Tony & Cynthea explore the 'Old Country' travel blog

Photo scavenger hunt - make like a road sign

How many can we get in a phone box (8)

Take a photo of the team refelection, but we can't use a...

Human Pyramid

We were supposed to go to the Crags, but these rocks under...

Well hung at Grassmarket?

Hug a police box... is there a doctor in the house~

Feed Bobby a biscuit

We had to "spit" on the heart by the church

Strip the willow is is a dance

find Harry Potter

Martin the pirate

?Sherlock

Some hairy coos (say it with a Scottish accent, then it will...

We found an angel with bagpipes

Hug a traffic warden

We had to find a live Haggis, we used Digby as a...


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There are a few things organised for the local couchsurfing event – “Edinbvrgh Rocks” (they spell Edinburgh with a V for some reason, haven’t figured that one yet, must ask someone, probably something to do with older styles of writing letters).

First up is “breakfast” at 11am, but we have just missed the bus, and the next one is not for an hour as it is Sunday. We didn’t think about a reduced weekend service, we have been so used to everything in London just going. So we ask around and are told that if we walk to the end of the street there will be more buses from other routes. The bus route map shows more buses a couple of streets along, so we try there, and the bus we need pulls up as we arrive at the stop. We head to the pub and meet the other couch surfers, there is quite a group. We are welcomed, and order breakfast, a full Scottish for just £4 each, very reasonable compared with London prices.

We are told there is to be a scavenger hunt later, so head out for a coffee and get back to the pub at 2pm. The hunt is mostly “photographic”, so the only danger of arrest is from the traffic warden we have to find and give a group hug. We managed to fit eight people into a phone box, then went to the park to form a human pyramid (we were creative and sat on steps), then we tried on the grass, but were “sabotaged” by a rival team who tried to add to our pile. We had to count birch trees by Robert Louis Stevenson’s memorial, and feed a biscuit to Greyfriar’s Bobby. When it came to climbing “The Crags” the huge rock face on the other side of town, we became creative and took photos of us climbing the rocks under Edinburgh Castle, and hoped that no one knows the difference. We will be fine as no one checks the time stamps on the photos!. Finding a Police Box to group hug was easy, but we also had to find a doctor to photograph beside it. David Tennant was in London doing a play, so Cynthea goes up to a tourist who is dressed in a safari suit, and looks like Dr Livingstone. Turns out he IS a doctor (of science), and he signs our scavenger list. We had to find out who was the last person hanged as Grassmarket, and then take a team photo looking like we had been hung. We got some really funny looks, haha. Up at the castle we found a piper and danced Strip the Willow, more strange looks…

We needed to get photos of the team in fancy dress, and there were plenty of costumes to borrow on the Royal Mile. We get Sherlock Holmes, William Wallace, and a highland coo. We need Harry Potter, and Tony spots a street artist, she is drawing with chalk pastel. That will come off skin, so Tony asks her for a favour, and she draws Harry’s scar on his forehead. Turns out she is a couchsurfer too. On the way back to the hotel at the end of our three hours we spot a couple of traffic wardens (we had been told that there would not be any today, being Sunday), and chased after them. We got the photo of the group hug, and we are the only team to complete that task. We had three things to get – a live haggis (Digby was renamed for the afternoon), a photo of us at the Edinburgh acropolis (we used the Athens one instead), and the group on the crags (some teams took a taxi there to begin with, but that involved spending money!).

We had tea at the pub, another cheap feed, £5 for a burger and chips, and a pint. Bargain considering the pint on its’ own was £3. There was a talent show at another pub not far from there, and that was where they were going to announce the winners of the scavenger hunt. We head off to the next pub, it is raining and the temperature has dropped, just like summer at home!

Our team got third, we don’t know if we got points for our creative entries. First and second place tied, so they had to do a skit. It was a fun night, lots of music and a fantastic polish dance exhibition. Someone did amazing yoyo tricks, and the juggler was also really skilful. We left before it was over, around 11pm, as we still weren’t sure what time we needed to be at the gardens in the morning. It was still raining so we grabbed a cab back to the hostel. We had no cell phone coverage in the bar, so Tony emailed Peter and Anne in reply to a text we got from them.



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