Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Edinburgh - Scotland

The Place: Spent the long weekend in the beautiful city of Edinburgh in a big group of 11, including Liz, old res friends, Tim, Trev and Nic, and girlfriends and Tim and Cristina and some of their friends.
Some features: Brought in 2011 at the Hogmanay street party followed by a day at the South Queensferry for the Loony Dook. Took a ghost tour that led into vaults under the old town. The tour included stories of murders, tortures, hangings, body snatchers and their ghosts who haunted the Royal Mile for years following. Some of the Ghosts that remain haunting the vaults are little Jake who sometimes takes tourists by the hand, and the Watcher who shows aggression to those passing by. It was a good tour to get a feeling of the history and stories that a city so old can tell.
Tried some haggis, tatties and neeps which I really enjoyed.
Spent a day walking around Hollyrood park and up to the top of Arthur's seat which overlooks the city. The views from there are spectacular, not only because of the rugged landscape but because you get a great view of Edinburgh castle which sits high above the city. Went for a whiskey tour on the Royal mile and learnt a bit about Scotch whiskey - sadly it was more talk less taste! Ate a delicious meal at the Stac Polly after meeting up with the rest of the 11, which led to a good night out. Spent our last day wondering (exhausted from the long weekend) up to the Castle and around the Royal mile passing the beautiful St Giles church, seeing the occasional Scotsman playing a bagpipe, popping into some of the many cashmere and kilt making shops, eating in the cafes watching people go by and soaking in whatever else our hangovers would let us before heading back to the airport that night.

The Loony Dook - Edinburgh

The Event: In South Queensferry on the outskirts of Edinburgh, participated in the Loony Dook which is a New Years day procession through the streets of the town ending in a plunge in the icy waters overlooked by the landmark Forth bridge. Loads of people dress up in crazy gear to take a dip. Needless to say it was freezing but we didnt anticipate how agonisingly cold our feet would get from walking on the iced cobblestones of the streets, only to be relieved by the numbness caused from taking a swim! Very fun though. (Ps That's Trev at the bottom raising his arms). By chance Liz and I are in this video on youtube - from 1:05 to 1:20 - see if you can spot us!

New Years Eve - Edinburgh

The Event: Travelled to Scotland with Liz and good friends for the famous Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh. In what is already an amazing city, the combination of the count down, fireworks and singing of Auld Lang Syne was a great way to bring in the New Year.