The Royal Mile

Saturday June 15, 2019

Andrew came with us on the bus in to Edinburgh and gave us an interesting walking tour of Edinburgh. He told us about the Parliament and the history of England and Scotland. It was interesting as I didn’t know very much about the English/Scottish relationship.

Who was in charge and when the Scottish parliament was removed and then reinstated by the English.

New Parliament

I had an interesting encounter with a person selling “genuine Harris Tweed” waistcoats, which were a patchwork of materials. The jackets have been up-cycled using Harris Tweed he informed us. Up-cycling is the new buzz word, and is supposed to encourage you to buy things because they are not being thrown into the trash but reused. I innocently asked him how he knew each piece was “genuine” Harris Tweed. He got right in my face and quite angry telling me that there was a process by the Harris Tweed company who verified that the tweed was made in a particular area in Scotland and only then could they put in the special label. If I had any concerns about whether this was genuine I could write or phone the Harris Tweed organization. I asked him not to get so angry. He was right back at me asking me how he should have answered when I was questioning his clothing. I said you can answer without getting aggressive. He carried on and I put my hand up, turned around and walked away.   I believe the man protested too much.

Andrew was telling us that there is a lot of off-shore tartans being made and of course as we know from our travels in Asia a lot of “copies” of brand name products.

At about 1:30, Andrew left us to pick up his daughter’s car, he is going to take us for a drive tomorrow to Falkirk. Shelley and I carried on walking the historic City and the Royal Mile. We had lunch and I carried on with the history tour for Shelley. Grassmarket had a small farmers market, which we wandered around and then headed up to Greyfriars cemetery.

Edinburgh is famous for its Universities, philosophers and seat of learning. In the 1800’s the medical profession needed cadavars to practice on. There were two Irish workers Burke and Hare, who as entrepreneurs started to remove newly buried bodies from graves to sell to the universities in the City. Unfortunately there weren’t enough dead bodies so they created a few (murdering). Eventually they were caught and Hare turned against the other and Burke was hung for the murders. People had to use heavy cement stones to place on top of the graves and iron railings to stop the body snatchers.

Two other interesting stories from Greyfriars Cemetery – J.K. Rowling used to wander the graveyard while writing her first Harry Potter book and used some of the names on the gravestones for characters in the book.

The second is Greyfriars Bobbie the little dog who stayed by his masters grave after his master died.

Bobby

We walked the length of the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace and the new Houses of Parliament.

Holyrood Palace is the Queen’s official residence when she is in Scotland.

Holyrood Palace

Another good day walking the City.

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