Edinburgh, Scotland As We Travel Europe

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http://www.aswetravel.com/edinburgh-scotland-history-overload/ – Edinburgh, Scotland As We Travel Scotland

We’re in Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It’s also one of the most haunted. We’re going to start the day by visiting the Old Town and the Royal Mile. It’s called the Royal Mile because it’s a mile long street stretching between two royal buildings, the Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. It’s a landmark itself, because it’s situated on an extinct volcano. We’ve been walking along the Royal Mile, and we saw a lot of beautiful buildings, and there are also a lot of attractions here. We’re going to go into Camera Obscura, where apparently seeing is not believing. Built in 1853, and it was designed by an optician called Maria Theresa Short, and the way her camera works is dead, dead simple. It works like a periscope. So outside on top of our tower, you’ll find a small mirror, about this size here, small flat mirror set at an angle. And the mirror reflects the city and projects the image on the table, so what you will on my table today is a reflection, a live image of what’s happening outside at the moment.

We walked up to the top of the tower and you get this great view over Edinburgh. You can see Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, and even the ocean. It’s pretty cool. We’ve been walking around the exhibition and we’ve seen so many crazy pictures. I think these ones sum up what I said going in that seeing is not believing. They have a lot of pictures around where there’s an old man with a beard, and you turn it around, you’ve got a dead man. We’re in the Royal Botanic Gardens and it’s one of the oldest in the world. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s huge, it’s about 70 acres. It’s very quiet as well. Let’s have a look around. There’s so many amazing plants in here. It’s really incredible. Different climates, different plants, there are so many—must be a thousand different varieties of trees and flowers and everything here. It’s amazing. I recognize these ones here from New Zealand—I broke it.

We’re in Greyfriars Kirk, a very famous graveyard in Edinburgh. It’s really beautiful here, and really peaceful. But we’re here to look for a dog called Greyfriar’s Bobby, and he apparently stayed by his master’s grave for over 14 years. Let’s go see if we can find him. I’ve never seen a grave like this before, was kind of surprised and wondered what it was, and it turns out that the reason why they have these bars here on top of the grave and padlocks was to prevent body-snatchers from digging up the body from the grave and selling it to the medical school. That’s pretty crazy. We were walking around the graveyard looking for the dog, but we realized that the dog was actually buried outside the graveyard, even though he spent 14 years next to his owner’s grave, he still wasn’t allowed to be buried next to his owner.

No visit to Scotland would be complete without tasting some whiskey, so we decided to attend a whiskey tour, so always hold it up against a chandelier. If you don’t have a chandelier, you’ll need to buy one. You get them from Ikea, they’re quite cheap, just a few thousand pounds. Now if you have a light colored whiskey, it’s probably been matured in an old bourbon cask. It’s going to have vanilla flavors. If it’s darker color, it’s probably—I mixed it with a bit of water, and it goes down so much smoother. It’s actually quite nice. We’ve been walking around trying to find some traditional Scottish food. We tried haggis a few days ago, and it was really nice, but today we bought some traditional fish and chips. I know they’re not Scottish. It’s very popular in the whole of the U.K. as well, but there’s sort of a competition going on between England and Scotland over who has the best fish and chips. I think it’s pretty hard to sort of find one winner, but these ones here, they taste pretty good. But also, Sofia’s been talking about deep fried Mars bars. It’s something they don’t have in Sweden, it’s not very common anywhere really apart from here. As soon as I heard it, I just had to buy it. So here it is. We’ve got one here. Taste it girl. Deep fried Mars bar. Yes, looks like this. Looks like—I don’t even know what it looks like but—Wow. Wow! That is so good. That was really good. Very, very kind of fatty, but really good, really tasty.