Edinburgh Is a Mysterious City

Edinburgh was a crucial part of our itinerary for our 2016 United Kingdom Exploration. We took a train from London to Edinburgh. We had visited Scotland, once before, as a land excursion from our United Kingdom Cruise in 2012. Our good friends, Margo and Jeff, had booked a wonderful flat for the six of us that was located along the hilly road that we took each morning to ascend to Edinburgh. The walk was an excellent manner to get our steps in…as I logged in excess of 10,000 steps per day…and more like 17,000 to 20,000 per day after ascending the hill in the morning and descending the hill in the evening and walking around Edinburgh and the Fringe Festival each day. The Fringe is one of the largest Arts Festivals in the world. There were hundreds of shows to see. They ranged from comedy to tragedy…and plays and singing and dancing and Avant-garde productions. We saw an enthusiastic young woman from Wales sing Tom Jones songs. Tom Jones is from Wales and my mom would not miss his television show in the 1960s. We watched a comedian who told us that he suffered from depression and especially so during the 11 months that he could not perform at the Fringe. There were pubs for wonderful Scottish Ale and outstanding Scotch of which we availed ourselves of a bottle. We attended a haunted tour, in the gloom of the evening, and the most unique lady, dressed as a ghost and all in white tattered garments, took us to some truly scary places.

Colin Mochrie, from Who’s Line Is It Anyway, was performing. I later learned that many famous comedians and stars got their start at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival…including Robin Williams and Monty Python. Our flat was large and comfortable. MJ and I slept in a bedroom that had 6 single beds. Aaron and Jonathon had their own bedroom…each. We met the owners, who lived next door, and they were lovely people. I often refer to the person that I met on our first dinner in Edinburgh. He was in a wheel chair and he asked me if I could help him up to a standing position to facilitate his ordering some Chinese food. I was happy to do so and thus ensued our conversation. He asked me how I was enjoying Edinburgh and I responded that for the little time that I had been in the city that I liked it very much. He expressed to me how happy that he was that we were visiting his city. The gentleman went on to say how much he had wanted to visit America…for all of his life…but that his Visa had. been denied…however he was going to reapply.

Edinburgh is a city of infinite layered history. The streets are built on top of other streets giving it a multilayered visit. MJ and I began walking up a three flight grouping of steps and deducted that we would be physically able to complete the climb…only to find that there were an equal number of steps at the top of the first grouping. There was a fascinating Flea Market in Edinburgh. I purchased a watch that was inscribed as a gift for ‘Bill’ and a wonderful shaving kit. Edinburgh was a bit like a waking dream…it was surreal and splendid…

The Military Tattoo is a singular experience and not to be missed! I read that both the Fringe Festival and the Military Tattoo have been canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Pandemic. It is our plan to visit in 2022…if the Virus cooperates. The Tattoo is held on the castle grounds. The magnificence of the show is like something that you have never witnessed. With the columns of bagpipe players and the military and the young women dancing the Ceilidh Dance…the performance is a cornucopia for the senses. As we were leaving after the performance in 2016…I was referring to my neighbors as…Mate. Edinburgh…gets in you soul…and in your blood…

Fringe Festival is held in August as is the Military Tattoo. Like a magnet…Edinburgh draws us back to its ancient confines and mysteries. Scotland is a country that runs by it’s own time and clock. It is a country that recognizes it’s ancient past and yet lives in our present world. It is delightful and devious and good…and wicked…with measure…

3 responses

  1. It certainly seems as though you enjoyed your time – and you certainly took some good photos, of the city and beyond! Hope you make it back in 2022.

    1. We did enjoy our time in Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. The photos are lovely…but not mine. They are part of my WordPress account of some 40 thousand, for the purpose of blog usage.

  2. coming back to Edinburgh in 2022 you will see a good few changes since your last visit and there will still be echoes of coronavirus. the re-convening of the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh changed the city totally, money talks. When I was a lad the military tattoo was just that, Now the services have shrunk and with so many commitments around the world for service personnel the Tattoo has morphed into an international festival of culture, which is good, but the mass military pipe bands of 1950 were something to behold. have a good trip.

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