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Archive for June 22nd, 2015


It was promising to be another overcast, dry, mid-50s day which was fine by me, considering the disgusting wet, humidity we’d left behind. The thing we learned, though, as we headed out into the drizzle after breakfast, was that the forecasting in Scotland was about as reliable as that at home.

Since it was drizzling we headed to the National Museum. WOW. It was beautifully set out, bright and airy and a nifty mixture of items on display.

There was always something catching your eye – like an atom smasher (part of one anyway), or the Isle of Lewis chessmen. Random and amazing artifacts of all sorts.

Or the Millennium Clock (clickity for a link to a video of it) which was hideous, but compelling at the same time; I had a terrible time tearing myself away it was so fantastically grotesque! And that was before we even got past the main floor.

I’ll keep it brief, but the Mary Queen of Scots pieces were quite amazing. So. Much. History.

It wasn’t long before the drizzle tapered off and we headed back to Holyrood Park to do some more caching. There is an insane concentration of Earthcaches here in Edinburgh, and while they aren’t my favorite, it was very difficult to pass them up. By the trip’s end I will know more about Scotland’s geology than that of WV. Also, there was the business of find a bonus cache for which we had coordinates.

There’s no going to Holyrood Park without making a stop at the Scottish Parliament building. It was still being construction when we were here in 2004. It was not terribly attractive at that point and was the talk of the town – and not in a good way. Well, it’s not gotten any more attractive, but it seems like folks have stopped being completely obsessed by the unattractiveness and just accept that it’s an ugly damn building and move on.

After winding around Holyrood in a most unorganized fashion, as that’s what we do best, we figured we’d check out a trail below us that seemed to go where we needed to head. So we popped down onto it and I immediately became disoriented. Fortunately a jogger stopped to help us and got us all sorted out. It was a nice stroke of luck too, as we ran into some very nifty graffiti in the trail tunnel.

I’d wanted to go into the castle yard, but we couldn’t as foot traffic seemed to be limited to ticket holders for the tour. I don’t recall that from before, but things change. Also, there was this enormous temporary grandstand being constructed for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which is held in August. So we decided to walk down to the base of castle rock and check it out from there – also there was a cache down that way, which is where I had my first encounter with Giant Hogweed which is the devil incarnate. I managed to avoid it, but not the nettle which is plenty worse than the nettle at home, my skin blistered immediately. Hooray….nettle.

More forced marching led us back to Rose Street where Chad had bought me my pocket watch on our last trip. I had the damn thing with me, hoping to get it repaired, but alas, the store was closed as was the watch repair store next door. Timing is everything. We settled down outside at a pub called The Black Cat where fortune was kind to me. Sitting empty & abandoned on a table that was destined for us, was a Tennent’s pint glass. I may or may not have secured it in the backpack to bring home as a mate for my other one.

And finally, we found ourselves at Brew Dogs. I had never heard of the place, but Chad told me they had a tv show where they made weird beer in strange locations, like on a train. I was dubious, but the beer I had was lovely.”

Also, they totally won me over with the over-the-top 32% ABV beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin – served only in quantities described as “a nip”. Alas, there was none available and I didn’t feel like having a Sink the Bismarck which weighed in at 41% ABV – also served only in “a nip”. For me, it wasn’t about the high ABV, it was all about the name.

Tomorrow we set on our grand tour.

Check out the gallery, lots of delightful photographic evidence of our visit. 

chris on June 22nd 2015 in Geocaching, Travel