Sunday, November 4, 2012

Once Upon a Time, It Was Midterm Break

And I did some stuff.

I started by getting on an airplane. And I was like, "Peace out, Ireland; I've got grown-up things to do."

(I don't know what exactly made the things I was doing grown-up, but that's what I told Ireland as I peaced out.)

Then my airplane landed in a magical place called Edinburgh. I got off that airplane like the royalty I am, and I demanded that a bus take me to some bridge. Then the bus driver, who was a lovely, helpful, old man, gave me directions to my hostel. But I'm 'Merican. I don't need no stinking directions. (Or, rather, I'm really bad at following them. And maps are hard.) So instead of arriving at the hostel, which was a 5 minute walk away, I ended up walking around Edinburgh for an hour at 9 p.m. It was wet. My toes were soaked through. But, son, Edinburgh is beautiful, so I was a'ight with that. Then I found the hostel. And I demanded that they provide me with a bed. The poor hostel workers were powerless against my imperius curse and submitted to my demands. (Or I had already booked a bed, and I gave them some money. But this is my story.) So then I found my bed, and there were some 'Mericans in there. They were studying nursing or something somewhere in England. Whatever. The important thing is that they were able to direct me to a Subway (EAT FRESH) that was still open.

On my way to that Subway, I noticed a beautiful, red-fronted building. It wasn't beautiful because it was red. You know how I feel about the color red. It's stupid and angry and I don't want it polluting my life. But, nonetheless, it was beautiful. Why? Because of a sign displayed in the lower window. Folks, I had stumbled upon the Holy Grail. The place that brought meaning to my pathetic human existence. Because the building that I encountered was none other than The Elephant House - a cafe/restaurant in which the mighty one, J.K. Rowling, spent copious amounts of time penning the novel that started it all. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

So, the next morning, when I awakened from my slumber, I put on my big girl pants (figuratively; er'body knows that I don't wear pants) and rolled down the street to The Elephant House. (I might have walked rather than rolled. But I think that you'll enjoy this story more if you imagine me rolling down the street in Edinburgh.) I walked in the door. And, ERMAHGERD I nearly cried. Because I was IN THE PLACE WHERE HARRY POTTER BEGAN. Then I ate banana, peanut butter, and honey on toast.

Upon leaving the sacred cafe, I found myself staring at Greyfriars Bobby's Bar. The name rang a bell in the back of my mind, so I examined it. And it detailed the story of the dog who stayed on his owner's grave for over a decade. Behind the bar, I discovered a cemetery (Greyfriars Kirkyard). And er'body knows how I like really old cemeteries. So I explored. This cemetery had headstones dating back to the 1600s that were still vaguely legible. I vaguely wondered if I might be able to find names connected to Harry Potter in that cemetery, so when I got back to the hostel, I asked my bff, Google, what cemetery had the Tom Riddle grave. Turns out I had been in the right place all along. So, I went back and wandered. While wandering, I noticed a few Americans who were also closely examining the ancient grave markers. One gasped, but then said, "It's not Potter related." These kindly ladies directed me to that which I was searching for, and I discovered the grave of Thomas Riddell.

Then I did some other stuff. It's not important. What is important is that I went on some ghostyghost tours. With one tour group, I went into the Edinburgh Vaults - the underground city of Edinburgh that laid largely forgotten for over a hundred years. I got to play with an EMF detector on that tour, and it went wild and craycray in Mr. Boots' room.

I did another tour with a different tour group that went to Greyfriars Kirkyard (the cemetery mentioned above). I actually went with them twice (one went into a different section of the vaults and then to the cemetery, the other was just the cemetery). In the cemetery, there's a section that is gated off. It's known as the Covenanters' Prison. I am not going to history lesson in my blog (mainly because I'm lazy), so if you're interested to know the atrocities that were committed there nine million years ago, let me acquaint you with my bff Google. The moral of the story is that it's locked off because of unexplained happenstances which center mainly on one tomb. People feel cold spots, pass out, and develop unexplained bruises and burn marks on their bodies. There is a story that goes behind it with the Mackenzie Poultergeist (again, you can google it). The moral of the story is that I took nine million pictures in there, and I caught a lot of dust or a lot of orbs on camera.

Oh, also there were kilts and bagpipes in Edinburgh. And everyone knows that my husband is a Scottish, bagpipe playing, kilt wearing, bearded marine biologist.

So, let me review Edinburgh for you. On a scale of 1 to awesome, I would say that it was Scottish. And if you've met me, you know how I feel about Scottish.

1 comment:

  1. Is Greyfriar's not the best cemetery ever? We were there at night with snow on the ground. Sufficiently creepy and 500% awesome.