February 12, 2009

Holy Hogmanay, Batman – it's 2009!

Whether you were sitting on a rug with an esky on Sydney Harbour, chillin' at a low-key barbecue or getting wasted with your mates at your local, one thing's for sure – your New Year celebrations ain't got nothing on ours!

While you were knocking back Bacardi Breezers in your friend's backyard, we were Superstylin' with Groove Armada while fireworks filled the sky over Edinburgh castle. Such is Edinburgh's Hogmanay.

Our Edinburgh adventure kicked off on December 30, when we met up with Jackie and Fiona for our four-hour train ride from London's Kings Cross station to the Scottish capital. I had been struck down with a monster flu the day before, so I used the journey as an opportunity to catch some much-needed shut eye.

Once we arrived, we walked about 12 minutes to our accommodation for the next four nights, Ardenlee Guest House. Run by a charming Scottish couple (Kenny and Kay, could hardly understand a word they said, but they were cool), our four-person room plus en suite was not only cheaper per person than staying in a 14-bed hostel room, it included a full, cooked breakfast daily to boot!

With Edinburgh as our oyster, we took off to walk the famous Royal Mile, catch a glimpse of the castle and try some minced sheep's heart, lungs and liver mixed with onion, oatmeal and spice – or as the Scots would call it, haggis. Yes, we were four walking, talking cliches, and damn proud of it!

By the time New Year's Eve rolled around, Craig had come down with my aforementioned monstrous flu. But despite our foggy heads, runny noses and chesty coughs, we were determined to soldier on. This was our only chance to experience Edinburgh's famous New Year's celebration, and we were gonna make the most of it!

So once we had put on about five layers of clothes each, we joined Jackie and Fiona and headed to a pub for a few sneaky beers and vodka and Red Bulls. Once the Red Bull had done its job, it was time to fill some almost empty bottles of Coke with vodka and head to the street party.

While the street party was all well and good, we were just a little bit too cool for school. While there are plenty of live acts on tap, this year, Groove Armada was where it was at. Since we had paid good money to watch them live at the Concert in the Park, we quickly headed down to their stage and scored ourselves a sweet possie about 15m from the front.

The rest of the night was a blur of dancing, singing and kick-arse fireworks. Groove Armada were brilliant, and it was a truly euphoric way to ring in 2009!

Happy New Year!