Sunday, 8 May 2011

My First Time Eating Snails in Paris

Putting on a brave face
I stared down at the plate and started having second thoughts. However, it was too late and I'd already orded the snails, or Escargot to give them their proper name. Picking up the special fork, I extracted one snail from its shell and after a moment of hesitation I ate it.

My tastebuds were pleasantly surprised by a lovely garlic taste, it was a little chewy for my liking but turned out to taste very nice. I wasn't able to eat the entire plate, but did manage several snails before being a bit put-off by a particularly large one that still had a bit of shell stuck to it.

The Snails
You can read as much as you like about what snails taste like, but in the end nothing compares to actually trying them yourself. After seeing my friends eat them earlier at a cafe, I felt like I had to try them and I definitely don't regret them. I would happily order them again (indeed I have eaten them since then)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Spending Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Fireworks to celebrate the start of the torchlit parade
Edinburgh is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Hogmanay and I finally had a chance to go down an experience it for myself. The celebrations last for several days all across the city. However, being a poor student I didn't really have any money to attend the street party or the carnival, but it was mainly the fireworks that I wanted to see.

The Hogmanay celebrations started on the 30th of December with a small firework display and a pipe band leading the torchlit procession which we actually attended completely by accident on our way to meet some friends. We marched along with the crowd for a short while, but headed off once we reached Princes Street. The sight of the crowd was fantasic though, it was like a wall of fire slowly marching through Edinburgh.
Pipe band leading the procession

On Hogmanay itself, we went to a friend's house first for a few drinks and then headed out to climb a hill to see the fireworks. Originally I had planned to climb Arthur's seat but that would have taken too long so instead we headed to the Braids as it was nearby and still offered a good view. The firework display was stunning, especially with the silhoutte of Edinburgh and the castle below. After the display was over, we started walking into Edinburgh until we were able to catch a taxi and headed to Mr. Modo's (a pub) to have a few drinks to celebrate and also to meet up with some more friends. It was a great night and we even got free anti-Santa hats that the DJ was giving away. Finally, we caught the free night bus that the city was providing and headed home to sleep.

Fun at Mr. Modo's

It was a lot of fun, although hopefully another time, when I have more money, I'll be able to fully experience Hogmanay in Edinburgh and attend the street party.


Fireworks over Edinburgh Castle
The wall of fire

Vikings leading the procession

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