Day 5 in Scotland – EDINBURGH – sadly the end of my trip to Scotland and the last 24 hours in this magnificent country, the 94th nation I’ve lived, worked, studied, volunteered in or simply backpacked around!
Definitely made the most out of a short visit to this brilliant part of the world, currently on the night train back to Bristol and about to pass out!
I arrived late last night back into Edinburgh from an outstanding trip all around the country with a central focus on the Isle of Skye and the stunning Scottish Highlands.
Immediately upon returning I went on a 90 minute “Ghost tour” of Edinburgh at 10pm that took us through the backstreets and small alleyways off the royal mile and into the underground cellars and passageways beneath the city, learned quite a bit about the fascinating, intricate and at times gruesome history of the nations capital. The great minds that inhabited this city and also the darker underbelly that existed. Checked out a local pub on the way home and met some hilarious characters.
Awoke this morning and began a walking tour of the city that gave me a snapshot of what this city has to offer and took us around EDINBURGH CASTLE (which we wandered the grounds of but unfortunately didn’t have time to enter and see the stone of destiny) – ST GILES CATHEDRAL (amazing spire unlike any I’ve seen before on this island and of course various carved and painted angels playing the bagpipes within) – wandered into the HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN – learnt about the real Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – discussed more of WILLIAM WALLACE, Scotland’s history and more recent controversy surrounding the STONE OF DESTINY – took a stroll around GREYFRIARS KIRKYARD (cemetery) and spoke about the heartwarming story of another smaller (non-human) national hero in GREYFRIARS BOBBY (a dog who became an honorary resident of Edinburgh after a heartwarming tale) along with the fascinating medical science history in Edinburgh (Autopsy was invented in Scotland and grave robbing was an extremely popular pastime at one point in history) – wandered up and down THE ROYAL MILE and stopped in on the SCOTTISH WRITERS MUSEUM and HOLYROOD PALACE (the British Queens official residence in Scotland) – the MERCAT CROSS – the sites of witch burnings and public executions – past the NATIONAL MUSEUM – wandered past SCOTLAND’S NATIONAL PARLIAMENT and the base of ARTHUR’S SEAT and CALTON HILL – took a stroll past EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY and COVENANTS PRISON along with the MARTYRS’ MEMORIAL. One of my favorite spots by far today was the GRASSMARKET – absolutely steeped in history!
Managed to sneak in an essential DEEP FRIED MARS BAR and yet another HAGGIS (number 4 on this trip) for lunch! Also during my time in Edinburg got to have a bite to eat at THE DORIC, THE MOSQUE CAFE AND KITCHEN (a curry restaurant built into Edinburgh mosque) and arguably the best coffee shop in Edinburgh, LOVECRUMBS.
As the sun began to set I was absolutely exhausted and barely in time for my train back home I finished off the day with a visit to the SCOTT MONUMENT and PRINCES STREET – as I was running late I had to run to catch my train along princes street in the exact footsteps of Spud (Ewan Bremner) and Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) all those years ago in 1996 in the iconic opening scene of Trainspotting! One of my favorite films of all time.
Among a horde of information about Scotland I’ve learnt during this visit, today I discovered the etemology behind the term “shitfaced” what dates back to the days of old where people in Edinburgh (and greater Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales ect) used to dispose of their chamberpots full of urine and human excrement by hurling it out the window, the pubs in Edinburgh at the time would close in the late evening and as the drunks walked home they would often look up as people were hurling their excrement into the street, being drunk your reaction times are impaired and hence occasionally the fluids and solids from the windows above would rain down upon your face. Thus rendering you “Shitfaced”.
Unfortunately didn’t have time to have a proper look at the NEW TOWN or delve into the interior of EDINBURGH CASTLE, spend time in the excellent museums or take a tour of MARYS CLOSE or climb to the top of ARTHURS SEAT and CALTON HILL – I would highly recommend these stops to anyone with more time to explore Scotland’s magnificent capital city! I also hope to visit GLASGOW and the ORKNEY ISLANDS one day on another trip if I make it back!
Hoping to get back to Scotland again in the future!
Thanks to all the magnificent people I met!!
Scotland – 94 nations and counting.