Monday, January 28, 2013

Edinburgh Round 2

Incomplete Parthenon
I woke up bright and early Sunday morning, packed a lunch and some snacks, and threw on a ton of layers because I was off to Edinburgh! This trip was organized by Gary from Student Tours Scotland as one of the weekend coach trips. STS has one pretty much every weekend and most only cost £15, occasionally they cost £20 if there are some entrance fees that need to be included. The coach tours go all over the country and this was just one of the 3 (possibly 4) trips Becca and I plan on going on. Anyway, Becca and I met up and walked into city center where the bus was picking us up. We boarded and headed to Edinburgh at 9am. When we got to the Capital city we first went up this pretty big hill that overlooks the rest of the city and has several monuments on it. One of which is a not completed project that was supposed to be a reconstruction of the Parthenon but was never finished. Glaswegians call this "The Edinburgh Folly". While up on the hill it started to rain pretty badly and was getting windy. It also didn't help that it has rained recently in Edinburgh so the grass was super muddy. Meaning that we had to watch our step to prevent falling. Becca decided to not take this to heart (well she probably did but is just a klutz) and fell. It was really funny and she had a very muddy and cold butt.

What are friends for if not taking pictures of your muddy behind?

After the hill we made our way to Edinburgh castle where Gary has arranged free entry tickets (they're normally £16,50 which is more than we paid for the whole trip). When we got up to the Castle we took some group shots and Gary handed out the tickets. He gave us two hours to explore the castle and eat lunch. If we wanted to we could meet up with him after that to go to some places and hear stories or we could venture on our own as long as we were back to the bus on time. Then we were set free into the castle. It is a very pretty castle and has a surprising number of museums within it's walls. It also has absolutely beautiful views of the city since it is situated on a very large hill. Becca and I really just meandered through, taking pictures at random. We explored the National War Museum for a little while as well as the National War Memorial. The Crown Jewels of Scotland are also housed at the castle and they are beautiful. We couldn't take any pictures of them though. After that we sat in one of the cafes that are within the castle walls and ate our packed lunches. We then ventures to meet up with Gary. 

Castle Gate

Cemetery for Soldier's dogs

 We then ventured into the Grassmarket which was right off the street that inspired Diagon Alley (which we saw on our previous trip to Edinburgh). We were told a story of a woman named Maggie Dickson. Apparently she had left Edinburgh for a time, had gotten pregnant out of wedlock with a random man, and attempted to conceal the pregnancy which was a felony at the time. She was sentenced to be hanged. The event was a large spectacle and was held in the Grassmarket square. May people showed up including her friends and some local medical students who were fighting for her body. After being hanged her friends got her body and loaded her into a wagon to take her to be properly buried. On the way, however, Maggie woke up. Obviously this startled many people and she was taken back to court. The judge ruled that she had served her punishment, which was to be hanged, and she was set free. The law was then changed so that people would be sentenced to be hanged until death. In honor of Maggie Dickson, there is a bar named for her in the Grassmarket square. After this story we were able to split off again or follow Gary into a very rarely tourist visited area of Edinburgh. This sounded very compelling so Becca and I stuck with him. 

So off we went to Dean Industrial Village. We started off by taking a very pretty walk along the river in order to get to the village. Then once we got there we sort of just wandered down the little street and looked at the really cute houses. It was worth the walk to see this beautiful part of the city. We were also told a story about how Glasgow used to have villages like Dean but they were destroyed after the unification in order to disperse the population and lower Glasgow's power in the voting arena. It really is a shame too because the architecture in the area was so cute and quintessential little village. After we managed to get back into the main part of the city we had about a half an hour to wander until the bus left. Becca and I wanted to get some postcards of the city so we went to like 5 shops to find ones we liked and then went to the bus. We got a little history lesson on the way back which I loved (weird fascination with the Jacobite revolution) and were then left to sleep until getting back to Glasgow. We then walked the awful half an hour back to our apartments and collapsed. 

All in all it was a wonderful day and we saw some beautiful sights. The weather could have been better but then again it is Scotland. The rain and wind weren't too bad though since we had over prepared with the layers. I would recommend to anyone going to Edinburgh to venture into the side streets of the Royal Mile and the new area of the city because there are treasures waiting to be discovered everywhere. It is a gorgeous city with so much beautiful architecture and history.  



  1. We lost our nobility because we supported the House of Stuart. That is one of the reasons Capt John Blakeney Came to America.

  2. I thought that he had indulged in a little too much scotch and got on the wrong bus. I'm so happy that you two are having such a gret time.

    Love ya