Sunday, October 3, 1999

After departing the ferry and clearing customs, we caught a train from Newcastle to Edinburgh. It took us a long time to find a room at the tourist office because of a big rugby match in town. We ended up at the Avon Hotel, £35 each for BK and Stine’s ensuite room, £27 each for our non-ensuite room. Proprietor Martin proved to be a "minefield" of information about Edinburgh.

The National Monument on Calton Hill

We took a bus to the Royal Mile and found a place to consume food and Scotch. Jana bought Scotch-flavored condoms in the ladies’ room for £1 as a gift for her friend Kristi.

Tom and Jana on the Royal Mile

We walked down the street to another pub and watched rugby with a bunch of old geezers. The bartender's name was "Eck" - what a great name! They had a drink special going on called a Nip and a Half. It was a half pint of some decent beer and a dram of a choice of two super-nasty Scotches. Jana, BK and I had a few.

An odd house in Edinburgh

At night we went on a haunted walk, "Auld Reekie’s Ultimate Ghost & Torture Tour." Our guide took us back into Edinburgh’s grisly past and told us about the characters that once stalked the streets. He took us underground into a haunted vault and Pagan temple. Our host was very dramatic, and when he pointed out and described "The Devil Room," I felt obliged to walk into it while everyone else stayed back. He thought he'd mess with me and turn off his flashlight while I was in there, but the only people who seemed to be frightened were those who stayed far away from "The Devil Room"! This tour was really a fun thing to do and a great setting.

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