A trip to the Edinburgh castle

Ok junta, I know that some of you have been waiting for this new post to come up. Actually blogging is a problem here.. don't get much time to surf, and whatever time I get, I usually end up spending on checking mails, etc. But don't worry -- I will have something good coming up very soon. For now, I think that this post is best said with pictures. So read on...

"Edinburgh is", someone had said, "what Rome should have been like". This place is indeed beautiful... with all the old-era buildings and statues and monuments, I get a fairly good idea what that man meant. A couple of weekends back, we had set out for the castle at about 12 noon (now, don't squirm please... even in Scotland you cannot do without a 12 hour sleep on Friday nights). But outside, it was still cold, windy, and as good as a 6:30 a.m. morning at home. Take a look below -- that is how it looks at 12 noon here:

At the top of the hill is the castle... and the fountain you see in the foreground is situated in the midst of an amzing garden, called the Prince's Street Gardens. They look like this (below) The person in the picture is Lalit, and I post this because his hands shook when he took my snap... :(

What you see behind him at the far end of the view are the National Galleries of Scotland. The pictures inside are really good... and although I understand art and its different genres as much as you might understand ghosts, I could appreciate the various eras of art --- Reniassance, Impressionism, Victorian war art. Please don't ask me the names of the artists, though... I cannot spell or pronounce them ;)

We decided to climb up the hill to the castle, instead of the usual circuitous route up there via the main road. Now, please don't picture us climbing up that hill face on the first picture... the road we took is a narrow one up the side of the hill. Somewhere up on that road, we looked down, and saw this train passing. Behind in the pics are the gardens we passed through.

Up on the road to the castle, we happened to glance up towards the castle, and suddenly we knew why attacking the castle was a foolish thing to do. Take a look at this:

Now, imagine being holed up there... you take a peek, or even move an inch, an arrow comes crashing out of the nooks of the castle walls. It is dar and cold (cold as in -15 degrees, a nominal estimate), with chilly winds blowing across your hungry, soiled and weather-worn and ill-clad body. How would you like to hold a siege like that for 3 years? Well, some Scotsmen and Englishmen did that some years ago. You see, taking a castle by storm is not a job for the faint-hearted.

Never mind.. lets see what the castle was like. The cost of admission (the ticket, dear) was 10 pounds and 30 pence. And the latest conversion rate is 81 rupees to a pound. Umm... to say the least, it was expensive. On the terrace in front of the castle, we had some bright sunshine for some time. Apparently, this very place is transformed into a awe-inspiring open air theatre for the annual Edinburgh festival every year.

This is what the entrance to the castle looked like. Yes, I am the one in the black leather jacket. Once inside, it is a very different view. There are batteries of canons...

and boy... they sure did fire far in those days... take a look on the right below!

We went to the Royal War Museum inside the castle. Unfortunately, snaps aren't allowed inside, so you must see the place through my words. There was a very nice depiction of the evolution of the dress of a soldier over the years. From the kilt-wearing sword-weilding Scotsman to the modern day soldier with the gas mask and Chemo- Nuclear- Biological warfare enabled suit carrying an ultra-light machine gun. But that was not the touching part. The touching part was the section where on a glass wall they had put up what different soldiers wrote back home at different times from the battlefield. I remember one letter there, written by someone in the First World War. The guy writes,

"Dear Mother,

I am not allowed to tell you where we are... but I am all right. We are going to charge into the enemy trenches uphill and try to finish them. It begins in a few hours and you know as well as I do what is going to happen.

Love,

your son"

Below that letter, in a small plaque, was written... 'he died in the charge to the German trenches that day in 1915'. I was quiet for sometime after I read that, silently saluting the brave Scotsman. And he was just one in a million who have died at war. Well, we'll talk about this later.

After the museum, we went to the other sections of the castle.. like the old soldiers' barracks, the jail, etc. And we also had some coffee up there! But well, after a trip like that, you don't feel satisfied with just a tea.

