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Grassmarket

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  • Jun26

    Something completely different

    June 26, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Today I was a little sad but also a little excited as I was leaving Edinburgh to take the train to Milngavie to start the West Highland Way. I really enjoyed my time in Edinburgh and probably could have spent a few more days here as there is just so much to see and do. It is always a good sign when you leave a place with a little regret. I still had a morning though before I had leave. My good colleague, a professed Scotsman, Dr Ross McLean had recommended a visit to Surgeon's Hall. Surgeon's Hall is a museum dedicated to the History of Medicine in UK. The museum took one through the early days of medicine starting in about 1600. We have certainly come a long way since the time of blood letting. I don't think the early physicians could offer much. I think they filled much of their time doing anatomy prosecutions some of which were preserved by paint and lacquer. Major breakthroughs were anaesthesia and sterile technique. During the Napoleonic wars approximately 90 per cent of people having surgery died of infection and sepsis. The museum also included a pathology museum which was a real treat. Surgical specimens and individual diseased organs from autopsies were preserved in square glass containers immersed in formaldehyde as teaching examples for students. They were an excellent means for teaching but very labor and time intensive to maintain. The formaldehyde had to be changed regularly. The specimens were also collected before the days of consent which has always cast some legal/moral issues on maintaining them. There was an excellent collection in Regina when I was there but the director was never sure what he should do with it and didn't have the resources to maintain it. I wonder if is still there. If a surgical pathologist can't enjoy a pathology museum, I don't know who can. Lots of specimens of very advanced tumors that we don't see anymore. Lots of advanced infection and rare infections that we wouldn't see with the advent of antibiotics. We truly live in a gifted time. There were also lots of specimens we still commonly see. Sorry no photos of the museum. It' against the UK tissue act and probably in bad taste. After a fun morning of death and disease I headed over to the John Lewis department store close to my BNB for a hardy lunch. John Lewis was a department store which had modern items but seemed a throwback to the 50s or 60s. I had bought an adaptor plug there the first day. They actually had sales people to wait on you and who seemed happy to help. The store offered pretty well everything and was actually busy. They even had a restaurant on the top floor offering hardy meals. I had a delightful Sri Lankan curry for lunch and enjoyed a wonderful view of downtown Edinburgh. It was surreal. After lunch I retrieved my luggage and heade off to Milngavie on the train for my next adventure. After checking into my BNB I headed to the start of the WHW for some photos and to check out the start.Read more

  • Jun25

    Edinburgh Castle

    June 25, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Today was the day to visit Edinburgh castle. It had been recommended to get an early start so I purchased my entrance ticket for 9 :30. When I arrived at the entrance at 9:15 there was already a very long line. They let everyone into the grounds in front of the castle where the Edinburgh tattoo is held. It was large enough to hold us but the space was surprisingly small for hosting such a large event. At 9:30 they let us into the castle. I had signed up for the audio tour which lead one throughout the castle describing events from Scottish history. Stories of Scots fighting Scotts and the English. For much of the history the castle had been occupied by the English. The Scottish had always been smart enough to find the hidden pathway up to the castle where it was easy to scale the walls and overcome the English. One thinks that the English would have caught onto this trick. How many hidden pathways could there have been. After it wasn't required as a fort it became a garrison for Scottish regiments and at times a prison for enemy soldiers. There was a nice exhibit of what the prisons had been like during the American revolution. The audio tour made it sound quite rosy and fun. The French soldiers had been able to counterfeit Scottish bank notes by making stamps from bones and dyes from plants and animals. It seemed quite incredulous but they showed examples of forged notes and the stamps they had made. I couldn't tell the difference. It is incredible what one can accomplish when on has alot of time on one's hands I think that during the Victorian era the castle had been extensively improved and remodelled so one really doesn't know how similar the building is today to when the Scots were fighting over it. At the citadel a war memorial to those who fell during WWI had been built following the war. Scotland lost 148000 soldiers during WWI. One could walk through the building and see the Coat of Arms of the various regiments with the battles they had been involved in. It was very touching. The Canadians of the Black Watch were mentioned with the the Scottish Black Watch. There were also three or four regimental museums at the castle and a museum of war. Some of these regiments were 400 years old so they had a lot of history. There was a lot of interesting stuff. They had the original paintings depicting the Thin Red Line and the Defense of the Hougemont gate at the battle of Waterloo. I am worried that my wife Cheryl who is coming to Edinburgh in August with Madeline and who has a penchant for Military museums will never be able to leave the castle. Reading all the exhibits would take days. I lasted at the castle for about 4.5 hours but there is only so much fighting, killing an maiming one can handle in a day so I left for some culture at the National Portrait Gallery.Read more

