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Edinburgh

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust

Got up pretty early on Tuesday morning, had a yummy breakfast of oats, black pudding, sausages, eggs, some random cake. The oats were really good! Surprisingly actually, I usually don't like it. And I refuse to call it porridge. But this was good.

Hustled onto the bus to Edinburgh, spent most of the 2.5h bus ride there asleep haha. It's only 1.5 hour by car, but the bus stops in a few small towns on the way.

Got to Edinburgh, dumped our bags, walked down princes Street, attempted to attend the sandeman tour but the guy refused to let us on it because we were 5min late! I was SO mad. I mean, this has never happened to me before. What on earth. I was looking forward to it so much too. So we just walked up and down the royal mile looking at things.

Got our 5pm slot for the Mary King's Close tour. Very interesting, one of the world's first few skyscrapers existed in Edinburgh. The buildings went up to ten storeys high! And then later the government knocked off the top few levels and built on top of the bottom few. That left small streets like Mary King's Close deep underground. The tour was fun, but I felt it was a bit contrived like she was just blurting out the script she'd memorised (unlike sandeman tour guides who are always really passionate). Nonetheless it was really cool that we got to be so deep down in the age old streets. We could actually see, as we went down the royal mile, how lots of the closes from the main road itself went off downwards pretty deep! Because I suppose the royal Mile is much higher than the surrounding roads.

Had a really good dinner of mussels, pizzas and a lamb shoulder appetiser hehe.

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Then we tried to go up to Arthur's Seat. It's an extinct volcano just at the end of the mile. It's really gorgeous, green, and craggy, plus it provides a great view of the city. I was so excited, unfortunately t and p weren't so, due to the uphill and the cold haha. We went up a little way before the path we were on seemed not to go anywhere. And it was getting dark and we were hoping to avoid midges (worse versions of mosquitoes) so very regretfully we turned back. Later when we asked we realised we went down the wrong road. So we could have gotten there in time if not for that.

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Queen's residence in Scotland
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Checked in to our hostel, showered, and wanted to go out for a drink and (for me) to hear live Scottish music, but they fell asleep haha so I just turned out the lights and slept too. Yes, my quest for live Irish music remains unfulfilled. Scottish music could have been a substitute but the universe conspires against me.

I'd planned on getting up at 6 plus, having a quick (free) breakfast at 7 when the hostel breakfast bar opened, and then hotfooting it to Arthur's Seat. (time was short) To my immense disappointment, my phone malfunctioned or something so when I woke it was 7 plus and there wouldn't be enough time. I was very sad.

We had breakfast and went off to Edinburgh Castle where we were regaled by a military band. Okay, they were having some sort of parade. It was cool. Besides one or two military songs they also played Angel by Robbie Williams. And they were all kilted in green with white and black tassels hanging from the front, and white and black boots. And it was so funny, because they all wore bear hats (think British soldier) with really long hair, so half the time the wind was blowing and the hair was in their faces and they could barely see their scores lol.

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Dog cemetary
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Very impressed by the ceiling of the Great Hall. Original medieval work.

So we went into the castle, it was probably one of the most interesting castles I'd been to, they really make an effort. Every room had stuff to read. Went to the war prison, got to see the Scottish Crown jewels, had some history on the jewels, saw the Stone of Destiny!! Also a dog cemetery. I only wish I'd paid for the audio tour, but we didn't have much time. Considering how expensive the entrance already was though (16 pounds, there's no student discount), another 3.50 wouldn't have been much.

Going around the castle really fed my love of medieval lore! I've always loved reading about knights and castles and dragons. Since I've come to Europe, this has been the most exciting castle in that respect.

Bought a smoked salmon sandwich, mmmm. And then picked up bags from hostel, walked to princes street and berated ourselves for not having walked a further 5min to Waverley Bus station. Because we thought that the bus might come to that stop, it said so on the top sign but not at the bottom, and we waited close to 15 min after the bus was supposed to have left Waverley Station, but it didn't come. And then it did and we were so relieved and happy.

Edinburgh is probably one of my favourite places architecturally. I think most people are getting ready to hantam me hahaha after Paris and Bruges and whatever. It's not as purely pretty as Bruges and Ghent, and far from the poshness of Paris. What is has is a crazy old-world atmosphere that I'm so in love with. Brings me right back into the past, even more so than London!

Posted by seaskimmer 09:02 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland edinburgh Comments (0)

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