Citytravelreview curso24 edinburgh_truly_deeply_madly


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Curso eG Citytravelreview: Travel Writing experience in Edinburgh September 2011

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Citytravelreview curso24 edinburgh_truly_deeply_madly

  1. 1. dowload full book: Step on the right side of life Din Eidyn : A Symbol of Scotland 7 Give it a hearty spit 9 A Spark of Hope 10 Touch a Philosopher Skin to Skin 12 If you think Scotland is all about wearing kilts and tartans and having A Place where Scotland meets the World 14 a funny accent, come to Edinburgh and be enlightened. Creating new Stories 16 With its deep history and lots of contrasts Edinburgh has many places to see and lots of stories to tell. Not only will you discover main attractions like Edinburgh`s Castle or the National Museum that captures the past, you will also hear about The Spirit of Scotland 20 the dark history of Edinburgh, and visit its cemetries with the creepy stories that are waiting to be told. Festival City / Info Boxes 23 More than Words 24 Are you keen on food? Come to Maggy Dickson`s Pub in Between the Lines... 28 Edinburgh`s Grassmarket - one of the best places to try Haggis. It`s Ready to stArt 32 also a good place to hang around and get to know the Scots folk. You will learn Scottish sayings, discover the Elephant House, where A Night Out in Edinburgh 40 J.K.Rowling wrote pieces of the world famous Harry Potter and find What’s Cooking? 42 out about various writers that came to be part of Scotland`s history. Rock the Kilt! 46 If you don`t want to miss the nature side of Edinburgh - come and climb Arthur´s Seat and find yourself looking down on the beautiful shape of the city. While you´re in Edinburgh you`ll always find something new. Sunny side up 50 Our team has created a guide that leads you through Edinburgh and The Sound of Scott 52 offers stories nobody else ever experienced the way we did. A dirty little Story 53 Come and join us on our journey - truly captivating, madly behaving, Blows You Away 54 deeply loving. Getting a real Student Experience at the University of Edinburgh 56 Are you a witty Jock ? 58 Do’s and Don’ts 60 A perfect Weekend 62
  2. 2. “Scotland’s capital city has a very rich and colourful history. This sectionlooks at the important buildings, the museums and some of the storiesfound at a first glance of Edinburgh. From a castle dating back to the 12thcentury, a controversial parliament building and some pretty gruesomevaults under the cobbled surface of the city, there is a lot to explore. Letthe following articles take you through some of the best attractions thatshow you the true Edinburgh.”
  3. 3. Din Eidyn: A Symbol of Scotland-Vicky Langley‘So grounded, bounded and founded that byforce of man it can never be confounded’ (fromJohn Taylor’s travels around Scotland, 1618).Today nearly 400 years on, as you stand in the However it’s not all bloodthirsty fighting in thefortress looking out over the city it is easy to Castle’s history. Making your way up to theagree with the poet. Upper Ward, you pass a canon that is still in use today. If you happen to be walking withinAs you walk along the Royal Mile’s cobbled earshot of the Castle around one o’clock youstreets the Castle doesn’t look so hard to may hear a single gun shot. The now daily Oneinvade. It’s not until you reach the inside of O’clock Gun was first fired in 1861, originally asthe Castle and look down over the walls to the a time signal for sailors. and New Barracks. The current use of thesecity below that you realise the lengths invad- An older signal on Calton Hill was the time ball. buildings show the Castle’s history as an impor-ers would have to go to, to storm the Castle. This was where a canon ball was hoisted up to tant building continues. This is the reason theDespite the treacherous rock face (potential the top of the Nelson Monument and released highest flag on the Castle is a British one andinvaders were literally taking on a volcano) at one o’clock. However, this came up against not a Scottish one.many did attempt to seize the Castle. To commemorate and remember difficulties. Due to the atmospheric conditions the dead, the people of Edinburgh (if you hadn’t noticed it’s not quite a Caribbean As you reach the Upper Ward, you come to theFrom the 13th century it was the target of donated money to rebuild the climate in Edinburgh) sailors couldn’t always site of St Margaret’s Chapel. This is the oldestmany invasions and sieges starting in 1296 interior of the building which was see the ball so needed a more aural aide. building in the Castle and also in Edinburgh. Itwhen King Edward I of England invaded. What previously a barrack lock in the commemorates Margaret (the mother of Kingfollowed was around 50 years of a tug of war 1700s. The first donation was £500 This saw the introduction of the One O’clock David I) who died in the Castle in 1093. Thewith the Castle between the Scots and the whilst the second was two shillings Gun which takes place in unison with the