Saturday, 9 July 2011

Where's your troosers?

If I ever hear another bagpipe playing, especially when it is played badly by a bonnie wee lad of nine, it will be too soon. Bagpipes are the background track to Edinburgh, on every corner someone is playing, including a fawn, on slits… At first it’s quite nice, it feels very Scottish, after three days of it, Scotland the Brave becomes Scotland your grating on my ears


Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with its steep cobbled streets looks like it has come directly out of the middle ages, that is, if Starbucks was on the corner back then. As we decided we had had enough of walking tours, we decided to do the Edinburgh Dungeons instead. Experiencing history in a dark underground theme park with actors and plenty of scare tactics, was a much more enjoyable way to learn about Sawney Bean and his cannibal family and Burke and Hare the body snatchers.

No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the Castle that sits atop the hill overlooking the city. A beautiful old castle, it has had a long and bloody history. The Scottish, fiercely independent as they are, have not been particularly successful at trying to overtake the enemy, England, who have taken over the castle several times. The castle even comes complete with kilt wearing soldiers and Mary Queen of Scots. The city of Edinburgh is full of old buildings and fascinating places to see. Hollyrood palace, being one of them, was unfortunately closed because the Queen was having her annual garden party on Wednesday.

A tour of the highlands was also on our agenda. Pouring with rain, the highlands look rather much like you would expect. Very wet. Loch Ness sits by the village of Port Augusta. With no sight of the monster in the lake, it was all a bit dull. Glencoe was much more interesting, with its long bloody history and stunning scenery; it really was the Scottish Highlands we came to see.  

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