At long last I arrive in a land who’s accents I have been imitating with glee for years. I’m sure I will find more than accents here to keep things interesting though. Speaking of Scotland, one of my favorite Scottish films, “Trainspotting” is up for a sequel reviving some classic Scottish characters, including Ewan McGregor in his breakout role as Renton. This time they are mixed up in the Porn business instead of heroin. Well, back to Edinburgh. I took in the walking tour on my first day to get my bearings.
My second night here was a Saturday, and the whole city went mental. You would have thought it was New Years Eve with all of the clapping, singing, and jumping up and down going on in the clubs. I was in a great mood, but I looked depressed in comparison with these alcohol fueled Brits and Scots. The band in the first club I entered immediately played The Proclaimer’s “500 Miles” and the place went completely insane. It was a Scottish bar just as I had pictured it, but I headed home after an hour since I lacked the over the top exuberance necessary to keep up in a sea of booze that is Edinburgh on a Saturday night.
I put my earphones in instead and cued up some great tunes, and enjoyed my stroll home down Princes St. taking in the view of the illuminated castle on the hill thinking what a lucky lad I am to be living the dream, and not having to wake up to the hangover so many would be suffering the next day, which as it turned out was a beautiful sunny day.
Edinburgh Castle on the night I arrived.
DAVID HUME – David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of radical philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. My kind of guy.
Deacon Brodie was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. He was a pious locksmith deacon by day and rapacious burglar and womanizer by night. I believe he ended up hanging in the square I will introduce you to shortly.
The Last Drop is not referring to the consumption of booze, but the final descent from the gallows.
The area where that crowd is gathered is where the hanging scaffold used to be.
Poor Maggie Dickinson fell in love with the son of the innkeeper of this pub. The problem with this was the fact that she was married, and they didn’t take kindly to this sort of thing in those days. Maggie was hung for her trouble and was carted off to the graveyard.
After arriving at the cemetery, they realized she was no longer dead. Having been punished for her crime and pronounced dead she could not be tried for the same crime a second time. Also having been pronounced dead, she was now free to marry her lover. So everything turned out well in the end for Maggie, but she really had a very challenging day indeed.
The building in the background is the place that became the inspiration for Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter books.
The upper windows of the brick building are where J.K. Rowling gazed upon the graveyard and the inspiration for Hogwarts while she wrote the Harry Potter books.
Our great South African tour guide explained the significance of Greyfriars Bobby. A policeman in Edinburgh was concerned with walking a beat alone and requested a partner. He was denied the request but was told that he could get a dog instead. He didn’t get a large vicious dog, but instead got a small terrier whom he named Bobby. Bobby went everywhere with him, and everyone in Edinburgh knew them. The policeman was very well liked and sadly perished two years later.
Poor Bobby couldn’t figure out what had happened, but on the day of the funeral smelled his master as the coffin passed by. The dog followed the procession to the graveyard, and that is where Bobby remained in vigil for his master’s return for the next sixteen years. People brought him food on a daily basis as he remained at his friend’s graveside through the years. The grave above is there to honor Bobby who isn’t actually buried in that spot because an animal isn’t permitted to be buried in consecrated ground, but he is buried nearby outside the walls. People leave little offerings in front of the gravestone. You can see sticks, and sometimes they leave toys and other such things.
The pub honoring the memory of Greyfriars Bobby.
GREYFRIARS BOBBY – A fantastic tribute to a loyal and wonderful dog. His nose is shiny where people have touched it for luck.
A Real Piper outside the Scottish National Museum
Early Compact Precursor to the Large Hadron Collider in Cern
Captured Napoleonic Eagle from the Battle of Waterloo
STEGOSAURUS – A childhood favorite.
Jackie Stewart’s signature tartan cap.
STEWART’S FORMULA-ONE CAR
Here are a couple of steam engines for my brother Buell.
Machinery used in the textile industry.
You’ve heard of the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Well here’s the Holy Artillery Shell.
A display of Scottish entertainment paraphernalia including a Trainspotting poster and Billy Connoly T-shirt.
Edinburgh Castle Day
Mary Queen of Scots
Mons Meg – The Mega Cannon – Leveled castle walls and terrified enemies.
A walk in the park
A beautiful tribute of solidarity offered by Scottish Americans to the Scottish making sacrifices in World War I.
Edinburgh’s oldest pub
THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
This castle was blown up for reasons that escape me which explains the condition it is in.
Time to go and have a look for Nessie.
Oh where, oh where can she be?
Here comes our ride.
One last look at the castle.
And here she is chillin’ in the shade on the other side of Loch Ness.
And Now A Wee Bit Of Glasgow
Edinburgh’s less classy cousin.
Street Art Abounds
GOMA – Museum of Modern Art