Day 5: Edinburgh - Beautiful City, Scary Ghost Walks

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our train arrived at Waverley Station pretty early in the morning, but we were able to get to our hostel, drop our bags off, and hang out in the common room/kitchen to connect to wifi and check out the map. The map advertized for free walking tours and since we had such a good experience with the one in London, we decided to check it out.

Our view from our hostel
They spent a bit of time promoting their other (paid) tours, but overall this one was great, too.  I mean, it convinced us to pay for one of their others tours, so I'd say they were doing their job pretty well.
You should read the store behind this little pup: Greyfriars Bobby
Unlike London, Edinburgh is a small city so we were able to cover almost all of the old city within a couple hours on our tour.  It is also one of the most (if not THE most) beautiful cities I've ever been to.  There are so many amazingly preserved old buildings scattered about the steep hills no matter where you stand you can see something awesome.

After our tour we got lunch and drinks at The White Hart pub.  This is supposedly the oldest pub in the city.  Despite it being a clear day, it was cold so sitting down inside next to a fire was wonderful.  The cold didn't stop us from getting gelato after though.  We found seats on the side of a hill and were able to look down over the Grassmarket area and just enjoy the view. 

We finally were able to check in and shower.  We had both agreed we wanted to go a ghost tour, but we were originally going to save it for our second day in the city.  Since we didn't have a plans for that night though I talked Josh into doing it then instead.  It was cold but clear enough and, knowing the weather in the British Isles, I wasn't sure we'd luck out with as good a night if we waited.

Our tour wasn't until 10pm, but the sun sets so late there that there was a perfect erie glow to everything as we started the tour.  I had done a similar tour when I was here three years ago, but I wanted to try one of the other ones so Josh and I could both experience it new together.

I have always been fascinated by ghosts and I wouldn't say I'm afraid of them, but, damn, this woman could set a scene.  She had us jumping in fright before we even left the meeting spot to go on the tour.

We made our way down to the Vaults and somehow Josh and I found ourselves in the back of the group, our backs exposed to the darkness.  We literally both just stood facing each other, the rest of the group and the guide on one side of us, and our other side to the darkness.  At least if we were going to be attacked we'd see it coming.

The stories that were the creepiest were the ones she told about herself and other tour groups.  I'd share them here, but I know I won't do them justice.
(Pictures taken earlier in the day of Greyfriars)
After the vaults we headed to Greyfriars Kirkyard (Graveyard) where there was a mausoleum that was apparently haunted by a poltergeist.  The woman of course ushered us all into the small space and then went into details about what it feels like to be attacked by a poltergeist and how many attacks there had been in the past few years alone.  She again got us all riled up to the point where I don't think most of us were breathing and then someone in a mask jumped out and screamed at us.  I'm sure some people had to rush home to change their underwear after that.
(Pictures taken earlier in the day of Greyfriars)
Needless to say it was a great, albeit terrifying, tour. The tour I did three years ago was with Auld Reekie Tours, this one was with The City of the Dead Tours.  Both we very entertaining but if I had to do one again I would definitely go with The City of the Dead Tour.

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