Edinburgh Tours and let's be Scottish for 90 Minutes

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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I remembered to put a battery in my camera for the next day so there'll be a few photos here.  Actually, I left my camera lying around for everyone to take photos, so there'll be a lot of photos here.

Ok, I had noticed in the hostel the previous night that there was a free walking tour of the city which started at 11am.  I thought that'll be a perfect way to see the city and hear a bit about the history of the place, so I was up for it.  I got up and had some breakfast, met up with everyone who wanted to do the tour and went over to Starbucks for the start of the tour.  Impressively, everyone was there who was out the previous night, everyone except Bondy that is; he needs his zzz's.

Liam was our tour guide.  He was quite a witty Canadian traveller who just loved living in Edinburgh.

  It's fair to say he knew his stuff pretty well.  He took us to Giles Cathedral, which isn't actually a cathedral (there is no bishop in residence), which means Edinburgh can't actually be called a city.  We walked along the Royal Mile, which is actually 107 yards over a mile to the castle and learnt a bit about the castle's history.  On the route we paused at the Heart of Middleothian.  This is the only place where it's legal to spit in Edinburgh, so guess what?  Yep, no-one spat in it... erm actually, one American spat in it I'm sure lots of people will remember.  The spitting is a sign of disrespect to the government and so this dude hocked up a full on snotty one and let it fly.  I take it he's no fan of Bush. 

After a short break for lunch, the second part of the tour told us a few stories about the local pubs on the street and how they started, but then it was up to the Grey Friars graveyard.

  We saw the Harriot School which was supposed to have been an orphanage, but in the end became a school.  This was J.K. Rowling's inspiration for Hogwarts. 

The graveyard contains the grave of a chap named John Gray who was a police watchman and he died of TB.  He had a dog called Bobby who was so loyal, that when John Gray died, Bobby sat on his grave every day until he passed away.  Grey Friars Bobby, as he's now known, is buried just outside of the graveyard, but has the most photograhed statue in all of Scotland.  We then past the Elephant House, which is where J.K. Rowling sipped coffee whilst writing the Harry Potter novels. 

The tour took us around the whole of the city and was well worth participating in.  I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone visiting Edinburgh.

After 3 hours of informative walking, I was ready for a few beers.  Bondy had emerged and was up for a few as well.  It was international football weekend with the world cup qualifiers taking place.  Scotland were playing Norway at Hampden park, so me, Brett and Bondy found a busy bar with a wide screen to watch the football with the Scottish.  Now, the rivalry between Scotland and England in football terms should be huge.  The truth is, the Scottish hate the English and want to see them lose at all costs, but the English don't really give a crap and wish the Scots quite well.  That said, there was no way I was going to make it obvious that I was English!  Instead, I quickly learnt a few of the chants and sang along with them "When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road".

The Heart of Middleothian
   I also chose to neglect my roots and sang along slating the English.  Safety first and all that - I value my legs and face.  Anyway, the game was crap and Scotland missed an open goal *sniggers* to keep the score at 0-0 and leave Scotland with an extremely difficult task to qualify.  The Kazakhstan v England match was on at 5:15pm so we chose to watch that in the safety of the hostel.  Andre, Derek and Brian had turned up at the point and we all watched the first-half of the football.  The meet up was due to start so everyone else went there and left us to be fashionably late arrivals.  0-0 at half-time so I sneeked in a quick power knap instead of watching pointless, goalless replays and Derek and Brian shuffled out of the door to the meet up.  Second-half, and I was back and lively once more.  Second-half and a second wind!  5-1 you beauty!  England kicked arse so it was in high spirits we left the hostel to meet up with everyone at Mr Modos.

almond72 says:
Certainly brings back memories of my years in the UK as a student. Too bad I had a limited budget for travelling then.
Posted on: Aug 07, 2009
Lilliana77 says:
Okay two points...
- the only place where it's legal to spit in Edinburgh???
(Are you serious???)... WOW...
I mean is not that I spit hahaha, but here is so common,... Yeah they should make it Illegal to spit! HAHAHAHAHA

- So, this is where you started singing and getting the Scottish accent lol .... Gotcha!!! :D


Posted on: Oct 28, 2008
Bondy2007 says:
'When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road". I also chose to neglect my roots and sing along slating the English." *Shakes head and also tuts!*
Posted on: Oct 25, 2008
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The Heart of Middleothian
The Heart of Middleothian
This coffee shop is where a broke …
This coffee shop is where a broke…
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral
The Harriot School
The Harriot School
Grey Friars Graveyard entrance
Grey Friars Graveyard entrance
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
The Harriot School - J.K. Rowlings…
The Harriot School - J.K. Rowling…
The Harriot School
The Harriot School
James Brown - the chap was the gra…
James Brown - the chap was the gr…
John Gray - Grey Friars Bobbys ow…
John Gray - Grey Friars Bobby's o…
Grey Friars Bobby - the most photo…
Grey Friars Bobby - the most phot…
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile
Edinburgh
photo by: vances