So after some posing for the camera, we came down for some more food, etc., and then finally trudged all the way back home. After coming inside the house, I realised how cold it was outside: really numbingly cold.

Ok, before I close, let me tell you about all the things I have been planning to write about but could not: one post is coming about how it feels to spend in rupees and to earn in pounds (you know what I mean :D), another about the food at Edinburgh, a post about how it felt to be in a football match we went to (in the Tynecastle stadium where Hearts beat Aberdeen 3-0), and a very special post coming up for the Valentine's day celebrations here in Edinburgh. This place is already agog with posters, chocolates, wines... oh boy, another post about the run-up to the day, maybe? :D

Comments

  1. "and although I understand art and its different genres as much as you might understand ghosts..."
    -- this line had me in splits for a while. awesome! LOL.

    Good post here - mmmh - -15 are u serious - and you were out visiting places in THAT cold... brrrrr!! The images looked beautiful; must have been a great place to visit afterall inspite of the cold!!

    Awaiting the next, esp the run up and valentine posts hehehehe

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  2. this is not a mas** ;)bhai u really luking dude in last pic keep enjoying there .....

    ReplyDelete
  3. this is not a mas** ;)bhai u really luking dude in last pic keep enjoying there ..... though copied and pasted, i was about to post the same thing!! Hv fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. hey vinay this mas** thing is between me and bhai :) lol
    and let me add .....
    bhai u did gave cool pose in pics lol

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  5. Hey Sudipta,
    The place looks too good man.. I am feeling jealous here. Hmm having a nice time there is it..

    Well my Surathkal trip was good. Had awesome time there.. our college won 18 medals. All of them in Athletics..!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jealousy
    Jealousy
    Jealousy
    and more n more of it:-P
    lol.. So great fun huh??

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  7. Supremus, yeah honestly... I understand about as much of arts as that. But I wasn't standing in -15.... I was at 4, maybe 3. I was just describing how that soldier would've felt. Sorry I couldn't post much about Valentine's day run-up. Maybe I'll post the next one tomorrow.

    Varun, yeah, thanks... and see, people eevn liked our mutual idea of mas** >:)

    BTW... thanks really

    Vinay, thanks, buddy. And welcome aboard. And because of that copy-paste, I am sure you are an engineer :)

    Jeevan, 18 medals!!! :O Awesome dude awesome... you should have told me about it earlier. Well done!! How many did you bag? Come on.. post something about it. And get the goddarned web team at the college to post it on the website. It is such a big news and they don't even mention it!!

    Poornaa, mu ha ah aha ha aha.... now that you are jealous, I am insanely happier. Oh, great fun of course... :)

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  8. the website committee is pretty dormant nowadays.. but our team photo had come in the news paper.. TOI page 3..!!! i came fourth in 400 mtrs.. third in 4 X 100 relay event. guess wht this time gals won 12 out of those 18 medals.. he he..
    n i've written about my experience also in my blog..

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  9. hey Sir!!

    came online after a long time...and am still bullish about the article...u seem to be having a ball there...[:)] I'd really really want others to know abt the inner working details to be put in renesa.

    The article should be around 300 words-400 words long...shorter if u are very busy...but this shud be cake walk for u :) and every information that you think you would have preferred knowing before u joined (good or bad) and what kinda working environment one should expect blah blah....insider's dope in short..

    I'd be needing it in a week max if that's ok...

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  10. Jeevan, Ok sire... will go and check your blog soon.

    Ellie, Ahh... after a long time you are here. Have mailed to you... check it out.

    P.S.-Know something? It takes longer to write a 200 word article than to write a 400 word one? :)

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  11. dabi,
    am mising you. one thing that stands out in your pictures is you. when -if ever- will i see that taut handsome face of yours again? of course you look nothing the less great with all that flab, but... wonderful posts and even more wonderful pics.
    raman.

    ReplyDelete

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