Daniela's Blog - Outlander Tours Schottland
Daniela's Blog - Outlander Tours Schottland

Saturday, September 15th - Edinburgh, Highlander Fling in Glenrothes


For Saturday, we had planned to do Edinburgh, mainly the Castle and the Royal Mile downhill. First of all, I wanted to find an underground car park near the main street and then go for breakfast somewhere to save time in the morning. Most of the parking garages I searched for were simply untraceable despite the post code and our cell phones, on the Royal Mile you cannot park jsut anywhere at the roadside, furthermore, there were these threatening pylons everywhere. Finally, we followed the signs and found a parking garage at Blackfriars Street, belonging to the Hotel Radisson, which is located uphill at the main street.
From a previous visit to Edinburgh, Sabine knew a good address for breakfast and so we walked two and a half blocks up to Patisserie Valerie, right at North Bridge, where the attractively prepared and presented cakes and sweet pieces in the shop window already aroused desires. Although it was well visited, we got 5 seats at a narrow table, but we were told that everything that came out of the kitchen, everything warm like eggs, toast, bacon, sausages etc. had a waiting time of 40 minutes... Since we didn't want to waste so much of the precious time waiting, we ordered Danish pastries, cakes, eclair and the like, with coffee and tea, not really cheap (City center), but very tasty and appetising. If you like it a bit more noble, we can recommend this address.

After breakfast, we separated as discussed. Sabine wanted to go shopping in the new city center at Princes Street, we would find each other again by mobile phone. In between, I had been at the car again, because I had forgotten my effortfully prepared list and city map for the da. I probably would have found most of the locations myself, but I wanted to be sure. By a twist of fate, this would proff to be helpful. The other 4 of us now went up the Royal Mile towards the Castle, which had already opened. On our way uphill, we found the Market Cross and the Cathedral at West Parliament Square, further up we saw the restaurant at George IV Bridge, where Joanne K. Rowling had written her first Harry Potter book, passed the old church St. Mary, nowadays called "The Hub", which is used as an event center and finally passed the uppermost castle gift shop in the lower castle courtyard, where the dismantling of the tribune for the tattoo was still in full swing. We marvelled at the sheer size of the construction, as ugly as it is, and that it is rebuilt every year within 2 months and then dismantled again in a month. With our Explorer Pass, I got our tickets in less than a minute.

Through the beautiful gatehouse = portal to the lowest inner courtyard and the next inner gate with portcullis to the next area, where we bought our headsets (finally also in German!), which cost extra money, at least mostly with discount (all others already went as seniors!). Now we could look around and listen on the different points of the explanations. We climbed the Lang Stairs and soon found ourselves on the panoramic terrace over the whole northern city, from Queensferry an the bridges to our left, on the Firth of Forth with cruise ships to our right, directly below us the Princes Street Garden in all its splendour, in addition to the most glorious sunshine and pleasant warmth.


Here it happened, while photographing and in a moment of carelessness, that our Karin stumbled and fell down badly. I only saw it when I turned to the others after a panorama photo that I took in another direction, when she was already lying on the ground and bleeding, she could hardly move and couldn't get up at all. I called the crowd and asked for help, was told somebody was already on the way. Good. Shortly afterwards, we had 2 male supervisors for help, who provided bandages, another visitor had donated a scarf for the bleeding laceration on the forehead, shortly afterwards there was also a manageress, all of them really helped wonderfully and reassured us. Since Karin couldn't get up, she was slowly helped into a sitting position, but she couldn't move her right arm, only her fingers and it was already awkwardly swollen. We got a warm blanket that we carefully pushed underneath, the floor was unpleasantly cold, and another blanket to cover her. One of the guards also checked her physical and mental condition every 5 minutes. promised to keep her busy whether she wanted or not. Finally, after almost 45 minutes, the paramedics had fought their way through to us and continued the first aid, these two men also very nice and competent. The four of us had agreed in the meantime that I would go to the clinic with Karin, but it didn't make sense that Conny and Christina also came with us and so I gave them the key for our car, just in case, and my prepared list for the day, they would visit the Royal Mile alone and we would stay in touch by mobile phone. The manageress, Elizabeth, had confirmed with a written entry in our Explorer Pass that we could come again to visit on the next day if we wanted to, without having to pay admission again.

I took Karin's belongings and we boarded the ambulance, unfortunately the hospital was quite far outside (as I later learned, right next to Craigmillar Castle) and the bumpy ride took quite a while. The paramedic already took care of the formalities and promised that a first visit to a British hospital would always be free of charge. Well, at least one worry less. We didn't have to wait long, Karin was soon brought in for an x-ray, then she was put back into the waiting area with her smock and a blanket, scantily covered, where we had to wait almost two hours for the doctor. An elderly lady on the chair next to me honestly tried to distract us and teach me some Gaelic, e.g. "La math a diugh", spoken "la ma a dew", which means "good day today" or "Ciamar a tha thu", spoken "kaymar a ah ooh), "how are you" and recommended learngaelic.net to go geeper into the subject.

