LEJOG Virtual Challenge, Mile Marker 812: Just north of the Firth of Forth

I virtually passed through Edinburgh, a city I had the pleasure of spending a few days in back in 2003 with my pal, Robin Miles. I’d have to go back to my “old school photo” albums to find pictures to share, so I will just rely on the interwebs.

To get to my virtual point on the map, it’s been the same old, same old in real life. Bike to work, bike home from work. Repeat.

Edinburgh

No trip to Edinburgh should be done without a visit to it’s main attraction, Edinburgh Castle, which looms over the city. Starting as a hill fort back in the Iron Ages, it evolved into a large castle for royalty up until the 1600s when it became a military garrison.

Scotland, England, Edinburgh, Castle, Fortress
Photo by kolibri5 on Pixabay.

If I recall, at the base of the castle is the luxury hotel and restaurant, The Witchery. A wee bit out of our price range in 2003 (and still is) but we did splurge for a dinner there on our final night. I don’t recall the menu but it was very good and very Victorian Goth with all the dripping wax candelabras. In my virtual world, I’m totally staying in the Dark and Dramatic Semple Suite. Think Dracula meets Outlander.

Photo by Irene Miranda, Flickr Commons

Guided tours I’d highly recommend are the Literary Pub Tour and the The City of the Dead Tours, The Underground City and Haunted Graveyard Tour. The pub tour will take you to the pubs frequented by the likes of Burns, Scott and Stevenson and other less known Scottish writers. Just make sure to only have a half pint at each stop! The latter tours take to you to the “ghostly” parts of Edinburgh. The Underground City is a series of chambers under the city that date back to the 18th century. Originally used as storage they eventually were taken over by criminals and bootleggers. The Haunted Cemetary tour will have you visting various haunts around the city, such as Mary King’s Close, a hotspot for the Black Death, and ending in not just Greyfriars Kirkyard, but the locked and enter if you dare, Covenanter’s Prison and the Black Mausoleum – lair of the world famous Mackenzie Poltergeist. It is said that those who enter the mausoleum, later found mysterious bruises on their arms and legs. I did have bruises on my arms but I’m sure it was because Robin had a death grip on it the entire time we were in there!

File:Mackenzie mausoleum.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
It is much creepier at night.
MacKenzie Mausoleum: Wikipedia Commons.

All in all, if you get a chance to visit, spend a day walking the wynds (narrow lanes) and closes (alleyways)…but ya just might want to watch your back.

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