time inside of the chapel is very small, light and inti-English. The relationship between the border- and sixpence (in old money) from ball, creating possibly the world’s first audio mate, accommodating only 24 people, making iting countries has been a long and often bloody a travelling person. visual show. The gun was only ever fired once a favourite for weddings and However in 1566 Mary Queen of Scotsgave birth to her only child, James. He would in an act of violence. This was during the First You can still see the highest part World War when its target was a German air- The very highest point of the Castle is wherego on to become King James VI of Scotland of the volcanic rock in the building, ship that was dropping bombs on Edinburgh. the Scottish National War Memorial rests hon-and James I of England simultaneously. A rare protruding under a casket which The gun is also still in use by the British army in ouring all those who have died fighting forpeaceful moment in the two countries’ histori- contains scrolls naming those who Scotland. It was opened in 1927 after the Firstcal relationship. the 21st century as are the Governor’s House World War where 148,000 military were killed. lost their lives fighting for Scotland 7
  4. 4. in World War One. Above them hangs aneffigy of St Michael, the patron saint of war- invaders. The Honours now rest safe along- side the Stone of Scone (or the Stone of Des- Give it a hearty spit -riors, killing a dragon. tiny). This was a coronation stone used since -Kerstin Haselmann the 9th century and was moved to Westmin-Across from the War Memorial is the resting ster in 1296 by King Edward I of England. Itplace of the Honours of Scotland. The Crown, wasn’t until 1996 that it was finally returned toSceptre and Sword of State lie on display in Edinburgh. The Stone will be used at the nextthe Royal Palace. At various points in history coronation of a British monarch in London - butthe Honours have been moved and hidden in will be returned to Edinburgh much soonera variety of places (including under a medi- than 700 years.eval toilet at one point) to protect them from In modern times, it also symbolises How do you distinguish a tourist from a local? – A something more up-to-date: local wouldn’t walk over the Heart of Midlothian, Football. but instead walk around it and give it a hearty spit. You might now think “uuuuuhhhh, how The two local clubs’ arch-rivalry is disgusting”, but it is tradition, even if everyone the trigger for hundreds of fans to has another reason for doing it leave their “mark” on the mosaic. . If you are a supporter of the Heart The stony heart we are talking about is located of Midlothian Football Club you Throughout its 3000 years the Castle has close to the West entrance of St. Giles Cathedral obviously spit on it for luck. If you been the site of many historical events. on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (High Street). Named are a fan of the rivalling Hibernian What links the Seven In every nook and cranny of the fortress, after Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Heart of Edinburgh, you give all your saliva history can be found. From the very high- Midlothian refers to the Old Tolbooth, the city’s for the enemy’s defeat. Years War, the War of est point where the Scottish National War former administrative centre and prison, which American Independence, the once stood in that place. So basically, if you can find a reason Memorial lies to the lowest point in the French Revolution and the vaults, it’s important role in history can be Spitting on the heart shaped mosaic is supposed for yourself to do it – Go for it! There Napoleonic Wars? Prisoners discovered. to prevent you from ever getting arrested. is nothing wrong with it. No one from all these wars were held Furthermore, since the heart marks the old will give you a funny look, except in the vaults of the Castle. doorway of the prison where the executions took for the tourists, and you will all of a place, you can thus show your sympathy for the sudden feel a bit more personally Carvings on the wooden convicted or your disagreement with the death connected to Edinburgh. doors of the vaults are still on penalty. But these are not the only reasons for display today. people to spit on it. 9
  5. 5. A spark of hope- Kerstin Haselmann being. This feeling will solely be caused by whatA burning sensation of pain. After weeks of you will learn about those poor souls who took theirentire darkness, the tiny spark in the distance is last breath in the obscurity of nothingness downa blazing inferno to Alan’s eyes. Sudden groans there.of agony, like his own, are reverberating from thestony walls of the cave. A new one has arrived. Before South Bridge was erected in the 1780s, theAnother damned soul adding to the sum of area outside Edinburgh’s Southern wall was homethousands of fugitives populating the filthy vaults to the city’s poorest. Out there the slums werebeneath the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Once located. People living there had to wade