Today I got up early to return our beloved Mercedes B150. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed driving this car with its comfortable seats. I think it could have used a turbo or a slightly larger engine to tackle all of the hills that we drove over, but overall it is a great car. Just the fact we were able to fit all of our bags in the boot was amazing. I found the Europcar with little difficulty and after it was all checked out, they gave me the OK. They called me a cab and I made it back to the hotel in about 20 minutes. The entire time this cab driver was listening to a CD of his friends and kept asking me if he thought his friend was a great singer or not. I just agreed and tried not to think about the fact it was 7am on a Monday.
Coming back to the hotel, we decided to get some more sleep since the next few days are going to be really hectic. By the time we set out, it was around noon. We walked down to the main train station to get our seat reservations for the train to London tomorrow. It was a bit of a queue in the travel office, but after some initial confusion we got our seats. Hopefully, this will turn out better than our train trip to Cardiff. The reservation agent suggested we take an earlier train to London at 8am to give us three hours between trains, just in case of any difficulty. I was concerned that this might eliminate our chance at our pre-paid breakfast at the hotel and I made a note to ask when we got back.
Before heading up to the castle, we went to the Mercat Tour company and purchased tickets for the Haunted Underground Experience as featured on Living TV’s Most Haunted. Daniel and I are big fans and since we missed out on seeing the Most Haunted Live event we were glad we got to do something haunted. From there, we walked up the hill to the Edinburgh Castle. It is actually an amazing castle sitting on one of the volcanic crags. The highlight for me was seeing the Scottish Crown Jewels as well as an exhibit on the history of the Royal Scots. One disadvantage to being on the top of the hill is the chilly strong breezes one gets. At this point Daniel wanted to get his coat so we walked down the hill back to the hotel, browsing through some shops along the way.
We did not have much time back at the hotel before our tour started, but I was able to confirm we had time for breakfast in the morning (6:30!) and I made arrangements for a cab to meet us at 7:15. It was then time to walk back up the hill to the tour meeting place at the Mercat Cross.
Our tour guide was William and he had a great sense of humor and was a very engaging guide who, as we made our way to the Blair Street Vaults explained some of the history of Edinburgh and the vaults. It was then time to descend below grade. Once I got a whiff of the vaults, I knew there was an uneasy feeling in there. I think it probably is due to the staleness of the air, but you do get an eerie sense. We walked through several vaults and William told us some great stories of what has been seen and what has actually happened on previous tours. At one point in a hallway, I could have sworn I heard footsteps or clomping above me, but alas there was nothing above me to make that sound. I took some photos in the rooms and managed to capture some Orbs and light anomalies, but I did not see anything unusual. We did get to play with some EMF meters and mine did in fact go bonkers in a few spots where the spirits roam. I wish our group was smaller for I think the size (18) diminished our chances of seeing anything.
The weirdest thing to happen was that as we were leaving one of the rooms both Daniel and I heard voices as if someone started to say something but stopped. When we turned around there was nothing there. I also wish we could have explored on our own or at least kept it quiet for 10 minutes or so to see if we had heard anything. All in all, it was a cool tour and I recommend if anyone comes to Edinburgh to check out a tour.
After the tour, it was time to get back to the hotel to rest and get ready for bed. We stopped and had pizza for dinner, which seems to be developing into our last meal before we leave a city tradition.
Tomorrow is mainly a travel day – 4 hours on a train to London and then another 3 plus to Paris. I am also not sure of the Internet situation in Paris, so I might need to spread the updates out and send a couple at once. One week left which is funny because usually at this stage I am ready to come home, but we are having so much fun we don’t want it to end.