Edinburgh

On my first visit to Edinburgh, I said I would move there in a heart beat. I am happy to report that this sentiment still holds true.

We stayed in the Grassmarket area in a hidden courtyard that we found on AirBnb. We enjoyed a relaxing evening, storlling down the Royal Mile and just taking in Edinburgh. At the end of the Royal Mile is of course another palace – Holyrood Palace. I visited it before and as my S.O. is not royal obsessed we did not visit it again.

In the morning we took part in a free walking tour. I’ve used this company before on my travels as it’s a great way to pay what you want to while still being able to learn more about the city you’re in. Here’s their website if you’re interested. They of course offer other tours that they will sell for you at a discount for taking the free walking tour.


Some tidbits of information for you from our tour:

  • Scotland’s official animal is a unicorn. You’ll frequently see a unicorn pitted against a lion, England’s official animal.
  • The phrase shit-faced drunk comes from the fact that Scotland used to have a big sanitation problem. To curb this a little and reduce the smell in the city, it was decided that chamber pots could only be emptied at 10am and 10pm. Well, drunk husbands coming home late would have the chamber pots emptied on them down below in the streets, not hearing the warning called out, thus leading their wives to declaring them shit-faced drunk.
  • Bobby the dog. A night watchman requested a dog from his employer for his watch and the dog he chose was a small little terrier whom he called Bobby. Bobby was fiercely loyal. A couple of years later, the nigh watchmen died and Bobby sat by his grave everyday until he died, almost a decade late. As dog’s were not allowed in the cemetery and stray dogs were rounded up and killed… Bobby was given a key to the city so that he was permitted to remain by the grave of his owner. He was buried nearby the cemetery (as dog’s were not permitted to be buried in the cemetery) and the area now has various memorials to the loyal dog.
  • A school in the old quarter apparently was the inspiration for J.K. Rowling when she wrote the Harry Potter books and was “designing” Hogwarts. Names from a nearby cemetery provided inspiration as well. She frequently wrote in the Elephant Room care and the school is visible from there. We went for breakfast to the Elephant Room, a place I had visited on my list visit to the city. I must admit though that I have never read the books nor seen the movies (except for when they showed the first one in a class in high school but I did other things as it played).

One of the delightful things about Edinburgh is that there is easy hiking from the city center over the rolling cliffs and hills and to Arthur’s seat.

We stopped by a history museum in Edinburgh (it was free) and discovered a section on famous athletes. This gentleman was featured.

A couple of decades ago, some drunk college students decided to steal the Stone of Destiny from the English and return it to Scotland. While they were successful they also split it. You can read more about it here.

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