Monday, November 2, 2009

Edinburgh

After a tasty breakfast and a little shopping we started the day at the William Wallace memorial which was thankfully free of any Mel Gibson stuff but did have t-shirts of the Mel Gibson lookalike which was hilarious. The memorial is a tall tower perched on top of Abbey Craig just outside of town and the 245 steps to the top are broken up by museum rooms including Wallace’s sword, a rather cheesy video projection courtroom reenactment, the hall of heroes where you could vote for your favourite 20th century Scottish hero (c’mon Billy Connelly) and a fabulous, if freeeeeezing view from the top.

Heading out of town took a lot longer than usual cos we kept going in circles trying to find the right exit off the many confusing roundabouts but made it to Edinburgh pretty quickly and after navigating several more increasingly baffling roundabouts found a park right below the castle. Climbed up castle rock to the Royal Mile and up to the castle which is huge and very impressive.

Went on a free tour led by a Screech lookalike, checked out the Scottish honours (sword, scepter, crown and stone on destiny), prison of war museum complete with realistic sound effects and the tiny St Margerats chapel (the oldest building in Edinburgh) before heading out to find the hostel. Decided to splurge for the last night of our trip together so headed out to Howie’s, a very nice restaurant built, as I later found out, over a cemetery for a delicious dinner. Strolled around town for a bit and found the Elephant House where JK Rowling used to hang out but unfortunately, just as it was closing.

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