Baden-Powell Council BSA
at the
2008 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

Day 6 - July 21st - Edinburgh

Our last day of touring dawned bright and sunny. We dropped off the vehicles and hopped
on the Number 22 bus to the Royal Mile. Across from the bus stop is Waverly Gardens, and
a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle, high on its volcanic ridge. 

Touring Edinburgh Castle

The road up to the upper castle area

The Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle. 
The grille to the right above the fireplace was a secret listening post, so the
King's servants could listen in on his guests. 

Our next stop after the Castle was the Camera Obscura. Built by an
optometrist in Victorian days, it's a great example of high tech, 19th century
style. A periscope on top of the building projects a view of the city on
a table, under the control of an operator who narrates the visual tour. 
Swatting tourists with index cards is a perennial favorite. 

The rest of the building is full of a wide variety of visual oddities. 
Here, a self-portrait in infra-red. 

Pete and a plasma arc generator.

Alec, meet Alec... a spherical mirror creates real images in 3D. Spooky...

Performance artists are common on the Royal Mile.
The Scouts thought this "ape" was just a dummy, but Jon
proved he was very much alive.

Our group was hijacked to serve as foils for what
turned out to be a very talented street magician. 

The Royal Mile, running along a volcanic ridge between 
the Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace, was the original 
Edinburgh. Houses fronting on the mile could be as tall
as 12 stories, with the Mile at about the midpoint. Narrow 
"Closes" and "Wynds" lead steeply downward off the Mile, giving
access to the lower parts of the Old Town 

This is Advocate's Close. 
The pointed structure which looks like a grounded
spaceship is the Sir Walter Scott Monument on Princes Street. 

Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye terrier whose master, John Gray, died in 1858
and was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bobby spent the next fourteen years
at his master's side, sleeping on his grave at night. 
Of course, he was fed there by the soft-hearted citizens of Edinburgh, and
it looks like he had time to start a business on the side... 

Our Scouts on the Royal Mile
Top row, L-R: Alec and Jordan
Bottom row: Kyle, Brad, Jon, Nathan and Ryan

After dinner we met our tour guide at the Mercat Cross for a very
entertaining ghost walk through Old Edinburgh.  

The ghost walk ended up in the vaults under South Bridge - when Edinburgh expanded north and south from the Old Town ridge, bridges were built to carry traffic from the Mile down to the lower town areas. Houses were built right up against the bridges, closing in the arches and creating closed stone vaults. The vaults eventually became centers for poverty and crime, and they were filled in. A few years ago they were excavated, and supernatural apparations began to appear... or so the stories go. Our guide did a great job bringing the history to life by candlelight...

And so ended our touring. We went back to the 88th Haymarket Scout Hall, to be picked up the next morning and brought to Blair Atholl. 
Next stop, the Jamborette!


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