Edinburgh, City of Mystery
I haven’t had any posts in a while because I’ve been busy the last couple weeks, so I have to catch up on last couple weeks in Scotland, London, and now Belgium. I got to Edinburgh from London in the evening after an excruciating 9-hour bus ride all day. That was a horrible idea. Anyways, Edinburgh is a really cool city with a lot of great architecture. Here are a couple pictures of the city lit up at night when I first arrived.
The next day I went on the free walking tour, which I definitely recommend and they have them in most big cities in Europe. It was a 3-hour tour and our guide showed us all the major sites in the city along some history about each so you actually know what it is. This here is Edinburgh Castle, on one end of the Royal Mile.
This next picture, in case it looks familiar, is George Harriet’s School, one of the most expensive private schools in Britain and if I remember right it’s where Prime Minister Tony Blair went to school. Aside from that, it was the inspiration for a certain school in the Harry Potter series, Hogwarts maybe?
The first Harry Potter book was actually created in Edinburgh and J.K. Rowling is originally from there, before she received a ridiculous sum of money for the rights to the book. This cafe is where J.K. Rowling used to go every day and buy a single coffee in order to sit there all day and write because she was kind of broke before this whole thing took off.
Here, you can see how all the building look in the south half of Edinburgh, very old but fairly well-kept.
These are just a few more pics of the landscape around the city.
Probably one of the most interesting things I did while in Edinburgh was go on this Haunted Graveyard tour. We passed through the Greyfriars cemetery during our walkking tour during the day, but this tour was about 10:00 at night when it’s basically pitch black out. This is called the Covenanter’s Prison, which was gated, locked-up area inside the cemetery.
Now, the story behind this is that there wass basically a religious war going on between the covenanters and the English government, who wanted everyone to convert to the Church of England. The covenanters who were captured were locked up inside this prison until they would either a) convert or b) die. Most wouldn’t convert so what happened is that they were all locked inside this stone tomb, about 1200 people. This became the world’s first concentration camp as all 1200 died and were thrown into a mass grave inside the tomb. The man in charge of happened to be named Mackensie. When he was finally hung for his crimes, his ghost supposedly haunts this tomb. The tour group that I went with is the only group with access to the gated tomb because they basically paid off the Scottish government for the rights. According to our tour guide, over 900 people have felt the presence of the ghost in the tomb, with about 200 of them actually being physically attacked! This goes from scratches and bruises to burns and people fainting from “cold spots.” Now I don’t know if I believe any of this, but you do get a pretty strange feeling when you walk into the tomb. Even our tour guide wouldn’t really come past the doorway, as we stood inside. It was a very interesting story because apparently Edinburgh is very famous for these types of things. There were several thousand witch burnings and other hangings in the center of the city as well.