Back to Edinburgh!

Edinburgh Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 19 › view all entries
On my way to Rosslyn

I have been to Edinburgh once before and that was in May 2007 when I did my first big trip over to Europe with my friend Melissa (melissak). Now I am back in Edinburgh for a second time with a bunch of my mates from the UK and some travbuddies. There was a fairly large group of us going up to Edinburgh for a weekend of partying and mayhem and we were all making our own way there. Now I managed to book my train tickets fairly far in advance and I got the return for £35!!! What a steal! However, getting such a good deal required me to get a very early train, 7am to be exact! Which meant I was up quite early.

I was the first of the group to arrive in Edinburgh and I arrived about 11am.

Walking to the Chapel
The train ride wasn't bad, I just read and listened to music. I also called my sister but got told off by a man sitting in front of me who had "heard enough about my private life." Fair enough and I understand but maybe you should have sat in the quiet coach if you didn't want to hear people talking!!

Anyways moving on...I arrived to Waverly station and walked the 15 minutes to the hostel. We were staying in Caledonian's backpacker hostel which was only £8 a night! Another steal! At the hostel I checked in and found my bed in the MASSIVE 38 bed dorm. The hostel was OK, nothing too special and not exactly the cleanest place in the World but it had lockers, clean toilets, free internet, big kitchen for use, a good location, a bar open until 5am, and it was cheap, cheap, cheap.

The grounds at the chapel

Seeing as everyone wouldn't be arriving until later I decided that I was going to go to Rosslyn Chapel (the one from Davinci code) as I really wanted to go there last time but we didn't have the chance. Right across the street from the hostel was a place to book bus tickets and the guy told me which one I needed to get to get out there. The journey was about 50 minutes out of Edinburgh and was in the small town called, not suprisingly, Rosslyn.

The area around the chapel is gorgeous and the small town country feel it has is just lovely. The chapel itself is unforunatley under a giant steel roof so that it can be dried and restored. Unfortunatley you can't really get any decent pictures as the roof is a sight to sore eyes and then of course you can't take pictures inside.

So pretty
Once you are inside you can walk around and look at all carvings and pictures which have explanations and describe the symbology. As well there is free tours every hour. It's not really a tour though as much as the chapel is very small and everyone just sits on the pews and the lady points things out with her laser. However you learn quite a lot and I found it rather interesting.

I was a bit disappointed though to learn that lots of the things that were in the movie aren't actually true. If you have seen the movie you will know that Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) go down to the cellar and there is all those secret rooms. Well you can go down there to another alter but there is no secret rooms!! The rooms were created in the Hollywood studios.

That's the little pool where Audrey see's if she can walk on water!! haha
But apparently there is stuff under the ground that no one has been able to dig up. Apparently they had a laser scanner come in and scan the floor and there is something under there and 12 coffins which may be the knights templar? After the tour I walked around the grounds for a bit and becuase of the giant steel roof, there is a staircase which you can go up and walk around so you get to see some amazing views.

Once I was finished I decided to go back to Edinburgh. There was the Rosslyn castle ruin which I could have gone to but it was getting late and I didn't want to be walking around and trying to make my way back in the dark. Plus the last bus is at some ridiculous time like 6pm!

Back in Edinburgh I went to Somerfield and got a microwave pasta for dinner as I was pretty hungry.

front of the chapel
When I got there I asked the reception if my friend Jenn had checked in. She is my friend from back in Canada who is currently over doing a tour of Europe and who planned to be in Edinburgh with us for the weekend. She had arrived and I met up with her in the kitchen. After eating some dinner, Mark, Hannah, Anna, Matt, and Ashley had arrived. Mike, Brett, John, and Mark Green also arrived and soon we were a group.

Tonight we planned to do a ghost tour and then go for some drinks. The tour that we did was Auld Reekie Ghost Tour which takes you to the underground vaults in Niddry street. I did a different ghost tour the last time I was in Edinburgh and I have done on in Victoria, BC and hated them both so honestly don't know why I was doing one for a 3rd time!?!? I don't like ghosts and the idea of the paranormal and to be honest, it scares the bijesus (sp?) out of me!

