April 28, Saturday , 2018
At noon we get a glimpse into 17th century tenement life in Edinburgh, just a 5 minute walk down the Royal Mile. Four hundred years of history, myth’s, legends and stories of the deadly plague epidemic are just some of the tales told on our one hour guided tour. www.realmarykingsclose.com
Mary King’s Close is a great contrast to the splendor of the castle. A walk though a perfectly preserved “close” ( a very narrow street) takes you inside former homes of real families who lived in “Auld Reekie” ( the “real” in the name is due to the people discussed in the tour being genuine inhabitants of the close, thanks ot local records).
The conditions that these people lived in were horrifying, to say the least. Worth a trip inside to see what it felt like to live in those times. Not that you would want to!
Afterwards, Marianne visits the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home of Scottish Royal history ( history buff satisfied!)
I opt for the Writers Museum (free). Much enjoyed. Studied some history and read some works by on Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Muriel Spark.
The sun is still shining, so walking the Royal Mile is once again in order. So is stopping in at the Albanach for a pint and to continue people watching and warm up a bit.
We reserved dinner for 5:30 at Chaphraya on Rose Street in New Town. If you t go, be sure to reserve! Great Thai food with many vegetarian options too. Beautiful inside with great views and outdoor seating when its warm.
And finally, its time for our EDINBURGH Literary Pub Tour! (booked ahead online) Once again , a bit chilly at 7pm. So glad I bought a hat and gloves! The tour was definitely worth it. I think it was about 10 US dollars. We meet up on Royal Mile and the tour is about two hours ending at Cafe Royal in New town. Our guides were very talented, smart and funny and scary! It was drinking, thinking and entertainment! A good time had by all as we visited 3 pubs during the evening. www.edinburghliterarypubtour.co.uk
We met lots of interesting folks during our walk. A couple of guys doing a walking tour thru the highlands for a week. They will hike in the frigging cold and sometimes thru rivers! Yikees! Brave. But the bravest and most fun of all was meeting Anna. A gorgeous, adventurous, 20 something from Argentina. We chatted at the Cafe Royal, our last stop on this cool pub tour as we shared some adult beverages (she drank her first shot of whiskey!) She had studied in Paris and was also learning another language. But the best was hearing of her solo travels. “Did you ever hear of couchsurfing” she said. “Yup”, I answered. Well, that was how she rolled and to top it off, she hitchhiked through the Scottish Highlands the previous day! I gave her my card and hope she gives me and Marianne a buzz. She has never been to NYC so we are hoping to give her a tour. And she can stay in one of Marianne’s spare rooms, not the couch!