 45-minute train ride from Glasgow's Buchanan Street train station to Edinburgh Waverly, which spits you out in the center of downtown Edinburgh, practically at the feet of the castle and a couple of blocks from the Royal Mile.

080808 Edinburgh (12)

We happened to be there during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the internationally renowned event that brings performances of all kinds to Scotland -- theater, musicals, opera, comedy, dance, etc. -- and turns the city into madness. Madness! At first I'd worried it would make everything too chaotic for the girls to enjoy, but how wrong I was.

080808 Edinburgh (17)

While the trudge up the Royal Mile is usually a fun one, its cobblestone streets lined with ancient houses and overpriced gift shops, this was a whole 'nother thing. Street performers everywhere, plays being previewed on tiny stages, musicians and human statues vying for coins, young starving actors pleading and cajoling to get you to their shows. (The guys above were promoting a play called "Smells Like America." Hmmm...)

080808 Edinburgh (21)

We didn't have time to attend a performance that day, since the castle was our main attraction, but we had an absolute blast sampling the madness and it didn't cost us a dime. To wit, my nieces Rebecca and Olivia making a faceless friend:

080808 Edinburgh (30)

Rebecca getting pre-castle knighthood: (The best way to do it, really. Speeds up entry.)

080808 Edinburgh (19)

Olivia getting a pretend something from, uh, some silver lady:

080808 Edinburgh (24)

And Lucifer himself, never one to miss a good festival:

080808 Edinburgh (34)

The castle itself is always a blast, methinks. Some photographic evidence: (Oooo, castle-y)

080808 Edinburgh (39)

Nieces on a rock. Not the rock they got yelled at for climbing on. A different rock:

080808 Edinburgh (44)

Spooky dungeon-y view!

080808 Edinburgh (53)

Spectacular view of Edinburgh from the castle:

080808 Edinburgh (48)

And more madness after, on the Royal Mile, going back down:

080808 Edinburgh (59)

Another silver lady, this time with wings but sans hat. So different!

080808 Edinburgh (63)

An acrobatic Kiwi. Fancy!

080808 Edinburgh (86)

Exhausting day. Perhaps moreso for that guy than for us, but still.