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Report 136: Edinburgh in Two

By Alice Twain from Italy, Summer 2003

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Page 10 of 10: Appendix. Assorted stuff

Irn-Bru. The OTHER Scottish drink. We tried it on our first day. We don't drink alchool (a little wine now and than, a mouthful of beer occasionally, that's all). We only bought a very small bottle, 250 cc, half a pint of it. It is orange. On a 250 cc bottle they were able to compress as much CO2 as in two large bottles of Coca Cola and the drink tastes like a cough syrup I used to take when I was ill as a child, heavily watered but even sweeter. RATING: *

The benches. They are everywhere. Wooden sitting benches, wide and comfortable, and all bearing their small sign saying in whose memory it was placed (or in memory of what). After a day walking the city, they were more than welcome! RATING: *****

Starbuck's. I know, it's corporate and it is a worldwide chain not much better than McDonald's, but it still had the best espresso we found in Edinburgh. Besides the upstairs room (at the Starbuck's place on the Royal Mile) was a nice place where to spend half an hour out of the rain, with newspapers available a view on the street. RATING: ***

Costa. "The heart of Italy since 1971". I felt like entering the place and saying "My name is Silvia Costa, and I was born in Italy in 1971: here is my ID card to prove it. Now, can we have two espresso for free?" I did not. According to Luca the espresso was more or less equal to the one you can find in the worst Italian bars and the one we tried had a room that was too hot, too crowded, too loud and too full of smoke even for me, and I am not bothered by smoke, usually! RATING: *

Buses. Though for most of the time we walked, we had to take a bus twice to ge to parts of Edinburgh that are quite far from the center. In both occasions we took Lothain buses, which is the city's largest company. They turned out to be frequent and very comfortable. We usually sat in the front row of the top story to enjoy sights of the city. They are more costly than Italian city public transportation, but 1,80 pounds per day will grant you transporation everywhere on Lothian buses from 9,30 until night, so if you happen to take the bus get the 1,80 pass anyhow. Unluckily the bus drivers (to whom you have to pay the tickets) have the thickest accents we found during our whole stay, so understanding fares can be a bit difficult. RATING: ****

This is about all, in case you did not understand, I liked that cold and gray city a lot, even more than a lot. So, what are you doing sitting in front of a monitor? Get yourself a ticket to Edinburgh NOW!

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