The end of 2013 was highlighted by a trip to Edinburgh to count down midnight at Edinburgh’s 2013/2014 Hogmanay! I have been visiting Edinburgh since I was 20 years old and it has become a real home to me over the years.
This was my second Hogmanay visit and will probably be my last. Hogmanay 2013/2014 was headlined by the Pet Shop Boys, that we couldn’t even here and although we had a great time the experience has become commercialised and too crowded!
This was a short trip to Edinburgh this time but I seemed to have learnt more about the history of the streets of Edinburgh than I have on previous occasions. On this trip I read a book called the Town Below the Ground, by Jan-Andrew Henderson. My father (who lives in Edinburgh) posted the book to me before my visit. Reading about the history brought the streets and places I have often visited in Edinburgh alive as never before. Jan-Andrew Henderson’s informative book, is a tale of the ghost stories that have come to shadow the often macabre history of Edinburgh.
For nearly 250 years Edinburgh was surrounded by a tall defensive wall. Unable to expand, and exhausting all means of rising up, people began living below ground. When you walk along the city’s bridges between the old and new town (the new town is not so new as most of the buildings are Georgian!) it can feel like you are not even on a bridge as every available space was taken up for living quarters and shops.
On a previous occasion my Dad took me down below ground on the infamous Real Mary King’s Close tour, and the experience of seeing the living conditions of the people who had lived beneath the ground helped me to visualise the ghost stories I read about in the book!