June 12, 2010

a draw in edinburg

One week after watching our Decorah Vikings take third in the state soccer tournament we were back watching futbol again. This time we were in Edinburgh Scotland watching USA play England. Now before you get too worried about us cheering for our side on the home turf of our opponent let me just clarify that when England is playing the Scottish will cheer very loudly for the other team! As soon as we arrived in Edinburgh Josh. Changed into his USA jersey, and as we were waking around Edinburgh he got lots of comments from the locals. “nice top there son”

So it came to pass that we found ourselves in a hotel bar with lots of support for USA. On one side was a group of about 20 younger scottish men, and on the other were some additional tourists like ourselves. We had hoped to experience the game in a pub, but unfortunately they do not allow minors after 8pm. It was great fun to watch the game here, but I must say that I have grown used to the expert commentary of my friend Jim, who is leading a group of Luther alumni on a trip through Germany at the moment. I am sure Jim found a good place to watch the game there with some German support. You see all kinds of people when you watch the game in a hotel bar. At one point an Asian man came in, and stared at the screen for a couple of minutes before asking “what half is it?”. One of our scottish compatriots replied, well I don’t know where you’re from mate but when the clock says forty two minutes here you’re in the first half. It sounds even funnier when you hear it with the accent. Needless to say that particular fan did not stick around to watch much of the game.

When the Americans scored (yes it was an error on the English keeper) the whole bar erupted in cheers and then a chant of USA USA started up. The bar manager looked like he couldn’t decide what to do. He clearly wanted to calm everyone down and was obviously worried that a riot was going to break out in his bar. But he had no idea how what the right strategy was. In the end order was restored by some humor. After the cheers erupted and the chant had started one of the scottish fans came running back into the room to see what all of the commotion was about. As he had been in the toilet, he made a great show of zipping up his zipper which put everyone to laughing, including the manager. Although I was disappointed to settle for the draw, I think it is a good result for the American side.

Earlier in the day we did spend some time walking around Edinburgh, we walked the Royal Mile, and checked out Holyrood House. We have now seen all the royal residences except for Balmoral. The big story of Holyrood is that this is where Mary Queen of Scots spent a lot of time, and it is also where her young son was killed right before her eyes by her husband. Nice guy, who wanted the throne bad enough to kill his stepson. Here is a picture of the Abbey.

Our hotel here is great, we are right in the middle of a bustling area, and have a awesome view of Edinburgh castle out our hotel window. Here is a night shot I took after the world cup game was over.

Today we are going to visit the castle, then pick up our rental car and head for St. Andrews, birthplace of golf!

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Location:Edinburgh, Scotland