08/22 - 08/25
Edinburgh Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
Alrighty. The train from Aberdeen to Edinburgh wasn't that exciting. Thank God! I mean, the man behind us was watching Bollywood music videos, loudly, for the entire trip. But since I had my portable DVD player with me, Laura and I watched Pirates of the Carribean, while looking at the beautiful countryside. It's the moors that make me want to move back home (I was born in England). And the sheep. Ohhhh the sheep. We ended Waverly Station and according to the Website, our hostel was only a 10 minute walk from there. If by 10 they meant 30. I was alright with my rucksack, but Laura only had a gym bag and that was killing her to carry.
Our hostel was the Belford Hostel, a converted church. It was so cool. Yes, it was my first hostel, and I'm glad I start somewhere realitively small. It only sleeps 98 people (I should just do a review). Anywho, we shared a room with a couple from Germany who were just starting their trip home on their motorcycles, an older man (50+) from France and a 20-something looking for a job. It was a cramped room, but I got to sleep half in a stain glassed window, so I was still happy.
On the stairs leading to the pub/computer/kitchen there is an amazing mural (see pictures) that took my breathe away.
O' flower of Scotland, when will we see you like again? Who fought and died for you wee bit kill and gland and stoof against him, King Edward's Army and sent them homeward tae think again.
The staff was amazing, and luckily we were steps away from a bus tour stop, so we ended up using that instead of the local bus route. While we were there the International Film Festival, The Tattoo and Fringe were all going on. There were buskers everywhere, international actors and beautiful music at night.
We walked to a lot of places, and found these flights of stairs between buildings you can use instead of going completely to the end of the street and turning back on the hills. The flagstones were engraved with different writers' words on Scotland (Auld Reikie wale o'ilka town (Robert Fergusson); Drums in the walligate, pipes in the air. The wallopin thistle is ill to Bear (Hugh MacDiarmid) ). I could have take a picture of each one, but my friend wanted to get to the Scotch Whisky Centre.
There you can go on an interactive tour of the history and art of Scotch Whisky making, as well as shopping in their very well stocked store. The tour was expensive, and slightly boring. The majority of people there were either 50++ or young families. However, the shop was amazing. They had bottles from every distillery in Scotland (I think). They also let you taste test one glass before the tour. It is located right by the castle.
On the bus tour, we actually ended up paying attention. Our second tour guide was a university student, and he provided a more colourfull comentery. The tour lets you see the ancient Kingdom of Fife (from across the water), the Balmoral Hotel, St. Stephans clock tower, the school were Chariots of Fire was filmed, and a whole lot more. It was worth it's money because it also doubled up as our bus to get around town.
Who goes to Edinburgh without seeing the Castle?? No one! We spent 3 or 4 hours getting lost on the ground of Edinbugh castle, and it rained the whole time! Who would have guessed? The views of the city and surrounds were beautiful and well worth the climb to reach them. We did a tour of the military museum on site, which was very educational, as well as seeing the War Memorial. We got to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Scone.
I think the highlight of my visit to the castle was hearing the tattoo. Granted, we were down on Rose St, enjoying a drink. However, you could hear the music coming down to the street and it was heart-wrenching. The people we met were some of the nicest I would have met on my whole trip, and I would involve Edinburgh in my future travel plans just because of them.
We of course did a tour of Rose St. The street with only pubs. I thank God every night that I didn't have any cash on me that night or there was no way I was getting up at 6 am for my next flight to Paris.
this morning was a 6 am wake up, which hurts! but that means in only a few hours I will be in Paris! three countries in 7 hours? go me!! edinburgh is delightfully quiet. enough for someone to be sleeping. on a couch. in the street. where's my camera???