02 March 2011

Bagpipes, Kilts, and Rugby fans

The real reason Jesse came out to Europe wasn't really to see me. While he says he would have come out to visit me anyways, the real reason he came was to go to the Scotland vs. Ireland Six Nations Rugby match at Murrayfield. I'm not complaining since I was invited along for the madness. Sticking to his Irish heritage, Jesse cheered on the favored Irish team while I figured I'd root for Scotland since I was in, well, Scotland! Jesse was so excited but many of his attempts to explain the sport were lost on me. Pictures and diagrams would have maybe helped but I understood what I was going on as it was happening (I think). 

Following along with the swarm of people walking from the city center to Murrayfield, we peeked into a few places looking to feed our empty stomachs but every place we went to was literally bursting with people. Finally we popped into a place that at least had a little standing room. They had a preset menu for gameday: curry and rice or a steak baguette and fries. The steak baguette was calling my name (well, Jesse was telling me I had to get it since I'd already had curry). I stood in line to get food while he got our Strongbows. Once we got our food, our hands were full so we had to down our drinks to free up a hand since there was nowhere to set anything down. Then came the fun part of eating the steak baguette since my teeth aren't razor-sharp... it was an awful site quite hilarious to see me attempt to eat my delicious lunch but somehow I managed to only get half the "French" mustard on me...  

I busted up laughing when I saw this picture... unfortunately this is how I had to resort to eating this sandwich since it was two slabs of steak on top of sauerkraut and a baguette. 
After another Strongbow we rejoined the swarm headed to the stadium, got more drinks (Gaymers Cider for me), and settled into our seats. Everyone around us was wearing either a rugby jersey or a kilt... often times both, and had several beers/ciders in hand (you can buy four at a time there). On our way into the stadium, we had a pretty constant soundtrack of bagpipes to listen to... not always music to my ears. We joked that we were probably two of very few Americans at the stadium... but then at half-time I started talking to the woman sitting right next to me and found out she was from Portland. Her kiwi boyfriend and his Irish friends were hilarious entertainment, too! We had a great time chatting with them while watching the awesome game. 

Last day of our trip and we're still smiling...
Playing the Scottish National Anthem 
Ireland is in green and Scotland is in navy

We had an awesome view of the action
Ireland beat Scotland 21-18 in a well played and exciting game. Afterward, we followed the school of fish away from the stadium - this doesn't even compare to what it's like at a football game. The whole experience was more than I'd expected it'd be. Fans were so into it, super friendly, and I didn't notice any sore losers. Rugby may have just gained a new fan! We ducked into a (jam-packed) bar that we'd passed on our way to the game so Jesse could celebrate his team's win. Then we realized that it was a Sunday night and we needed to get dinner while we still had the chance. I think all the cider clouded my decision making skills (not to say I regret it) but I ordered a chicken, ham, and leek pie with mashed potatoes on the side. The ultimate comfort food, it made me miss my mom's famous chicken pot pie! I will say that it was delicious and worth the calorie splurge. (Mom, let's talk about adding leeks to your pie...) We joked about ordering "spotted dick" for dessert and I shyly asked our server what it was... asking someone what "spotted dick" is is just awkward, even with a menu in hand to point to!

My chicken, ham, and leek pie with Jess'es steak and ale pie in the background
And just like that, our trip was nearly over, though mine continues on to London! Next up: Glasgow for a day. 



  1. Man I would be lost at watching rugby... I don't blame I would need charts...

  2. It seems you are eating your way through Europe! My turn is coming soon! You look great by the way. This experience is definatly agreeing with you.

  3. So JEALOUS you went to this match! I was watching it on TV and biting my fingers the last 10 minutes (I was rooting for Ireland). Great match though!