This week, Scotland is in the news with the country voting whether it will stay as part of the United Kingdom or break away to independence. We recently had a chance to spend time in Edinburgh and fell hopelessly in love with this city with its myriad shades of black, white and gray.
Our love affair was kicked off by our “complete Scottish package” of a tour guide who led us on a FREE 2.5 hour tour of the city. Through fun anecdotes, animated expressions, macabre descriptions and a periodic self-reference to Mel Gibson, he had us riveted to the history of the country and the city. Of course, he ended this beautiful journey telling us the next time we visit, we could be in an independent nation!
Here are some of the more interesting things we learnt from Billy along the way:
– A dog so dedicated to its master that it pined way at his graveside for 14 years till his own death (Greyfriars Bobby) – read more at http://www.greyfriarsbobby.co.uk/vigil.html
– Yes, there is a Haggis option for vegetarians, if you have not been turned off at the description of what goes into the original – http://www.hendersonsofedinburgh.co.uk/restaurant.php
– A once hung person proclaimed dead cannot be rehung if they come back to life since they have served their sentence (Margaret Dickson) – http://murderpedia.org/female.D/d/dickson-margaret.htm
– There are many dark and underground tours that take you through the other side of Edinburgh – we will feature more in an upcoming article.
– A graveyard and the tombstones in it inspired some of the characters in J.K. Rowling’s first book – http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/voldemort-draws-harry-potter-fans-to-greyfriars-1-3067986
Independent or not, Edinburgh is a city packed with a ton to do in a compact space. And the free tour from Sandemans provides an excellent orientation to the city. More information can be found at http://www.newedinburghtours.com/daily-tours/new-edinburgh-free-tour.html
Sandemans also provides free tours in several major cities around the world.