We left London around 5:00pm on a train headed for Edinburgh, Scotland. We arrived about 10:00pm, sans reservations, with no place to stay.

We locked up our backpacks in a couple lockers in the train station and headed out into the city in search of a place to stay. There was some kind of ceremony going on in Edinburgh Castle, high on the hill. It was all lit up there were fireworks. It was beautiful. I wished I had my camera with me, but I didn't, so I just cursed myself instead.

About ten minutes after we arrived, the festivities seemed to end. The lights around the castle went out. There were no more fireworks Everything was closed. Everything was closed.

We couldn't find a place to stay. We wandered around aimlessly for a few hours. We tried to enter some seemingly dark deserted area around the base of the mountain that the castle was perched on but there was a kind of guard at the gate that wouldn't let us through. This seemed to be on account of whatever special occasion had warranted the fireworks. (something with the word "Tattoo" in it, having to do with drums or something. I forget.) We tried to find our way into one of the cemeteries that were all over the place, thinking they would make a nice, peaceful place to crash for the night, but they were all surrounded by high stone walls and locked up tight. No rest for the living.

We wandered around some more. We finally found Holyrood Park and a dark deserted place where people had been cardboard sliding on a hilllside. We crawled inside a couple of cardboard boxes and slept. It was freezing cold. It was awesome. When we awoke, and it was light, we realized the place we slept was hardly "deserted", as it had seemed at night. Still it had more than sufficed.

The next night though, we found a great youth hostel ("Central" I think it was, individual rooms, no less) to stay in and they charged us only $US 7.00 per night. Incredible.

If you ever have the chance to visit Edinburgh, take it.

It is March, perhaps near the 27th, winter is still clinging in the air. Flight over from Dublin, a short hop to Prestwick Airport (my fist time on a Jet!) then the train rolling through to Glasgow, wandering new place, Queens Street to Princes, train again and out to Edinburgh.

The fields roll by, a few towns, Hay-market, then you pull into a tunnel. As the train leaves the tunnel just before entering Waverly station the castle wall towers above you, the train scrapping by its base.

my destination , The Bruntsfiled Links Hotel. Waverly is situated in a deep gully between the old town(medieval) and the new town(Edwardian). The gully used to be a swamp and they used to drown witches in it for selling bad sets of wooden false teeth (i kid you not). I hoist my bag onto my back, walk up the steep incline into the city night, shrouded in fog, orange illuminated by sodium street lamps. I ask for directions, get pointed, walk and walk. The walls of the city are looming over me, nothing is clear, it is a dream place, and it is not revealing itself to me. I pass a cinema, they are playing Natural Born Killers, a film that is currently banned in Ireland.

The mist shrouds around the dark buildings, I am on a walkway through some park, the buildings retreat and I walk and walk, the mist clinging to the footpath makes it sparkle.

Eventually I reach my hostel, A jovial collection of people, a jigsaw being completed, my reservation waiting. Settle in and sleep. Await my first day in Edinburgh

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