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16 March 2016

Date Night in Edinburgh

Saturday evening Stan and I had a right and proper date night - I have to share. It all centered around a performance by the Edinburgh University Music Society Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.
My friend Amandine sings in the chorus and I wanted to hear her doing her thing. The performance was going to be at St. Mary's Cathedral on the west side of town. I had no idea what to expect, but let me tell you, it exceeded anything my tiny brain might have come up with!
     First, let's back up. St. Mary's is on the west side of town, so Stan found a nice restaurant nearby and we called a taxi to get us there. We ended up at the Edinburgh Larder - one of the very restaurants featured at the last Scran Salon (a networking group of foodies) we attended. Stan had a pork shoulder stew and I had a kale-like gratin. All I can say is, YUM!!!
     From there we walked two blocks to St. Mary's Cathedral. Here's a photo I got during the day a while back, since it was all dark when we got there on Saturday.
THIS is where the concert was to take place:
What we quickly learned is that going to listen to the symphony in a medieval cathedral is not the same as going to the symphony in a concert hall. We had dressed up. Silly us. Seating was first-come, first-serve (with tickets because the show was sold out). We found a place to sit and I was about to take off my coat, when I realized, everybody around us still had their coats on. In fact, nobody was dressed up. It was scarves and boots and hats, the whole thing. Because these cathedrals are not heated! But truly, who cares when this is your view:
It's been ages since I've been to the symphony and I had forgotten the wonderful thing that happens when I go... my brain comes up with story. I hear stories in the music. And I don't mean little things. I'm talking full-on cinematic, epic tales with fully fleshed out characters, plot arcs, scenes, conflicts, the whole thing. And so was born "Rose and the Imp" - I'm already 2,000 words in. (I had to start writing the moment we got home.)
     But back to the cathedral...I went looking for Amandine at the intermission, but it was extremely crowded 'backstage' - more like 'back church.' Still, I got some good photos. Here is the orchestra from behind.
Off to the side was a transept (??), which doubled as storage for the instruments.
The choral area where Amandine was sitting was huge, and up a bit. It's no wonder I never saw her. This was an enormous production! There were as many people performing (maybe more) than there were watching, even with the sold out performance!
     So dinner was delicious, the performance was marvelous. We walked out of St. Mary's afterwards, ran into some new friends, then debated hailing a taxi when we saw the tram go by at the cross-street. We had not tried the tram yet, even though it stops right at the top of our hill in Broughton. We just hadn't gotten around to it. So, we decided to take the tram!
     The tram is rather new to Edinburgh, so there are still some mixed feelings about it, but people are starting to get used to it. You buy your ticket at the platform. £3's for the two of us - a deal! I'm sorry I didn't get any photos of this part, but it was a wonderfully smooth ride, quiet and comfortable. It went right down Prince's Street and cut up to St. Andrews Square (our square) in no time flat. And it stopped at the top of Broughton Street. TaDA! Gads, it was awesome! We'll be doing that again. And it suddenly made the west side of town feel so much closer!
     It was such a mild evening, we meandered down Broughton Street slowly, hand-in-hand. Then we popped into one of our wine shops to buy:
Back at our flat, we indulged, I wrote, and we gushed about what a great date night it had been. Truly. I love it here.

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