Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Edinburgh

Since the division of the Bath/Stonehenge trip into three separate blog posts seemed to work pretty well, I figured I'd do a similar thing with Scotland and Knitting content- I know some of you could care less where I go and there are some who could care less what I'm knitting, so I figured I'd have a post for each of the types of readers. Here's some of my favorite pictures!

Greyfriar's Bobby: The owner of the dog died and the dog returned to the grave and sat there every day and night for 14 years, only leaving for food from the local bar, which was renamed Bobby's Bar and is shown behind the dog statue.
Part of the walking tour: the graveyard. Considering we went on a haunted tour of Edinburgh the night before, I about peed my pants when the sexyface tour guide told us we were going to a graveyard and torture chamber that had known haunted spots. It was fine during the daylight though...Edinburgh Castle: I strongly believe that the Scottish exhausted their attackers by making them walk up three miles of hills to reach the castle. Inside they had yet another torture chamber, the crown jewels of Scotland, the chambers of Mary, Queen of Scots, a dog cemetery for soldier's dogs, and free whiskey samples on Saturdays!St. Margaret's Chapel: the oldest building in Edinburgh, dating back to 1302. Popular place to get married, but it only seats 12.
Hello! (Hello! Hello! Hello!) BOOM!Dolly the Sheep...on a turntable.Taking "American Ex-pat" a little too far...Baaaarbara the sheep enjoying a Mojito at Hard Rock Cafe. She must be a relative of Dolores- I'll have to ask Franklin.View from the Sir Walter Scott Tower...maybe the 4th floor? Anyhoo, it's about 300 steps up in an itty bitty spiraling staircase. Not for people with claustrophobia or people over 90 lbs- it's tiny in there. But great views of Edinburgh.I love this poet, man.
The Scottish Parliament Building, ironically, the newest building in Edinburgh. I was expecting something more like the British Parliament building. It is next to Holyrood Mansion, so I'll give it props for that.

There were a lot of things that you just couldn't take pictures of, like all the museums. We went to a few museums, my favorite of which was the portrait gallery. They had a floor of Italian Renaissance paintings, which I have a soft spot for ever since my Medieval history class at Purdue. Those are the painting where they use metallic (especially gold) paints and draw halo's around religious figures. The paintings also depict women with very far back hairlines; the fashion at the time was to actually shave the closest 3 inches of hair to your face, then bleach the rest of it blond and have super pale skin. Since this was way before peroxide, women used horse urine and sat in the sun with covers over their faces to bleach their hair. The ammonia in the urine was activated in the sunlight and served as an early peroxide.

We also couldn't take pictures of the ghost tour (well- you could, I just refused to take my hands off my purse- I've heard terrible stories about thieves grabbing people's bags when they were engrossed in Scottish ghost stories) and I think I had a supernatural experience (or two) on the tour. The first was just seeing a guy standing in the alleyway with a top hat and a cloak and a vacant expression on his face; I figured he was one of the actors just hanging out to scare the next group of tourists, so I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until I was telling the tour guide later that I knew he was going to jump out and scare us at the end that I started to think it was more than just an actor. She said that someone did jump out and scare us, but it wasn't anyone dressed like that. She said that I had (like several before me) described the night watchman of Cockburn road from the early 1800's. This explanation was at the end of the tour, after my other...experience. We went into one of the underground rooms that merchants used to store their goods in between workdays, and I felt immediately sick to my stomach as soon as I walked into the room. I instantly cursed the Indian food I'd had for dinner and left the room and stood in the hallway so I didn't puke. I waited outside until the tour guide was done explaining the story of that particular room- I didn't really pay attention- I was waiting for someone to jump out and scare me the whole time. The tour guide came out first and looked straight at me and asked if I felt like I was going to be sick and I explained that I did, but I felt fine as soon as I left the room. She said some people were more sensitive to the poltergeist than others...great. So in one night I saw the dead night watchman and was nauseated by a poltergeist raised by a group of Edinburgh Wiccans in 1996.

So that's pretty much my trip: castles, museums, nice restaurants, tours, shopping... and I loved every second of it. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

3 comments:

Jaclyn Bailey said...

Lucky Lady! I wanna go to Scotland so bad!!!!!

paisley penguin said...

I'm all about the knitting AND the traveling!

Anonymous said...

Loved your photos and comments.. So glad you had a great time.
Mom