Day 62 – Exploring the city

Edinburgh, Scotland

Time to do another free walking tour.

The walking tour went at 10am, 11am, and 2pm and since this was the only thing I had planned for the day, I decided to sleep in and go to on the afternoon tour.

I met Maddie from the States who had just checked in to the hostel and we went together.

She just got in from Iceland that morning so we had alot to talk about as Iceland is one of my favorite places in the world.

Anyway, just a couple tidbits from the walking tour…

Lights, camera…

Along the main touristy street, the Royal Mile, there are all sorts of vans and equipment set up for filming as they are currently filming the new Avengers movie here.

In fact, on this trip through the UK and Ireland it’s been consistently pointed out how several things, most notably Harry Potter and Outlander, have been filmed here.

Harry Potter

Speaking of Harry Potter, the tour visited the graveyard and neighboring school that JK Rowling used for inspiration for her books.

Our tour guide told us that some diehard fans dressed as wizards complete with wands will hold vigils in the graveyard at the tombstone of the man that inspired the name of Lord Voldemort.

Just tripping

Homeowners used to protect their homes from burglars by building stairs with uneven steps.

People who weren’t meant to be inside the home wouldn’t be able to navigate the steps properly and trip over them which spurned the phrase “tripping the alarm”.

Ah, shit!

Indoor plumbing wasn’t always a thing and people would toss their bucket ‘o poo (and other niceties) out the window at night yelling down “garde loo” (watch the water) to warn those down below.

If you were down below and didn’t yell back to “halt” in time you were in for a shitty experience (yes, every pun intended).

Of course, those stumbling home drunk late at night were inevitably the victims of this wondrous plumbing solution.

So, you know that term “shit faced”?  Well, now you know where it comes from…

Haggis time!

After the tour, Maddie and I went to a pub down the street for some dinner.  She had fish and chips but I endeavored to have haggis.

Haggis is Scotland’s national dish and while its’ description sounds outputting, the meal itself is actually pretty damn good.

It’s made using sheep pluck which is the unused bits from the sheep – the lungs, heart, liver.  The minced offal is then mixed with oats and seasoning and encased in a sheep’s stomach where it is boiled for a few hours.

Sounds so appetizing, doesn’t it?

Honestly, I was expecting the worst taste wise but it actually tasted pretty good – like little hamburger patties.

I had the traditional haggis dish, Haggis with Neeps and Tatties, which is haggis served with pureed parsnips and mashed potatoes.

And with that, it’s on to my last week of the trip.  I’ll be here in Edinburgh a couple more days and then over to Inverness and Aberdeen before flying home in a week’s time.

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, UK, Euro Trip 2017, Trip Journal
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