On the hunt for Edinburgh’s Ghosts

Back in June I visited my friend in Edinburgh. After not seeing each other for over a year it was promising to be a pretty exciting affair. Sure enough, as I hopped off my train and made my way down the platform towards her she almost walked past me…Ok, I haven’t changed that much have I? :p No really, she was just looking further into the distance so all was forgiven 😉

Having lived in Edinburgh for a good year I had the perfect tour guide to show me the town. And, oh behold, the good weather must have followed me from London because we had sunshine for the most part (one very very cloudy day on Arthur’s Seat) while I was there. Sunshine in Scotland?? Yep, I was as amazed as you are.

So what do you do when it is not raining in Scotland? I can’t give you an as detailed suggestion as I did in London, but I can provide a run down of what we did, cocktails and all! 🙂

First stop was Edinburgh Castle (of course). I may not have actually gone into the castle (being a tight ass and stingy with money and all..) but the views from up the top are spectacular. That is, when they are not partially interrupted by giant scaffoldings which were already being set up for the famous Edinburgh Tattoo… keeping in mind this is the start of June and the Fringe Festival isn’t actually until August. Nevertheless, you can still admire much of Edinburgh and the surrounding hills, even if there is a bit of metal half in the way 😉

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Edinburgh Castle aka Castle Rock

Next up we climbed Calton Hill, which also provides uninterrupted views (no scaffolding to be seen) of Edinburgh and surrounds. Plus, you now had the added bonus of being able to see Castle Rock too. I just had the luck that the sun happened to be shining in that direction so the lighting wasn’t exactly ideal, but I will take the sun in my eyes over rain on my head any day!

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View from Calton Hill

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View into Edinburgh from Calton Hill

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Holyroodhouse Palace

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St. Giles Cathedral

Now, Edinburgh is a very old city, and with old cities come all sorts of weird and wonderful tales about what happened in the past and what still may lurk down dark alleys and in old buildings. That night, my friend and I were invited to go on a Haunted Tour. So…I’m a little skeptical when it comes to such things, but you never know, so off we went to find out what goes bump in the night. Our first stop were the Edinburgh Vaults, also known as the South Bridge Vaults. An opened hidden door and suddenly we were in the dark, underneath the streets of Edinburgh. Whether you believe in paranormal activity or not, the tour itself was really well done. A bit of leaving you in the dark here, ghost stories there, a slight breeze, and you’ll have anyone thinking the place is haunted. The tour finished off in an old cemetary, complete with a creepy *jumper* at the very end to scare the living **** out of you. Do they get off hearing people scream? Anyway.. I didn’t have any paranormal experiences, but I did really enjoy our little adventure. My friend on the other hand… well apparently she and her friend felt something tugging them when they were standing at the back of the group. Is that enough to make me believe? Probably not. Then they decided to tell me that the hostel where we’re staying is actually haunted and they both have had…uhm…*contact* with *something*. That’s real assuring when you’re about to go bed…

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Look! It’s Tom Riddles grave! Hermione’s was just around the corner too…

On a brighter note, I did obviously wake up the next day, which we spent climbing Arthur’s Seat. Although it was sunny in the morning when we set off, we didn’t have as much luck with the weather today as yesterday (maybe it was the weather ghost) and ended up ascending into dense fog, called Haar. I’m sure the view would have been the best of all of Edinburgh’s hills…if only we had seen something. Nevertheless, the climb was fun and we did get a view glimpses of what was below us.

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Going up Arthur’s Seat

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Sitting on Arthur’s Seat and admiring the…uhm…view

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A loch at the foot of Arthur’s Seat

No visit to Scotland is complete without trying Haggis. You know, that lovely dish containing sheep’s pluck (heart, lungs and liver). Mmmmmm… Go fully traditional and order Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (i.e. Haggis with turnips and potatoes). Trust me, don’t think about what you’re actually eating and you’ll thank me for it. My friend and I were both pleasantly surprised. It was so yummy! Like I said, just don’t think about what is actually in it and enjoy! 😀 :p

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The one in the back is the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties – we made sure to find the best Haggis in town for our first time!

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