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2014 Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette

After the Jamborette page 1 - Home Hospitality and R&R


Once the Jamborette was over, the Scouts headed off with their Scottish counterparts for four days of home hospitality. Tim and Pete opted for home hospitality as well, and Mike H rented a car for four days of R&R in southwest Scotland. I drove down to Fife for a few days, then spent two days in Edinburgh  before meeting up with the group in Edinburgh on Tuesday, August 5th. 
Here are a few pictures from my after-Jamborette touring - the next page will have pictures from our last night in Edinburgh, at the Military Tattoo. 

East Neuk of Fife

My first day in Fife it was pouring with rain. I spent the morning at the Pittenweem Arts Festival, running through the rain between the many galleries and other arts venues all over the village. By noon, I'd had enough rain and left to check into the Honeypot B&B in Crail, a few miles east. The weather had cleared by the next morning, and the views across the Firth of Forth were spectacular.

The tiny and picturesque harbour in Crail still houses working fishing boats, along with some pleasure craft. 

Here's one of the fishing boats - or, more accurately, lobster boats - with the local rowing club's rowboat passing by. 


The National Gallery on the Mound has a huge collection of art - Scottish and from many other countries. 

Deaconess Gardens, in the University District, just across the street from the Kenneth MacKenzie B&B I stayed at. The Kirk o' Field church and Salisbury Crags form the background for the tiny park. 

Old Infirmary Street in the University District

Fleshmarket Close leads from Waverly Station up to Cockburn Street - interestingly, Fleshmarket Close was the book by Ian Rankin which introduced me to Inspector Rebus, so I was pleased to discover I was on the Close as I carried my bags from the station to the B&B. 

On Sunday night I took the "City of the Dead" tour - very entertaining...

... and it ends in Greyfriars Kirkyard in the Covenanters' Prison, the only way you can get into that portion of the graveyard, reputed to be the most haunted place in Scotland. 

Greyfriars is a fascinating place to wander around. There are about 450 tombstones and monuments in the graveyard, but an estimated 450,000 people were buried there over the centuries - so many that the graveyard is now about 10 feet higher than the surrounding streets. 

The 15th century Flodden Wall runs through Greyfriars. That's Heriot School through the archway.

In ten visits to Edinburgh, this was the first time I'd had a chance to wander through the New Town, which was built in the Georgian Period - 18th century - to allow the rich to escape the crowding of the Old Town along the Royal Mile and within the Flodden Wall. 

Long rows of nearly identical terraces (we'd call them "row houses") characterize Georgian cities. I visited the Photography Centre on Great King Street, above. 

On Monday I took the Inspector Rebus Tour, which led around the University and St. Leonards' areas, home to DI John Rebus, star of Ian Rankin's series of books. Oddly, at the end of the tour I found myself standing across the street from my B&B - I'd been in Rebus' stomping grounds the whole time without realizing it. 

Deacon Brodie's Tavern - the good Deacon was the prototype for Robert Louis Stevenson's book Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. A deacon of the church and locksmith by day, at night he used extra copies of the keys to locks he'd installed in the New Town to burgle his customers' houses. 

Waverly Park Gardens from North Bridge

The tenements on the Royal Mile from The Mound - the buildings could be as tall as 12 stories, extending up and down from the Royal Mile entrance at the middle. The stands for the Military Tattoo can be seen behind the buildings to the right. 

Looking up the Royal Mile in the evening light, past the Camera Obscura to the Castle. 

With the Festival Fringe in full swing, the Royal Mile is packed all day and well into the night. 

The Royal Museum of Scotland is well worth a few hours' visit. I spent all of Tuesday morning in the museum, before leaving to meet up with the Scouts. 

The large central atrium is lined with all manner of exhibits, called "Window on the World" - a little of everything from the museum's collections. 

The Natural History hall has a display of aquatic animals, from dolphins to hippos.

The Royal Oak pub is one of the few which still feature live traditional music. 

Often mis-called "Arthur's Seat", the Salisbury Crags can be seen from all over Edinburgh. Arthur's Seat is actually the pointed mountain a few miles further away. 

The Scott Memorial and Waverly Hotel

South Bridge, with the University building on the left. 

The spire of St. Giles Cathedral is said to represent either the Crown of Thorns or a traditional Scottish crown. Either way, it's a distinctive landmark on the Royal Mile. 

Merchant Street at Candlemakers Row, viewed from Greyfriars Kirkyard

Victoria Street leads from the Royal Mile area down to Grassmarket.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh International Festival was established to bring international music and art to Edinburgh during the post-war period. Over time, less formal (and perhaps weirder) entertainment grew up around the fringe of the main Festival -and the Festival Fringe was born. Now, the Fringe is an event in itself, presenting thousands of acts and exhibits in hundreds of venues throughout Edinburgh and the entire month of August. The pictures below show just a few of the sorts of things one can find at the Fringe.  


... jugglers ...

... more jugglers ...

... and still more jugglers. 

Many of the plays and performances are promoted by having the players put on mini-previews up and down the Royal Mile. 

A magician - from Vancouver, Canada, of all places...

This group of Scottish Traditional ("trad") musicians were promoting their regular show and selling CDs...

... as was this a capella group of college girls. 

A sand sculptor practices his art outside the Tolbooth Kirk

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