Missing Ears & Trick Staircases in Edinburgh, Scotland

A few days before I left for Europe, I read a blog post about Scotland and thought, I’ve never been there before. By the end of the day I had a round-trip ticket from King Cross station to Edinburgh Waverly. I didn’t know what I would do once I got there but , luckily, being all willy- nilly worked out in my favor.

I settled in for the four and half hour ride with a good book and some tea. I ended up looking out of the window for most of the ride;the countryside was dotted with cute cottage houses, yellow fields, and lots and lots of sheep.

Leaving King's Cross

Leaving King’s Cross

I signed myself up for a free walking tour and had just enough time for a quick lunch. It took me a while but I finally found the Elephant House Cafe.

The Elephant House Cafe

The Elephant House Cafe

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The Elephant House Cafe

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Menu and Elephants

As the story goes, this was the cafe where J.K wrote her books. My tour guide told me later that this wasn’t really true- the books were written in a different cafe that was owned by the author’s brother-in-law.

Nevertheless, the cafe was still worth a visit. The decor was cute and unique  ( think hand-painted elephants and oak) and the food was decent. I ordered a vegetable patty and mash. I wasn’t a fan of  the mash and gravy, but the patty was delicious.

Veggie Patty , mash , and a cookie for dessert

Veggie Patty , mash , and a cookie for dessert

After the lunch detour , I hurried back to the Royal Mile for my tour. If you’re ever in Edinburgh , and are short on time or on a budget , I recommend doing this. You see a lot in this three-hour tour and it only costs as much as you’re willing to tip. On my tour, I …

 Saw Edinburgh Castle

A hunk of breathtaking prettiness in the middle of construction and concreate

A hunk of breathtaking prettiness in the middle of construction and concrete

 Walked pass this torture/news-casting device.

Torture device or broadcasting center?

Torture device or broadcasting center?

In olden days, if someone was convicted of a crime, they were nailed to this contraption by their ears and left there for several days. If they survived the severe weather and pain , they were redeemed and could live the rest of their lives as normal people. If they ripped off their ear in a haste to escape, people would forever see their missing ear and refuse to do business with a convicted criminal

Officials would also climb to the top to reply the news from London. The tradition is still carried on today.

Discovered The First Security System

Trick staircase

Trick staircase

Some stairs were made to be the same length. The idea was that uninvited guests – who weren’t  forewarned – would fall and be caught.

Found  Nearly Headless Nick’s Namesake

Maggie's Bar

Maggie’s Bar

Maggie Dickson was sentenced to death  for hiding an illegitimate pregnancy. She was hanged and pronounced dead but in route to her grave site, miraculously started banging on her coffin.Her second chance was deemed a gift from God. Half -Hangit Maggie lived , remarried, and built a bar that carries her name to this day.

Found Voldemort’s Grave

Tom Riddle's Grave

Tom Riddle’s Grave

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Mcgongall…sounds familiar, right ?

Graveyards are used as public parks in Edinburgh. J.K found the names for many of her characters while walking through Greyfriars Kirkyard .

Learned Why Natives Never Step on This Heart

The Spitting Heart

The Spitting Heart

Natives avoid stepping here because it’s often covered in phlegm. It’s good luck to spit in the heart.

Left A Stick At  The Greyfriar’s Bobby Grave

Sticks for the pup

Sticks for the pup

People still leave sticks,food, and even airplane tickets for the faithful pup who watched over his master’s grave.

What would you see in your dream tour of Scotland?

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One thought on “Missing Ears & Trick Staircases in Edinburgh, Scotland

  1. Pingback: The Best Travel Moments of 2014 | Girl and Her Pink Backpack

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