It was half term last week and one of the perks of working in a school is having plenty of time off I don’t usually go away but last week my friend and I decided to take a trip to Edinburgh for three days. I have to say it was one of the best experiences of my life. If you haven’t been it is definitely something to add to your bucket list.
What did I do??
- Edinburgh Zoo
- Edinburgh Castle
- The Whiskey experience
- Ghost Tour
- Holyrood Palace
As you can tell I managed to fit a lot in to three days. My feet were killing me by the end of the holiday. My friend has an app that counts the amount of steps you do in a day. Apparently we averaged between 20,000-30,000 steps a day. Pretty good going in my opinion.
What did I learn?
The most educational part of the whole trip, was surprisingly, the ghost tour. Our guide was an eccentric Scotsman dressed in a long leather coat that reminded me of Spike from Buffy. He managed to give us a tour that took us through the tunnels of Edinburgh and into an eerie graveyard. Keep in mind our group had about 25 people in it and he kept every single person engaged in the tour for two hours. He made us laugh, he made us shudder in fear and most importantly he educated! I had no idea about the tunnels that ran under the city, so I found the whole history of them very interesting. For those who don’t know anything about them here is a quick account.
The city of Edinburgh straddles seven hills and bridges were built to allow people access. Vaults, tunnels and chambers were built-in the 19 arches of the Southern bridge and sectioned off. These vaults officially opened in March 1788. As merchants, who stored goods in them, began to move out of them due to poor conditions, the impoverished and criminals moved in. Illness, crime and violence slowly began to fill the slums that hid under the city. The vaults were the perfect hunting ground for serial killers as the police never ventures into the tunnels. The most famous serial killers were Irish immigrants Burke & Hare who allegedly killed 16 people (mostly women) and sold the bodies to a surgeon who used the bodies for his anatomy lessons. Often people would pay to watch the murders take place. Usually the prettier the girl the better.
Not only was crime a constant fear but also fires. It was rumored that there was a serious fire at least once every 3 years that would consume everything in the tunnels due to the poor craftsmanship of the vaults.
The vaults were soon closed up when Edinburgh council got wind that an article was going to be done on the worst living conditions. They blocked up the vaults in 1875, burnt any maps with their location and stated adamantly that the whole thing was a myth….until 1980 when a young man accidentally fell upon the tunnels on a night out and rediscovered a hidden world under the city. The tunnels were excavated and restored. Now you can tour the tunnels on one of Edinburgh’s many tours, either historical or ghostly.
Phew! I went on a little longer than I planned but I just thought the history was really interesting. If you want to read more about it I definitely suggest doing a little more research on the topic. The whole thing is just fascinating.
What did I see?
Of course I had to take a few snaps of my current read which happened to be The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
So that is a brief overview of my time in Edinburgh. I hope you liked it. Have you visited Edinburgh? What was your favourite part? Let me know in the comments. I love talking to you guys.