throughdesigned to keep the rich merchants’ goods human waste all day long, since Edinburgh’ssafe, they are now a depository for the city’s lost citizens simply emptied their chamber pots out theand hopeless. window, leaving all the grime to run down the hillAlan is crouching further into the shadows to and accumulate in the valley to form a huge cesspit.escape the dazzling brightness. He knows When it all became too dirty and inconvenient forexactly what it is like to arrive in the vaults, the townsfolk to cope with and since the townwhen you think you are not here to stay; when within the walls was growing too small to house allthe disgusting stench of excrement, sweat and residents and businesses they decided to build adecomposing flesh is filling your nose and mouth bridge to span the dirt. This bridge – South Bridgefor the first time. The way your nostrils are flaring – was constructed as an extension to High Streetin response, how you’re trying to suppress the and was supposed to host various fancy shops, shortly after taking their first breath. Young and the bridge arches being used as storage rooms.urge to throw up. Alan is chuckling to himself. Oh, old all had the same chance: they are all convinced that they won’t stay Unfortunately, those vaults were leaking and as suchlong – like himself just a few weeks ago – but useless for the tradesmen. The empty chambersonly very rarely one or two will leave for good. For providing shelter from the inconveniences of the Even today, you can still almost feel the smell law, illegal businesses soon found a new home inAlan all hope is lost. By now, he is suffering from of despair, decay and death burning in yourtuberculosis, he will die and he knows it. Soon the obscurity of the caves. Gambling, prostitution nose, almost hear the sighs and groans of the and the like were thriving. When the Irish potatohe will be gone as if he never existed, following moribund men and women when all lights diehis wife and son who have already passed away. famine and the Agricultural Revolution displaced down and you are alone in the black emptiness. thousands of people and they tried their luck inThis story may sound like the beginning of a tale the big cities, the South Bridge vaults turned into Taking a tour through the vaults of Edinburgh a collection point for the desperate and hopelessto you, but it’s not. This is what it was like to live in is surely different from what you might expect.the 18th century vaults. When you walk through of the time. Misery and crime were growing as Of course there is the token phantom making more and more people arrived in Edinburgh,the catacombs of Edinburgh today, you can feel you jump at a certain point. Of course you willa cold hand gripping your heart when you hear bringing with them the problems of hunger and learn about the poltergeist allegedly haunting disease. In the overcrowded bridge arches, thethe story of thousands of people dwelling down the place. And of course you will almost be a If you are now interested in tahere, all literally condemned to rot alive. An icy damp air, malnutrition and lack of water were only bit disappointed when the entity won’t leave its king a tour through the vaults to contributing to the spread of maladies; the entirechill runs down your spine at the thought of the mark on you, because you half-way expected it experience it yourself, visit www.conditions under which so many people were darkness and constant fear was wearing people to happen. >Tours; Watch out mentally. Conditions we, nowadays, can’tenduring their fate in those caves in the 18th and However, the most important thing you will19th century. Just imagine: The given number out for special offers like 2 for imagine living under. People never saw the sun; experience is about people like you and I – they were permanently looking in the cold emptyof occupants per chamber ranges from 30 to 1 on certain days! The Under- people who were looking for a better life in eyes of death.50, usually averaging about 35. Diseases were Edinburgh after fleeing from famine or after ground City of the Dead tour isflourishing like roses in spring and the average And the worst? No one forced them to stay. having lost everything, only to arrive here and especially recommended, e.g. At the time, there were laws banning beggars andlife span was about 3 to 18 months, once you be damned to die or be killed in the anonymity with tour guide Jamie, to whomhad settled there. vagabonds from the streets, but they all stayed in of the vaults. I’d like to give a special thanks. the vaults voluntarily. They were free to leave townDeath was the omnipresent shadow making the In the end you will leave the “city of the dead”darkness even deeper. Mothers died giving birth at any time, but no one would. They were all hoping beneath South Bridge with a dull feeling in your for a better life, dying rather than leaving, clingingto children, who were either still born or died stomach that is not at all due to any supernatural to a tiny spark of hope that was bound to cease. 11