1st January … New Years Day in Edinburgh

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We slept in late again and had trouble finding somewhere that still served breakfast but found a café that was still open.  We then split up again and I went to find the hop-on/off bus as my ticket was still valid for a little bit but as so many streets were closed for the celebrations last night I ended up just using my map to walk around the old town area – past the George Heriot’s School and ‘The Elephant House’ café – both places important to J K Rowling in writing Harry Potter.  It would have been awesome to go into the café and write in my diary – I think I would have written a masterpiece entry but it was so crowded that there were no tables left so I kept walking down to Holyroodhouse Palace, where the royal family lives when they visit Edinburgh.  It was a lovely place but I didn’t go inside.

Instead I took advantage of the blue sky and sunshine and walked up to Arthurs Seat which was in the Holyrood Park.  It was a really lovely walk – a mix of easy and difficult bits, there was no one set path to the top but instead just a lot of worn tracks from previous walkers that led everywhere.  The way I went took a bit over an hour to get to the top – the last bit was really hard as it was climbing up rocks which were slippery as it had started to rain.  But the top was definitely worth it – the view was over the City of Edinburgh (the castle looked so small and far away), the countryside, water and mountains in the distance.  I took some photos and a panoramic video and nearly got blown over it was so windy!!  Played the ‘Where’s Kevin?’ game and saw him up there as well)  It started to get dark and cloudy and rain a bit more do I started my decent – it was very slippery at first but they had a rope chain which everyone was holding onto which made it a bit easier.  The walk down was much shorter but I was semi-following some other people and we went straight down the other side.  However when I got down I realised that I had no idea where I was (except being at the bottom of Arthurs seat) but there was one path that circled the path so I chose a direction and started walking.  I think I chose the long way around but it was a nice walk – there were lots of lakes which were pretty as it got darker and it was nice seeing the silhouettes of people walking down Arthurs seat.

Walked back to the hostel via the Royal Mile which was such a lovely street – cobbled stones and brick shops lining the road with 3 stories of houses on top which made the street seem really close and cosy.  There were archways every so often which were little alleyways with more shops.  Was pretty exhausted by the time I got back, met up with Christina and Claudette and we went down to the closing ceremony for Hogmanay.  There had been the ‘Hogmanay Games’ all day which were all family friendly between the ‘uppies’ and the ‘doonies’ where gold tokens were given to everyone when they participated.  There was a final game at the closing ceremony which we were part of – I was a doonie.  It involved passing a huge beach ball around the crowd.  We didn’t win that game but when they counted all the tokens up the doonies won!!  Had dinner and then had to pack for Skye.

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