Thursday, 26 July 2018

A Weekend in Edinburgh

The Boyfriend, and I  sauntered for an unexpected weekend to Edinburgh. We wanted to remain on a budget, as next month we're going to Prague to celebrate my 30th.

Edinburgh is a unique city, with a fascinating dark history.  A delight for the visual senses with some of finest Victorian architecture in the country; seemingly blends in with the Jacobean buildings. The fortified Castle looms over the city enhancing the dark fairy tale vibes.









The city is steeped in a rich, marcbric history with so many cultural places to visit and many offer free entry. 

I highly recommend  the following blog posts for a gothic or darkly inclined itinerary: 



Friday

I spent the afternoon, on a charity shop expedition;.  were all located on the same street which leads straight from the North Bridge Road. I found a few things;  a happy bank balance and wardrobe.






We stayed at the City Livein, quite pleasant, it had a small kitchen area to cook food, with a small ensuite. It was comfortable enough for a couple of nights and at £60 a night it wasn't a bad option.  It was great being away from the tourists' areas. 


The Wee Red Bar with Gothzilla and Trouble Fait


Gothzilla were playing in Edinburgh at the Student Union bar, walking distance from our accommodation.  We wanted to show our support and listen to some good music. The venue was a decent size but a rather poor turn out, that was a bit sad. As the band, get a good crowd in Carpe Noctem.

As usual, Gothzilla played a fantastic set that always varies from their previous performances, one of the things I like about the band. When we arrived, the band were already playing.  I thought we had missed their performance, but they played for an hour. Gothzilla ended up played my favourite song The Edge of Forever and finished with The Temple of Sound which had me dancing, despite feeling like I was in Hell's furnaces. I even got a comment from the band for dancing. They always like seeing the audiences dance. After the gig, a few of the audience members had a chat with the band. Also, it was a bit of sad night as Gothzilla were saying farewell to their longtime guitarist Mark Borland, who left for production work.





Following were  Trouble Fait, a French post-punk band who sounded more like "the North West of England's Post Punk sound", according to the Boyfriend. Their music was more of a solemn post-punk sound compared to Gothzilla. Still another brilliant enigmatic performance, with their French demeanour,  enhancing the performance. I would highly recommend checking them out, particularly if you're into Echo and the Bunny Men, and Joy Division. After seeing the two bands it reestablishes my opinion, that the smaller bands seem to be producing the highest calibre of music compared.







Heres a link to their Facebook pages Gothzilla and Trouble Fait.  
As we left Red's Wee Bar, here was promoter handing out leaflets for a local goth night.  


Saturday


We had a late start due to the lack of sleep from the awful humidity. We only went to a couple of attractions as the boyfriend wanted to visit a few pubs on the way. 



We had a gander around the city but ended up the wrong way. 









National Scottish Gallery 

The National Scottish Gallery is located opposite the main shopping promenade on Princess Street The building is very distinct, differing from most of Edinburgh's Scottish Gothic architecture. The Gallery resembles an ancient Greek temple and was designed by William Henry Playfair; 
houses a diverse range of artwork; including Rensuisance, Dutch Masters, The Impressionists and Cubists. I was really surprised that gallery permitted photographs, so long as the flash was off.   


                 

  

I thought this was one of the most fascinating, and my partners' favourite painting. It seems odd to see a more modern piece surrounded by the old masters like Titian. I love these use of simple but of vivid colour. I love how it takes inspiration from the impressionist as the painting looks distorted and blurry close-up but it looks clear once you stand at a distance.





I wanted to visit to see  The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton. The pain
ting was inspired by my favourite Shakespearian comedy a Midsummer Night Dream.  







St Giles Cathedral 


I've always been fascinated by St Giles exterior on previous visits. I love looking at the Cathedral in the cobbled square surround by the Royal Mile.  I did this time. I felt slightly disappointed by the interior did not live up to the to the impressive exterior. 



The church was established in 1124 and rebuilt by the Edinburgh merchants built a grander le after the English invaded and burnt the church,  which reflects the present architecture of the transept, nave and chancel. It felt very reminiscent of Newcastle's  St Nicholaus's and St  Andrews.  The church increased in status the lantern tower was added with a crown steeple in 1490. During the Scottish Protest reformation, much of Catholic interior was stripped, often the items were sold, to reflect the Protestants' religious ideology. 


