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Caitie's Travels

Edinburgh & Hogmanay

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 3 January 2011 | Views [359]

I travelled north over New Years to Edinburgh to experience the famed Hogmanay festival. I spent New Years Eve exploring the old town and Edinburgh Castle, which is a beautiful old castle full of very interesting history. The view from the top is amazing, it was a clear day and I could see all the way out into the bay. A Scotsman in a kilt led a guided tour around the castle, and shed light on many an interesting story about the countries past. In the old dining hall, the ceiling is still the original wooden vaulted ceiling, there is no metal at all in the construction of it, just perfect joints and giant wooden pins. It resembles an upside down boat hull… because it was built by shipbuilders! Saint Margaret’s Chapel is a quaint old building, the oldest remaining part of the castle! It only seats 20, and is hence very popular with the fathers of the brides who choose to be married there. There was a wedding party arriving as I left the castle in the early afternoon, the bride had quite an audience as she made her grand entrance! Outside St Margarets Chapel is a small graveyard for the dogs that were important to the soldiers serving the castle, it was quite a nice thought. In the evening I went to the party on Princes Street, which was packed with people. The fireworks were a bit overrated I thought, Brisbane and Sydney have much better fireworks off the bridges and Opera house! They didn’t go for very long, even though I saw piles of fireworks waiting to be set up while at the castle earlier in the day! It was a good night though, and beautiful weather… not TOO cold  On the first I entered the one mile run that goes from the castle down the royal mile to the park at the bottom. It was a nice start to the day! I then hot footed it out to Queensferry for the Loony Dook (I was going to try and walk but luckily found a bus, I didn’t realize it was a 30 minute drive to get out there!). I joined hundreds of crazy people from around the world who gathered to dunk (or ‘dook’) there bodies into the sub zero water. I opted out of hypothermia and chose to only go in up to my ankles… but believe me, that was quite enough! I couldn’t feel my feet for the following hour… It was quite an amusing event to watch however. There are some very silly people in the world, and it is worrying to say that the most common accent I heard in the crowd was the Australian one! Unfortunately I had to leave Edinburgh early the next morning, but I look forward to exploring more of the Scottish countryside, especially the highlands.

Tags: edinburgh, hogmanay


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