Hoot'nanny New Year!

Get ready to farewell 2014 in style, lovely people. 

'Cos Edinburgh's Hogmanay damn sure is a hella way to do it.

Fun fact: I've been informed that 'Hogmanay' is also 'Hootananny' in Gaelic, which is an infinitely more amusing name so I'm gonna use that from now on. 

From the beginning: the sunrise sent its own spectacular farewell to 2015:

But before the evening's festivities was a whole day of exploring everything else this lovely city has to offer, starting with the rather famous Edinburgh Castle. 

Stages and things being set up for tonight! 

hahahahaha I'm sorry. #notsorry 

Up the mound hill. 

There she is! 

The Castle being naturally on the city's highest point means it has the city's best views.

Oh hai. 

Through the portcullis - entry price was revolting but hey isn't everything here - and we're inside the walls of the 1,500 year old fortress.

Nooks and crannies. 

More views!

I don't know if you've noticed but there are almost exactly zero modern buildings in this entire city. Every street is lined with big old Victorian/Georgian/Gothic/I don't know how architecture works stone buildings. It's quite amazing really - firstly because I imagine a lot of people over a lot of years have done a lot of work to keep it that way, but mainly because it gives the whole place this incredible old-world vibe. 

Also, these old buildings look very amusingly different from almost a bird's eye view. 

What's a good fortress without a solid defence mechanism?

Carlton Hill and the North Sea beyond. 

Speaking of defence mechanisms, check out this hot mama: 

"...Mons Meg levelled castle walls and terrified the enemies of Scotland's kings over 500 years ago..."
I don't doubt it. 
This is Saint Margaret's chapel, whom a bloke in the 1600s built in honour of his mother who was Saintified (I know there's a proper word for that bu - CANONISED. I'm so good at this Catholic thing) a couple of hundred years later.

It's literally about the size of a couch.


And just outside:

Okay I like Scotland now. 

Jewel time. 


Since the English Crown Jewels are so famous (stay tuned for those in the near future, by the way), I never realised Scotland had its own. I feel like that's a solid metaphor for a lot of Scotland's history, really. 

Anyway, inside this tower here is this huge walk-through display of all the history of Scotland's kings and queens featuring stories, maps and creepy mannequins, all leading up to presentation of the Jewels themselves. 

Hahahaha no. 
The Jewels themselves, by the way, consist of a crown, a sceptre and a giant pretty sword - that you can't take photos of, grr.

I don't know. 

Further walkings led to the discovery of the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only child:


Lovely halls that are still used by Scottish dignitaries today:

And a very beautiful Scottish War Memorial - also no photos. 

Since every Westernish city I've ever been to has featured some magnificent World War memorial or another, it made me think about how truly these wars changed the world, but also what the equivalent in Germany looks like? Really, what does the Nazi War Memorial do? Is there one?

We're unfortunately not going to Berlin, but Gale informed that there is a very sombre and tastefully done Memorial there - it'd be very interesting to see how it approaches the whole situation, how it's laid out, what angle it takes etc. 


Main feasting hall: 

Of course the area directly around the Castle is the touristy place where all the silly touristy shops are, but we wandered around anyway. 

Including all the naff souvenir shops.

Oh Lordie. Ye wee lassie. 

I'll stop that now. 


Visited the beautiful St Giles' Cathedral.

You have no idea how happy it makes me that there's a Saint Giles, btw. 

I enjoy churches, cathedrals, mansions, castles etc. that are decorated with some level of taste as opposed to GOLD EVERYWHERE just because they can. 

The super touristy road led us back around to the neighbourhood we were in the previous night, but as always it looks very different in daylight so it's more or less a completely different experience anyway. 

hahahaha I am still a small child. 

Wheel still lookin' good. 

We went back to the hotel to recharge, picking up some drinks on the way.
When we came back in, Hootananny was in full swing. The whole thing is basically a giant street party with Vegas-style liquor laws, a concert (featuring Lily Allen), a Ceilidh (more on that later), heaps of other bands and traditional music around, the Christmas fair and market that's still going on and fireworks.


Lipstick game strong.

Gale and I finally went on that tall spinny thing that was calling out to my soul...come ride with me...




Okay so my camera got way over excited by this point. 

Celebratory dances. 


Pretty market things. 


Also! Which we avoided like the plague because I like my face attached to my head. 

Spooky tree things. 

So we bought tickets to the Ceilidh as well - an extra event off the side of the street party which is basically traditional Scottish music with dancing.

But interactive dancing - so the blokes on the stage shout out moves to dances, some with partners, some line dances, and you just kind of mash together and learn as you go and it's super fun.

"Hieel, tooe, hieel, tooe...naww c'morn th't was tarrible..."

Livvy I forgot how cool you eyes are. 

And I forgot! As well as all of this there was a Hot Dub Time Machine going on up on the Mound! If you'll remember from my adventures at Splendour in the Grass this year (or last year rather hurr), it's the one act I regret missing - a DJ act that goes through a song every year since 1954. It's pretty much an epic pop song orgy. 

Speaking of, there was a stupid amount of people trying to get to the damn stage. Lizzie and I attempted. 

Good Lord. 

Obviously the good thing about a DJ set is it's super freaking loud, so in the mid 90s we kind of got stuck here and and had a spontaneous rock out to the likes of Spice Girls, Nirvana, and for some weird reason, Crowded House's Always Take the Weather With You, which was awesome but left little groups of Australians and New Zealanders singing along loudly only to themselves. 

"Anyway, here's Wonderwall." 

Point being, we made it back to friends under the ferris wheel by midnight. 

So nice, Edinburgh Castle!

Happy New Year all! In 2015 may your days be merry and bright, your brain healthy, your coffee delicious, your TV shows excellent and may you also meet a lot of excellent dogs 'cos that's really important and will lead to a lot of good things for you. 

Really, really

No comments:

Post a Comment