I don't want to go into details anymore, Karin's arm turned out to be broken, but a dislocation was carefully excluded by the orthopedist, by 3 doctors took care of her. I got data on CD and a doctor's letter, we felt friendly and well cared for. The arm was just put into a sling and we could leave the hospital. Now I tried again to contact Conny, Christina and Sabine, but it was like crazy, I couldn't get any of them, just mailboxes, and meanwhile, I ordered a taxi which brought us back to the city. The whole afternoon I had been wondering how we could organize this problem, although I didn't have all facts yet, depending on if and when we could leave the hospital, because we had to find all 5 again together, drive to our apartment and prepare ourselves for the Fling in the evening, which was after all the highlight of our trip and for which we all had paid good money. The taxi finally brought us to the car park where Sabine soon joined us and then finally Christina and Conny, who had the car key. We put Karin, who held herself really bravely, carefully on the passenger seat, so that her arm did not bump anywhere and off we went through the rush hour direction apartment on the other side of the river.

Christina and Conny had thoroughly visited the Royal Mile on their own in the afternoon, the magnificent Signet's Library opposite the cathedral had unfortunately been closed when they tried to get in, but fortunately, they had found everything else on my list, even the beautiful Dunbar's Close Garden down the road, shortly before the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace at the lower end of the Royal Mile. On the way home, our mood raised and we were full of anticipation, we also decided to take Karin with us tonight rather than leave her alone in the apartment. Our satnav was also convinced at every crossing on the new Queensferry bridge that there was a junction where we should turn left and a roundabout where we should take the third exit, which made us burst with laughter each time. Probably the good lady thought she was still on the old bridge, we will never know.

Now we had about 1 hour to take a shower and prepare ourselves, everyone had something stylish, elegant or Scottish, including Christina, but she didn't feel well at all that evening and probably only came with us to make it easier for us, although she had been very much looking forward to this night before. Conny and I had an Outlander robe with us, mine was from last year, Conny had sewed something extra chic in Black Watch tartan, which had been finished only a few days before.

We were also looking forward to the many others we would see, e.g. we had seen on Twitter a picture of an incredibly beautiful and elaborately embroidered dress, which we wanted to see in the original, and of course the actors and extras, the party menu and above all the dancing and the music!

We arrived punctually at 19 o'clock in the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes, after I had made a small detour and delivered some material for a customer of my company, in Glenrothes. When we left our car, we already saw many other guests, all dressed elegantly, many of them in tartans. We went in and were greeted immediately by the Paca-Boys (a semi-professional group of Highland fighters who had been engaged for the battle scenes in season 2 and the like). They even remembered me - we had been together on the bus tour last year - and we took our first photos. After some searching - the hall was already relatively full - we found 5 free places at a table on the right side. The program started with a pipe band and 3 dance groups, one after another, with prettily dressed girls who really inspired us, especially the big group presenting sword dance. Then Scott Kyle appeared, actor, for example of Ross the Blacksmith, organizer and host of the evening. He greeted us joyfully and promised an unforgettable evening. It went on with music, a demonstration of how to put on a traditional kilt - put 6 yards of fabric on the floor, lay it in folds and tug a belt under it, it was an actor I didn't know (I think his name was Andrew), Scott Kyle's mother and Romann Berrux, the actor of little Fergus, who has grown meanwhile into a pretty 17 year old handsome young man and was very happy when I addressed him in French. The Paca Men had a great sword fight, Scott introduced about 20 actors, all of them extras and other active people behind camera, including the actress of the French housemaid Suzette, who had climbed Murtagh so elegantly... The buffet was delicious, but with only half a dozen different dishes, we definitely had expected more from it. The drinks were clearly very cheap, 1.20 pounds for a water or cola is not much. In between a few participation dances for the audience, the steps were explained comprehensively. I danced with Conny in a group and we had a lot of fun together, it was not at all about the correct dancing, but about the fun. We also heard vocals by Gillebride MacMillan, Àdhamh Ó Broin (the Gaelic consultant) and finally Stephen Walters, who gave us some songs, e.g. Outlander Family, wherein each one of the actors is goofed on and a slippery song about Sam Heughan, wherein the lyrics were clearly not youth-free (Sammy Heughan Handsome Bastard Blues). Everyone who understood the lyrics couldn't help but laughing tears. To make a long story short, we had lots of fun, met many other Outlander fans from all over the world and once again found out what kind of a family basis you immediately have with other Outlander fans, got a lot of background information again, got compliments for our clothes, saw several other, partly spectacular ones before the evening ended shortly before 12. If you like, take a look at Scott's Highlander Fling page for more information and photos.
Unfortunately, the fantastic dress seen on Twitter, hand embroidered and self made in over 600 working hours, turned out to be not as beautiful as on the photos and didn't seem to fit the girl very well. During the whole evening, she kept sitting at her table and when she left, it took three people to get her sideways into a large taxi, so honestly, I preferred it a bit more practical and danceable. Half an hour later back in our apartment, we fell into our beds, happy and tired to death.

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