  • Day5

    Edinburgh und das Tatoo Teil 1

    August 17, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Heute ging es nach Edinburgh. Auf zum Military Tatoo. Der Grund für unseren England Urlaub.
    Die Temperaturen sind weit runter gegangen. Es weht ein frischer Wind. Wir schlafen aus und machen uns nach dem Frühstück gemütlich auf den Weg. Die Bushaltestelle ist direkt vor der Einfahrt zum Campingplatz. Eine gute halbe Stunde sind wir unterwegs. Steigen unterhalb der Burg aus. In Edinburgh ist der Teufel los. Es ist noch ein (?) Festival. Wir steuern die Altstadt an.
    Der Eintritt ins Bildermuseum ist frei, wir haben uns so etwas noch nie angeschaut. Aber irgendwann ist ja immer das erste mal. Wir verbringen etwas Zeit, finden auch ein wenig spass daran. Ahnung haben wir keine. Nach diesem Ausflug geht es hinauf. Wir gucken uns noch einmal die Weberei mit den schönen Kleidern und Quillst an.
    Wandern die Royal Mile hinunter. Überall wird gesungen, gelacht, getanzt.
    Unterwegs gehen wir in einem Pub essen. Hier waren wir auch schon vor 3 Jahren. Das Essen ist spitze und das Bier schmeckt.
    Weiter geht es bis Holyrood Palace. Wir sind baff.
    Soooo schön. Ein Schloss welches von der königlichen Familie noch immer genutzt wird. Die Queen ist im Juli immer für eine Woche da.
    Auf dem Rückweg bummeln wir wieder hoch, stoppen hier und da, werden zu einer Whiskyprobe überredet....Teil 2 folgt
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  • Day5

    Edinburgh Castle

    June 21, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Nach der Forth Bridge bin ich zum Edinburgh Castle gefahren. Ein Monstrum von einem Schloss. Auch davor, danach, daneben war so viel zu sehen, dass ich mich auf eine langsame Durchfahrt beschränkt habe und das intensivere Sightseeing in die Zukunft verschoben habe.Read more

  • Day6

    Edinburgh Castle

    August 26, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Den Stress mit den ganzen Touris am Sonntag geben wir uns nicht. Am Montag geht es ins Castle - das Highlight der Stadt.
    Mit unseren Pässen haben wir freien Eintritt und dürften an der Schlange vorbei aber am Montag ist ja keiner mehr da.

    Oh was haben wir uns verschätzt. Ein Hoch auf die Pässe! Auf die Burg kommen wir, aber so viele Menschen - und wir sind selbstreflektiert und also wissentlich Teil des Problems.

    Das Castle ist wirklich groß und jeden Tag wird um 13 Uhr mit einer Kanone geschossen. Mehrere Museen und auch die Kronjuwelen inkl. dem Krönungsstein sorgen für einen ausgedehnten Besuch. Die eingeplanten 4 Stunden brauchen wir, auch wenn wir durch einige Bereiche nur durchhuschen.

    Gelohnt hat es sich wirklich - aber besser an einem anderen Tag - Mitte Januar vielleicht.

    Anschließend erst Eis bei Marys Milkbar ( ein absolutes muss) und dann Fish und Chips essen. Verdauungsspaziergang durch Newtown und dann zurück zum Castle.
    Wir haben Tickets für ein Konzert des örtlichen Orchesters - outdoor vor dem Castle beim internationalen Festival
    First part (without fireworks) 
    Bizet Carmen: Prelude, Les Dragons d’Alcala & Seguedille 
    Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro: Voi che sapete & Non so più cosa son
    Second part (with fireworks) 
    Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila  
    Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice  
    Berlioz Ball, March to the Scaffold & Witches’ Sabbath from Symphonie fantastique
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  • Day2

    Edinburgh Castle

    July 5, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Very cool place. We skipped the paid admission and just explored outside.
    The statues 'guarding' the entry are William Wallace (Braveheart) and Robert the Bruce.
    The modern grandstands are for the military tattoo competition that occurs here every August.Read more

  • Day4

    Stadtführung

    March 14 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    Den heutigen Tag habe ich mit einer Stadtführung begonnen. Sehr zu empfehlen, muss ich sagen. Vor allem, da es eine free Tour ist. Man geht zwei Stunden mit einem Guide durch die Stadt, erfährt viel über die Geschichte, Mythen, Gebräuche und Architektur und außerdem bekommt man noch Insiderwissen für weitere Unternehmungen. Zahlen darf man am Ende das was man denkt dass einem die Tour wert ist. Super Sache und so habe ich auch noch ein paar Ideen für meine nächsten Tage bekommen und Edinburghs berühmtesten Hubd kennengelernt 😅
    Außerdem die Schule, die im Harry Potter Film dann Hoggwarts ist und den Eingang zu Jamie's Druckerei in Outlander 😉(wenn ich schon nicht in die Highlands kann)
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  • Day2

    Edinburgh

    March 12 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 5 °C

    Rain or Shine... Oder... 4 Jahreszeiten an einem Tag.
    Irgendwie kommt mir das aus Neuseeland schon bekannt vor, aber ich bin gut gerüstet mit Mütze, Schal und Regenjacke.
    Also geht es zuerst Richtung Altstadt bzw Edinburgh Castle. Um 11 Uhr haben wir noch eine kleine Führung bei Mary Kings Close gemacht, wo uns die Guides einen kleinen Einblick in die Bauweise des alten Edinburgh gaben. Mein Fazit: Ich bin definitiv froh nicht in dieser Zeit in Edinburgh gelebt zu haben 😅
    Zu Mittag ein kurzer Abstecher ins Elephant House der 'Geburtsstätte' der Harry Potter Bücher und danach haben wir uns noch das Edinburgh Castle angeschaut.
    Alles in allem ein sehr schöner Tag, dennoch bin ich jetzt froh dass ich mit Decke, Tee und ner warmen Suppe im Bauch auf der Couch liege 😅
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