My Highland Fling Adventure Day 8 – Of Castles And Churches

My Highland Fling Adventure Day 8 is another full day in Edinburgh. Me, Dave and Bunny meet up with Chrissy from Macbackpackers and later Meagan too.

Missed the previous instalments of this adventure? No problem! Use these links to go back:

Day 7
Day 6
Day 5
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1

A Macbackpacker Reunion

Chrissy had told us on the previous night, that she had only been able to get accommodation for that night, so had no where to stay this night. As we’d booked a four bed room between the three of us, we told her to come and crash with us at Malone’s for the night. We checked with the staff and they were thankfully fine with it!

The three of us were a little worn out after all the adventuring of the previous few days (and last night’s antics)! So we were woken by Chrissy ringing us to let us know she was on her way! We met her by reception and took her to our room to dump her stuff. Skipping breakfast at Malone’s, we headed out.

Not far from the hostel we found Mum’s, and decided to stop here for breakfast. Actually getting our breakfast took forever, but when it arrived it was worth the wait. I had salmon and eggs and it was lovely – especially the salmon!

As we ate we discussed what we’d do today. Chrissy really wanted to go to Edinburgh Castle. The castle has never really appealed to me for some reason, but as we had no plans, we decided to go with her.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Being Big Kids

It was turning into a beautiful day as we left Mum’s and headed to the castle. It was a good job the sun was out, as we spent quite some time queueing!

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed by the castle. Maybe that’s because we didn’t join a tour or get an audio guide, as I felt I didn’t learn much! Or maybe it was the time we spent queueing… However, there were some spectacular views of the city. Plus, we grabbed a kids quiz to complete, love being a big kid!

One of the main things I remember about the castle was the dog cemetery. This is a little garden where soldiers dogs have been buried since the 1840’s. It’s weird, but nice. You can’t get close to it though and can only look at it from above.

Dog Cemetery

Dog Cemetery At Edinburgh Castle

The Closed Chapel

Not long after we entered the castle, we heard bagpipes. We headed over to the source of the music. It turned out that there was a wedding to take place, and the bride had just arrived! The downside to this was that it meant that St Margaret’s Chapel would be closed – and there was a question on the kids quiz about it!


Piper At Edinburgh Castle

There was a lot to see in the castle. Lots of different museums and rooms. One thing that made me giggle was the fact that the canons seemed to be aiming for the Scott Monument. I wonder if there is a reason for this… There were a few shops, selling all sorts of souvenirs. In one of these shops we discovered some extremely expensive whisky!

Canon In Edinburgh Castle

Canon In Edinburgh Castle Aiming For The Scott Monument


Very Expensive Whisky

We went in the great hall, the prisoners of war museum, the national war museum, saw the crown jewels and the stone of destiny. I really enjoyed the prisoners of war museum, as I didn’t feel I was missing anything without an audioguide!


Weapons In The Great Hall

The wedding had finished before we left, so we were able to go into St Margaret’s chapel. It is a tiny chapel! I think this was one of my favourite parts of the castle, and I’m not entirely sure why! the chapel is a little peculiar too, as it only has one window!

St Margarets Chapel

The One Window Of St Margarets Chapel

A Bite To Eat

We left the castle, not because we had seen it all, but because we were all castled-out! There’s so much to see and lots of information to take in, even though I wish we’d got on a tour to learn more – I absorb information better on a tour!

As we left we noticed the tiniest ice cream parlour and the queue was impressive! I think the queue was twice the size of the shop! We decided not to have ice cream, we didn’t want to queue. But we did decide that we wanted to go for some food.

The first place that sprang to mind was Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, which is on the Royal Mile. Me and Dave had been to Edinburgh before but never been in, so this was where we headed. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be! The place was packed, we couldn’t even get to the bar for a drink, let alone find a table!

So we went for Plan B, which was the Royal Mile Tavern. This was a good choice as our Macbackpacker wristbands still got us discount! I wasn’t too hungry, but could not resist trying the Deep Fried Mars Bar. In fact, no one could resist! We all had one! And I’m so glad I did. It was served with ice cream and was so amazing! Talk about bad for you though… Probably why it tasted so good really! All the sugar and fat!

A Success And A Failure

After getting our fill of sugar, there was still plenty of time left in the day. So we headed out to St. Giles’s Kirk to see if the room with the bagpiping angel was open. And it was! So finally, we managed to see one of the three bagpiping angels! I understand why it’s only open at certain times, you really do need someone to point it out to you! It is quite small and high up!

St Giles Kirk

St Giles Kirk

Bagpiping Angel

The Bagpiping Angel In St. Gile’s Kirk

Next we decided to try and find Scrooge’s grave at Canongate Kirkyard, that Eoin had told us about on the Sandemans Dark Side Tour (Day 2). This was an interesting idea, as we had no clue where it would be! We spent some time wandering around the graves with no luck at all.

Eventually we had to admit defeat and turned to google. Here we discovered our search really was fruitless! The gravestone had been lost/destroyed during refurbishment in the 1930s. So if you want to see character namesakes, stick to J.K.Rowling’s inspirational gravestones, not Dickens!

Seafood Time

It was rapidly turning into evening, so we decided to head back to the hostel to freshen up before heading back out for some food. We decided to try the Mussel Inn again, but this time decided to book! Luckily they had a table for four!

The Mussel Inn was just as good as I remembered it! Half a kilo of mussels in a sauce of your choosing and plenty of bread to mop it up with, you can’t go wrong! I choose the special, which was Lemongrass and Chilli. We also had starters, I had Calamari with Sweet Chilli. Both courses were delicious. I love this restaurant! If you want your fix of mussels in Edinburgh, definitely try there!

The Graeme Appreciation Society

As we finished up Meagan came to join us. We then headed out to find somewhere for a drink and a chat. Meagan recommended Milnes of Rose Street, as she’d been there on a tour, so we headed over. There was live music too, which was pretty good.

As we sat and chatted, conversation naturally went to reminiscing about the Macbackpackers tour. Then onto the tour guide, Graeme. We were soon singing his praises and saying how wonderful his story times were. Then onto how fun and nice he was… Next we got chatting about his lovely smile… Then I got my camera out. I had realised if i zoomed in on one of my pictures I had a wonderful picture of his, erm, arse! In a kilt too! It was the beginning of the ‘Graeme Appreciation Society” (which was also as far as it went).

We stayed chatting the night away, long after the band had finished!

Want to read the next, and final, day’s adventure? Go to Day 9!

Categories: Adventures | Comments

Author Bio: Nat

I’m Nat, the backpacker behind natpacker. From the UK, I was bitten by the travel bug during a round the world trip in my early twenties. Since then I have been determined to see as much of this world as possible. My passion for travel led me to start up this blog, partly to record my adventures and partly to inspire others to travel.

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