So sorry to just drop off last night...I was super tired and exhausted from my day of travel! But I'm back to tell the rest of the story.
Story 2: Nor Loch
So I mentioned in my earlier post about Edinburgh being known as Ol' Reeky? Well, this is why...
before there was a city, the volcano (King Arthur's Seat) ERUPTED! And
lava went everywhere (obviously). And this lava hardened into rock.
Then, the ice age came along and a large glacier tried to move through
the area, but couldn't get past the bit of hardened lava. So as the
glacier melted, the North Lake or "Nore-Lock" (that's how they pronounce
it) was created. Well, then people started to come into the area and
settle there and named the town Edinburgh. They built lots of houses, a
castle, and a palace. But there's a key to this story - there was no
indoor plumbing. So...if you heard "Guardie-Loo!"
Don't look up.
Don't run out your door.
didn't have indoor plumbing. And so when someone shouted that...it all
got thrown out the windows and into the close or alley way below.
Disgusting. And due to the rain and downward slope of the closes, all
of the waste eventually made it into...you guessed it...the NOR LOCH.
NASTY. At one point in time, the smell was so bad that people in
Glasgow could smell it (roughly 40+ miles away). So that's how Ol'
Reeky came to be the nickname for Edinburgh. But this isn't my whole
story. No, no, I'm just setting you up. This was just part one.
you should know from any sort of history class, that at one point in
time, people were terrified of anything that had to do with witches. So
mass witch hunts broke out and people were going crazy (over something
that didn't really exist, I might add). The "witches" of Edinburgh were
not spared from this hunt either, Many women were bound hands to
ankles and thrown in the...Nor Loch...to see if they drowned or
floated. If they drowned, then they weren't a witch, but they died
anyway. If they floated, they were witches and were then burned at the
stake. So really, lose-lose situation, eh? Not that this wasn't awful
enough...but I want to point out that they threw women into the NOR
LOCH. THE PLACE WHERE ALL THEIR TRASH AND SUCH WENT. Gross. Really an
awful way to die.
So...how do these two parts really come together in my story? Let me tell you:
finally Edinburgh had had enough of the nasty lake and decided to drain
it. And drain it they did. What they didn't expect to find?
Around 800 human skeletons.
From the witch hunt.
You may now run away from the computer screaming in horror.
We also ate at a lovely little Italian place that served delicious
tortellini. And coke with lemon. Like I had a lemon slice in my coke.
Very tasty. And apparently that's completely normal. I'm going to
start doing that when I get back to the US.
ate we ran up to the castle to take a couple of pictures and such. We
didn't have enough time to take a tour, sadly, but I still got some
pretty good pictures. And I bought a few things in the gift shop
there. We then made our way back to the train station to head home.
That night I got to stay with a couple who lives in Lanark.
Hopefully this name rings a bell.
I'll give you a hint: Mel Gibson.
If you thought Braveheart,
you're correct! I've never seen the movie (please forgive me), but it
was still really neat to be in such a historical place! (No worries, I
plan on watching the movie very soon)
After going to church that morning in Livingston, we headed back into Edinburgh so that I could catch my train back to England.
So what did I do today?
was bank holiday, and what a beautiful holiday it was. It was SEVENTY
DEGREES AND SUNNY. Absolutely gorgeous. So I took full advantage of
this and went into Nottingham. Where I happened upon a festival of
sorts honoring a certain day in the 1945 called VE Day or the day that
World War II ended in Europe (this actually happened officially on the
7th of May, but I guess they were celebrating early since it was bank
holiday?). How cool is that? I paid £3 to get in and got to explore!
Many people were dressed in 1945 fashion or in a soldier's uniform.
People were dancing to music of the era, and I was standing in line for
some 1945 style ice cream. Until I was told they ran out of chocolate
flavor. Sad. I also went inside a mini museum about the 1940s in
Nottingham. So interesting! I also found out that the city of
Nottingham has the most caves out of any city in England, but ALL of
them are man-made. Apparently people used to live in them, too. I got
to explore a few of these caves as well.
Overall? Today was a great day. And I got to eat fish and chips one last time. Perfection.
I head in for my last day of student teaching. I'm excited to teach my
lesson tomorrow, but sad that it's my last. I'm off to put the
finishing touches on it now...I'll let you know how it goes!