Unfortunatley the tour guide overheard this and when he did the classic demonstration of a witch trial and burning, guess who he called up to be the witch? ME! I was a pretty crap witch though and my "scream" was more like a squeak haha.

you can see a tiny bit of rosslyn castle ruin
After doing a mini tour of Edinburgh and hearing of all the gruesome tales, it was time to go down in the vaults which I was so NOT looking forward to. First we went into a small room which had some torture tools and of course, I was the gineapig once again!

I feel bad and appologize to Hannah as the whole time we were down in the vaults I was clinging to her arm and begging her to leave as I did not want to be down there. Luckily though I am not the only one scared of ghosts and I can gladly say Matt was just as scared as me. At least I wasn't alone. We went to one room which had a big stone circle in the middle where a spirit was trapped. Any time someone goes in the circle they come out with markings or scratches and something generally happens to them or the people they are with.

Me and Hannah!!
One group of students in the past who went in during one of the tours was later killed in a car crash leaving that night. Spooky!

The next room was the most haunted room where hundreds of people died. Basically it was illegal to be homeless back in the day in Edinburgh and if you were you were killed so all the homeless people went and lived down in the underground vaults to live. These people were living in horrible conditions with about 100 people all squished into this tiny room with no light, no fresh water, and of course no toilets. Many of the people died from the conditions alone. Then all of them died when there was the great fire and they were trapped down there and suffocated from the smoke or burned to death. So luckily we got to go into this lovely room where all these people died.

oh dear god...lol
We were instructed to turn off all our cameras and mobiles as it has been reported for them to get messed up from the spirits in this room.

The girls and the guys were split onto two sides of the room. I was between Ashley and Hannah and against the wall so hopefully no ghost could come up to me! Then of course as the ghost tours do, just as we were about to finish another memeber of staff walks by the room and screams "BOO" and scares the shit out of everyone. On the way out the tour guide was holding his hat out for tips and I would have tipped him but I was too scared and basically just wanted to get the hell out of there. Matt as well as I think he said he ACTUALLY pushed someone to get out??? LOL

After the tour we went to the little bar next door to restore our nervers with some beer or in my case cider.

me and jenn!!! camericans! :p
We only had one drink at this place before we made our way to Belushi bar. This is the bar at St. Christophers hostel which was the hostel Melissa and I stayed in back in 2007. Was a pretty good night out to say the least. After a couple ciders here we walked back to the hostel. Hannah and I did a McDonald's run for everyone as we were pretty hungry. We hung around the bar for a while playing pool with some other travellers and then eventually I went up to bed so I could get some sleep and be geared up for tomorrow!

lovely_lori88 says:
haha well even though i acted the most scared i bet you guys were all freaking out inside!! haha
Posted on: Dec 09, 2008
londonstudent says:
It was interesting that no-one, not even the most sceptical, was actually prepared to step into that stone circle :)
Posted on: Dec 09, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
On my way to Rosslyn
On my way to Rosslyn
Walking to the Chapel
Walking to the Chapel
The grounds at the chapel
The grounds at the chapel
So pretty
So pretty
Thats the little pool where Audre…
That's the little pool where Audr…
front of the chapel
front of the chapel
you can see a tiny bit of rosslyn …
you can see a tiny bit of rosslyn…
Me and Hannah!!
Me and Hannah!!
oh dear god...lol
oh dear god...lol
me and jenn!!! camericans! :p
me and jenn!!! camericans! :p
view from the chapel
view from the chapel
Up at the top of the chapel
Up at the top of the chapel
Its so old...
It's so old...
looking out from the top of the ch…
looking out from the top of the c…
beautiful country side
beautiful country side
the chapel
the chapel
gah i hate trying to take decent p…
gah i hate trying to take decent …
sheeps!!
sheeps!!
Edinburgh
photo by: vances