Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Sept. 4-Iron Mile in Edinburgh

St. John's Cathedral

Stained glass at St. John's church

Altar in St. Mary's church

St. Mary's church outline

Edinburgh Castle

So today was a long walking day for me. It was absolutely pouring this morning (like every other day I've been here, really), but I ventured out anyway around 10. I stopped in at St. Mary's Cathedral, which was beautiful inside, and being renovated without.

After I walked around a bit in there (I didn't attend a service at this one), I walked on and found St. John's church.

After this I found my way to Iron Mile, which is the place where most of the shops and tourist attractions are. On my way there, I walked past Edinburgh Castle and through a garden area.

When I got there, I joined a free "haunted" tour. I followed for about half of it, but got lost because apparently I was following the people that wanted to leave it right away. I abandoned that, and walked on until I found a different tour group that offered to let us see some of the haunted underground. I joined them and learned about some of the scary things that happened underneath a bit of the city.

After this, when I walked out onto the street I found a free history tour, so I joined that. It was interesting to learn about so many different historical events that happened in such a small geographic area. Most of the stuff was pretty dark--people being beheaded, unjust laws, etc. When I was wandering around after this I caught the end of the ghost tour I had started before, so I joined it again.

At the end of this tour, the guide commented on my strange way of listening to his stories--half in two completely different tours. Afterwards we ended up getting a pint together at a nearby bar, and he told me some more scary lore of the city and about different places he had lived.

After wandering some more, I found my way back to the hostel without a map--which is quite a feat, because I have a terrible sense of direction--so now I'm just trying to figure out some of the different things I want to see tomorrow. The tour guide told me that Edinburgh is set on a dormant volcano, so I think I'm going to go see if I can get a better look at some of the outside geography.

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