While loitering around the Royal Mile/High St. in Edinburgh yesterday, I got a kick out of hearing myself ask a local, “which way is it to the Castle, please?” Not quite something you can ask everyday, aye?
After the quick (but mandatory) visit around Edinburgh Castle and the irresistible shopping along Princes Street (H&M sale, hello!), I managed to join the Mercat walking tour for a more historical study of the Royal Mile and a peek at 15th-16th century Scottish living.
After-tour thoughts: I am so happy to be alive in the 21st century where indoor plumbing is taken for granted, where being a lefty doesn’t automatically make you a witch and entitled to be burned at a stake and where royal heads aren’t being chopped off right in front of your local church for entertainment. My tour guide often decried the lack of commemoration Scots do for important places or persons in their history. Case in point is one of their revolutionary figures John Knox being buried under a parking lot with nothing but a pale stone noting the fact. This makes joining one of the many walking tours a must in Edinburgh. Otherwise, you would unwittingly be standing on the Edinburgh Spitting Heart (the only spot in the whole of Edinburgh where you can spit and not be arrested by the police) and you wouldn’t understand the amount of bacteria you’ve just inflicted on your poor shoes. But on the other hand, a lot of what makes Edinburgh interesting is actually quite brutal and how exactly do you celebrate the amount of people you killed by guillotine or by isolation to prevent the spreading of the bubonic plague? For all its beauty, the city really does have quite a gruesome history. Quite the perfect spot to be in for Halloween if you’re into that sort of thing.
I’m at the Waverley Station now, killing time. A bit too early for the noon train back to London but there’s nothing for it when you’re lugging a now 19-kilo bag. I would have loved to go back to the Pie Maker shop along North Bridge and get a few dozen more of those pockets of heaven, but I’ll just console myself with the amount of calories I saved for skipping it and sticking to a cup of coffee here at the train station.
Ciao for now, Scottie!