Edinburgh Travel Blog› entry 9 of 32 › view all entries
My, what a cool city. It definitely has a medieval feel to it. I spent several hours here just wandering the old cobblestone streets, admiring the various old buildings, statues, and monuments. There are at several castles here, with Edinburgh castle, perched on a cliffside, being the most dominant. It is the most impressive castle I've seen so far (although I have only seen a handful). The second night I was here, a school marching band performed in the castle courtyard, with the whole Scottish setup: bagpipes, kilts, funny hats, tartans, and people dancing around with swords. It was a great show. Apparently later in the summer, some official marching band comes in and performs the 'Military Tattoo' in the courtyard, but this one was just as good (and free too!).
Edinburgh is also one of the most haunted cities in Europe. I took a Ghost Tour which led us around the city telling about the various gruesome atrocities committed in Edinburgh over its history. We got to visit a 'Torture Museum,' which had many authentic torture devices on display. My favourite was the Ball-breakers, which looked like a giant nutcracker and were used to...well, you know... The tour culminated with a visit to the haunted vaults below the city. We got to peek in to a real-life witch's coven and then, to finish off the tour, they took us to the home of the 'South Gate Poltergeist', which had terrorized many tourists in the past. Our tour guide, an authentic Scotsman named Lee, really hammed it up at this point, flicking his flashlight on and off and acting like he was possessed. He didn't really need to do it, because the vault we were in was really creepy by itself. At the climax of the tour, the flashlight mysteriously went off and people were starting to get really spooked, and suddenly some dude in a Batman cape jumped out and yelled at us. Apparently the poltergeist didn't want to make an appearance that night and, since we paid for a fright, this was the back-up scare. Now that I think about it, maybe it's best that the poltergeist didn't show up after all.