 The Thistle Chapel was a favourite part;  built-in 1911 by Robert Lorimer for The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry. Established by James II in 1689.  The chapel consists of 16 decorative stalls for each appointed knight depicting their's coats of arms and with an elaborately carved ceiling. 


  

                                                                                   
                                                 

#




  


Grey Friars Kirkyard 


We visited Greyfriars Kirkyard which in recent years has gained fame with many of the interned's name serving as inspiration for many of the Harry Potters characters.  The Grounds originates grounds for an order of Greyfriars Monks. The oldest interments date back to the 16th century. The cemetery is also used as a mass burial for plague victims. 







My last holiday to Edinburgh included the McKenzie ghost walk. The former Prescector George McKenzie is meant to haunt the necropolis where he persecuted over 1,200 Convanters were held in a field over the harsh winter after a failed rebellion. All I had was Scottish accent describing the horrific conditions of the prisoners, Even on a summers day 
the discomfort sensation still resonates with me.

  
                                                                                               






                                                                        
 

 

  
 
















I couldn't resist taking some photos of the many beautiful elaborate and ornate tombstones. While wandering around, my partner was secretly photographing me and later, joked about being a cliche goth. 




Afterwards, we head to a small bar called  The Sea Horse Bear Shop and Bar for food, the food was a tad on the expensive, however, it was probably the best burger I've ever tasted it was delectable, slightly on the side, but each burger are handmade with selection of craft cheese and hand cut fries. If you're in Edinburgh, I'll recommend the bar for food. They even do a Scottish burger with haggis, Plucky burger. Not to mention a fantastic range craft beer, ale and cider from across the world. 






I also met up with someone I met on Facebook, so we went for a drink and had great chat for an hour. I was feeling tired and ready for a Granny nap. 


After having my nap, I know I'm getting old. We head to a couple bars, so the ones I remember were the Black Rose a small rock bar behind Princess street the drinks were ok there was a bit of acoustic entertainment, Paul Docherty with a range of classic rocks song and even a couple of punk renditions that sounded interesting. He definitely kept the rowdy patrons happy. 





The Hanging Bat


Another bar that had me intrigued with the Gothic sounding hanging bat, it was more like a trendy industrial bar aesthetic, with bat decor around donning the bar;  it definitely had the hipster crowd energy.  However,  it had a relaxed and inviting feel where there were no aggravations, personally, this more important to me, as I just wanna relax and not worry about being hassled. Again a bar with a decent selection of beers and ale for the Boyfriend and for me it had a couplecider options. I ordered Idun's bottle of perry cider, that was very fruity and light. 




   

Shadow Play

We found out at the gigs the previous night, with the promoter handing out flyers for the night. The night was held at a small bar near the hotel we were staying. The night had a good vibe with a decent mixture of post-punk, electronic, synth, and of course goth music. There was a different playlist compared to Noir Castle.  I enjoyed that, and it reflected the different nuance dance preferences and DJ's style. There was definitely that Northern atmosphere; I've experienced Carpe Noctum and Noircastle, of having a welcoming and open atmosphere, as long your not there to cause problems, they don't care. There was also a good turn out of people of all ages and various backgrounds.

The only thing I didn't like was the venue it was tiny to be accommodating the number. It was beyond uncomfortable and adding the humidity, awful. There wasn't enough space to grab a table, sit down or even dance on the dance floor. Everybody seemed used to the lack of space, were polite enough to move and leave enough space for people to put their drinks down.



Image may contain: text
Shadow Play

Despite the venue, I would still recommend you check the night out, as I think important to support local live music, alt and goth scenes when possible.  I know the boyfriend commented, it was a pity that the lack of people who turned out for Gothzilla and Trouble Fait, he did think they missed an awesome experience. 


We went back and had chicken bbq pastries that were gorgeous. I had a cuppa. 






On Sunday, we were both feeling exhausted and opted for a train home. Both of us posing for a silly selfie. 



Darker Days 2019

It ceases to amaze me how thriving the goth scene is present, compared to a few years ago. Over the last few years, smaller goth festivals...