Forward to Auld Reekie…
As I said in my 2012 roundup post, it has been a year of homecomings – so it’s appropriate that I’m ending it by returning to the country that makes up half of my heritage. On paper I’m an Englishman, but my mother’s side of the family is Scottish. Like Keith Savage, I’m bewitched by the place, and yet I’ve still seen so little of it. I got lost in Glasgow in 2011, I’ve tooled back and forth between Inverness and John O’Groats on the Orkney Bus, and I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of hostelling in Edinburgh – but the big events? I keep missing them.
Nae this time, jimmy.
From tomorrow I’m spending a week in Edinburgh coinciding with the Scottish celebration of Hogmanay – more specifically, as part of a group of international travel bloggers for an event called “Blogmanay“. Key events include:
Torchlight Procession (Dec 30th) through the city center.
Concert in the Gardens (Dec 31st) – featuring Simple Minds, no less! Bwani Junction, The View and others.
Hogmanay Street Party / Street Carnival (Dec 31st) - I have it on good authority from friends that this will be terrific fun and completely bonkers. Can’t wait.
Also on New Year’s Eve, a Keilidh, followed by Fireworks and The World’s Biggest Auld Lang Syne (of course, this being Edinburgh where the song originated).
Loony Dook (Jan 1st). Tons of people making their way to Queensferry and then…jumping in the sea. As you do. In Scotland. On January 1st. In the sea, in Scotland. This is apparently something done for fun, rather than punishment. (“For attempted burglary of Edinburgh Castle, we sentence you to 19 minutes of Loony Dook.”) I’m intrigued. There will be photos. Also, I’m presuming, towels and alcohol.
And yes, there’s tons more stuff, as you can see here. I’ll also be wandering out onto the streets of Edinburgh in an attempt to hunt down interesting stories and maybe, just maybe, get a little lost. Raise a glass for me – or, depending on what I’m saying on social media, call the emergency services. Thanks.
Image: Mike Sowden.