Tuesday, 6 September 2011

August 7 and 8

Edinburgh, Scotland

We arrived on the Megabus around 8:30am...with little to no sleep.  We caught a cab (in the rain) and went straight to the hostel, where we slept for several hours before venturing out.  In the rain. 

All the pictures are from August 8 but I recovered our steps from the 7th :)

This is the best view you will get from me of the Belford Hostel.  I took no pictures on the inside because I HATED IT.  I will NEVER stay in a hostel ever again in my life.

~the shower was awful - the water was one temperature: scalding hot!  They charged a pound for a towel and a pound and twenty-five pence for coffee and toast!  I don't think so.

Here is St. Mary's Cathedral, just up the street.

Luckily for us, the map of Edinburgh we received told us the location of every Starbucks in the city.  We stopped for breakfast every day.

Oh, oatmeal is called porridge.  And it is delicious.

St. John's Cathedral, on Princes Street.

This ornate Celtic cross stood on the grounds of St. John's.

And now we begin the many views of the breathtaking Edinburgh Castle.  Can you imagine living in a city with a castle on a hill right in the middle of it?  Pretty freakin' spectacular.

Notice the stadium seating for the Military Tattoo performances.

The National Portrait Gallery of Scotland. 

The decorated windows of Jenners department store...sort of like Macy's at Christmas.

The Scott Monument...

...explained here.

Here is the statue of Sir Walter Scott that sits upon the monument.

Longer views of Princes Street.  Everything from here north in Edinburgh is called "Newtown".  South of here is "Oldtown".  They call it what it is, don't they?

We took shelter from the rain on the 7th inside the Princes Street Mall.  I found a store called New Look and tried to find one.  So many choices!

After crossing North Bridge, you turn right onto the Royal Mile and see this: the entrance to the Fringe Festival - the largest annual theatre festival in the world.  There are one million people in Edinburgh for this festival. 

This is also where Karen and I met the group for a free walking tour of Edinburgh (in the rain) on the 7th.

From south of The Mile you can see the clock on the bank building at the corner of North Bridge.

Traveling east on the Royal Mile, towards Holyrood and away from the Castle.

We ate dinner at Deacon Brodie's.  It was so rainy and cold that the hot tomato/ vegetable soup was wonderful!

 Here is the gravesite of Greyfriar's Bobby.  This is a touching story - Bobby is a dog who stayed in the Greyfriar's cemetery on the grave of his owner...for 16 years.  People visit his grave here and leave gifts and notes for this famous dog.

The chapel at Greyfriar's cemetery.

Just outside the cemetery is the statue of the dog, in front of a pub called Bobby's.  It is the most photographed ANYTHING in all of Scotland.

I took many pictures of the graves in the cemetery...

Unfortunately, the shop was closed.

Just around the corner from Greyfriar's is a small pub called The Elephant House where J.K. Rowling used to sit and write rough drafts of the Harry Potter series. 

Rumor has it, when she was stuck for a character name, she would wander in the cemetery for inspiration...

We just happened to wander by a bar called Frankenstein's...and he was waiting for us...more on this place when I describe the pub crawl...

We were able to wander inside the National Museum of Scotland for a few minutes and see this race car...

...and Dolly, the cloned sheep!  She is real, and she lives in Scotland!!!

Karen in outer space!!

The inside of the museum.  I wish we could have stayed longer, but they closed at 5pm.

The T-rex reminded me of Sue, who lives in Chicago.  :)

The museum...from the outside...yeah...

Karen wanted to look homeless next to the Medea poster...I guess she did.

A Scottish wedding dress in the window of a kiltmaker - so pretty!

I guess that would make this one a bridesmaid dress??

On August 7, we saw "The World According to Bertie" - a lovely play based on the popular children's series...well, popular in Scotland because it is set in Edinburgh.  Karen's friend, Margaret, was in the play, and it was really cute!  I enjoyed it a lot!

On August 8, we saw "Godspell" - love love loved it!  I wasn't sure about it (since I'm not a religious person) but I was really moved by it.  Now I want to be involved in the Mainstage production when I get home!

After "Godspell" we met another tour group at the Bank Bar on the Royal Mile and North Bridge for the Edinburgh Ghost Tour.  It was amazing!  So many stories...The Curse of North Bridge, Body Snatching in Calton Cemetery, Fairies and Witch-Burnings on Calton Hill, Jacob's Ladder (the path for corpses to reach the cemetery), and the Holyrood Kirk, where Anne, Queen of Scots', royal financial advisor is buried.  Very creepy :)

This is the longest blog post ever.  Sorry.

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