It is now Tuesday 2 days before we leave. We started the day with our morning coffee. We went to a coffee place called the rooster, and indeed I found a rooster painted in chocolate ontop of my cappuccino.
Then onwards for a tour of Edinburgh Castle and afterwards we were hosted to a high tea. The Castle was amazing. It was larger in stature and larger in history than the last castle i visited, Slot Koningsberg in the Alsace in France.
This was an amazing treat to walk among the castle grounds and visit the various buildings, canons …and the odd tourist. Eli and another transgender teen traveling with their family immediately locked eyes and smiled. Eli then was too shy to talk to them. But their mother said to Eli, “someone thinks you’re really cool.” Eli was so delighted but also scared, he didn’t dare talk despite my encouragement (which seemed to make things worse). But back to the scenery of the castle….
There were also amazing views of Edinburgh and surroundings.
Eli was particularly looking forward to the High Tea they were offering. So was I as I never had a real British high tea.
This does bring to one point, maybe I made this already but the scones in Scotland are uniformly delicious and bear little resemblance to their American counterparts—well most of them, tip my hat to Tartine in San Francisco. I had the earl grey tea which was disappointingly similar to the Earl Gray tea I usually drink from marriage freres—except the french counter part was significantly better. The food was definitely too much to eat and included 2 scones, finger sandwiches (eli got vegetarian ones) and no less than 3 desserts.
We needed a significant hike around the castle to keep from falling asleep from the carb-overdose.
After our hike around the Castle we set out for our next Fringe show, “A comedy of operas.”
It was a kind of commedia dell’arte done to the music of various italian operas. It included an old fashioned side plot of a fey opera singer who would rather perform like a drag performer than a “serious opera star”. Eli and I thought this was a terrible stereotype until one of the macho cast members actually falls for him and they do a full on kiss on stage—very delightfully done—and the rest of the music and on-stage comedy worked very well together.
The cast had surprisingly good voices. All in all it was well acted, well sung and surprisingly well written.
We then stopped for a little dim sum as neither of us was hungry for dinner but our next show would end too late for restaurants to be open. We had a lot of luck with Asian cuisine here. The dim sum place was run by Chinese who barely spoke English (good sign) and offered a Chinese or english menu. The food was excellent—a little on the spicy side but Eli is gradually getting used to spicy foods.
The show we went to see was a musical version of the b-horror film classic a little shop of horrors. The group used a recorded soundtrack and they were extremely young and many of their voices were not up to the demands of the score. They also had no props—or at least very minimal: an asthma inhaler was standing in for a gun. But many props were missing in action completely, such as one curious scene where an actor chokes to death in an non-existent gas mask. The cast were uniformly in their early 20’s, so they were inexperienced but well motivated. Add to that a mysterious stifling heat in the basement theater which made attendance almost unbearable. Luckily the cast sparkled as they did they best with their developing talents. Eli was unconditionally delighted by the entire production. I was less enthralled but still thought their best efforts were very entertaining which is what you want for a complete musical done in the fringe festival. Although the opera comedy before it had all the profession fit and finish of a professional performance this one was still amusing and even in its short comings very likable. This was my first time seeing the musical and i must say the Roger Korman original film from 1960 was still infinitely preferable.