Sunday, July 8, 2012

The tennis is all the rage

Wimbledon was the main talking point over here on Sunday. The newspapers had several full pages of coverage (even bigger than the Herald-Leader's UK-UofL basketball coverage). Just about every pub had a sign advertising the match, and we particularly liked these two as our signs of the day:

The pub where we watched it, the White Horse on the Royal Mile, was a little more low key.

We got there just as Andy Murray lost the second set and there were only four other people in the bar watching the match. By the end, the place was full, and several people just popped their heads in to check the score.

We were disappointed that Murray lost, but thought his speech after the match was rather brilliant. Ryan has stolen his "I'm getting closer" line at least three times since.

Then the pub lost its power, and we were forced to seek sustenance elsewhere. Bringing us to the beer of the day. We returned to the Turkish cafe where we warmed up on Saturday to try the food. I had a goat cheese and tomato salad, while Ryan had a spinach and cheese pastry dish called borek that was delicious. He paired that with a Turkish beer called Efes that he liked even though it was a pilsner.

Drinking Efes from "our table". We had the same waiter too, prompting an interesting conversation about the differences between Edinburgh, Turkey (where he spends half the year) and Virginia (where he had recently visited). 

Great Scot: The natives love the author and antiquarian Sir Walter Scott. He romanticized Scotland, and recovered the long-lost Honours of Scotland (the Crown Jewels that had been hidden in Edinburgh Castle to keep them from Oliver Cromwell). Scott's monument in his native Edinburgh is hugely impressive.

The Walter Scott monument. 

The devotion somewhat confounds both Ryan and myself. Each of us tried to read Ivanhoe in middle school and failed. It's actually the first book I remember not being able to finish - back then I was too young to realize the life is too short to struggle with boring books. Or ones with grammatical mistakes on page 1.

Ryan trying to determine if the monument's elaborate carved figures are characters from Scott's books. Hard to do when you didn't finish the book.

But I have vowed to give Scott another shot on the way home, having downloaded Waverly to the Kindle. As the New York Times noted this week, Scott's novels were also extremely popular in America, particularly before the Civil War. And thanks to the article, I finally know what happened Ivanhoe, too.

Photo of the day: Ryan and I really wish we could share a picture without a dull gray sky - but the weather has not cooperated a bit. Much of Scotland and part of England is dealing with significant rain and flooding at the moment. But this is a picture of Old Town, which Ryan swears is almost exactly as he pictured it after reading the Inspector Rebus novels.

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