OG Post: March 14th, 2017
Edinburgh Day2: (Monday) Jet lag did not defeat me on Monday like my last trip to Scotland did. It tried though. Using a combination of the auto wake up dialer, and three different alarms I was able to wake up at my “usual” time of 6:30 ~ 7:00. After a shower and getting ready for the day Red and I decided to give the hotel restaurant a try for getting breakfast. Red had the eggs florentine and I went with the traditional breakfast roll which is basically eggs and bacon on a kaiser roll and it was delicious.
Afterward, I headed out to work. It’s about a 16-minute walk from my hotel room. This was a part of Edinburgh I haven’t explored before so it was fun to find the route through. I passed through an area that had a couple of tattoo shops and an alleyway through the old building that looks like it probably saw a couple of murders back in the 1600’s. After that, I passed the Edinburgh College of Art. As I approached the Quartermile area I saw on the north side of Lauriston Place a giant space with a super old building that looked like it could have been the house of a Duke or Earl. Then I figured out by all the kids in school uniforms that were being dropped off. It was a primary school… Palace in the middle of old town Edinburgh was a freaking Hogwarts kindergarten. I then found where I was going. It was this new development of very modern steel and glass buildings interspersed with all the old Victorian buildings that were being remodeled on the inside.
Once in the building, I got the tour of the new facilities here in Edinburgh and they are amazingly beautiful. If I was wanting to transfer to Edinburgh before then I really want to now. After having lunch on site in the cafeteria I went with a walk with one of my coworkers around Meadows park. Here I got a bit of a history lesson on the area. Meadows park also known back in old times as Burgh Muir. This was also the plague pit back in 1645. The beautiful park area that was reminding me of Auditorium Shores in Austin once was a hastily dug mass grave for thousands who died from the Black Plague. Before that, it was part of the ancient Forest of Drumselch given as common land by David I in the 12th century and cleared in a decree of James IV in 1508 to make room for cows to graze.
The Quartermile development where our shiny new office is looks beautiful and strange from across the Meadows. I found out all the old Victorian buildings that we are building these new steel and glass structures around where all part of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh along with the Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital. The design plans were heavily influenced by the "pavilion" model advanced by the nursing pioneer, Florence Nightingale. It was still a hospital unto about 2003. Now it’s being turned into apartments and the pavilions filled in with office buildings.
Red came up to the office after her spa day about 16:00. I took her up and showed her the office and we walked back together to the hotel. On the way back I showed her my “shortcut” route I had mapped out that morning. As we passed back through Lauriston St on the way to Bread St we noticed a business called “Edinburgh Famous Burke & Hare”. This struck me as familiar and I later realized that William Burke and William Hare where famous serial killers in 1828. They killed a known 16 people and sold the corpses to Doctor Robert Knox for dissection at his anatomy lectures. However, this is not a museum in memory of serial killers… instead, this is a strip club. I laughed as we walked through the streets at this. From providing bodies for lectures on transcendental anatomy to providing bodies for stag party anatomy lessons. The legend of Burke & Hare lives on.
After we got back to the hotel we freshen up and went to Lebowski’s bar. Yes, a Big Lebowski’s themed bar with over 27 variations of a White Russian and a really good selection of Burgers. We giggled and quoted just about the whole movie over dinner. I had “The Walter”, a vodka, Kahlua, and chocolate milk with chocolate syrup drink and Red had the “Jackie Treehorn” which is peanut butter infused vodka, Kailua, and milk. Something tells me Red will be back there at some point this week. Maybe multiple times.
We walked back to the hotel and recovered after dinner. Like almost any industrialized country, Monday is the most boring night as most people stay home or places are not even open. As I researched what to do that night I looked up Burke & Hare. It turns out that particular area of Edinburgh is known as the “pubic triangle” because there is not just one but three strip clubs in a triangle area there. The Burke & Hare is the most popular but there is also The Western and Showroom No. 1. As I began to read about them it became clear that strip clubs in Edinburgh are just painfully awkward. So being the student of sociology I am I had to talk Red into going with me to check out the trainwreck. We went back out and The Western was the first place we went. This place was a postage stamp. It made Plush look like a megaclub. There was an awkward raised stage at one in of a tiny hallway with a bar on one side and barstools on the other. There was a party of young fresh-faced boys who were coming in at the same time we were and with 8 people and 4 strippers the place was overcrowded. Also half of the strippers looked like they could have easily been the boys' mums. The private dances were carried out in what looked like closets with curtains for doors. It wasn’t until we were almost done with our drink that anyone even got on stage. It was all in all just as comical in appearance as I had hoped for.
After a single drink, we took off and headed across the street to Burke and Hare. There was again one of the tiniest rooms for a “club” I’ve ever seen. The stage was in the middle of this circular room and was a raised metal platform with a pole on it for the girls to “dance” on. I use quotations because again there was no dancing going on just a bunch of people standing around this tiny bar and girls sitting in the corner. We got a drink and watched the crowd for a little while. By crowd I mean the 10 guys who were in there and the 6 girls working. It was completely full with those numbers. Again we where going to take off after one drink having got in our laughs and people watching. However there was a guy from Liverpool dressed in a suit who found Red and I enjoyable to talk to and bought us a second round. His conversation drifted from asking if I was a Rugby player to telling us about his sordid life of crime and punishment to telling me he needs a tech guy for his next “operation”. We snuck out while he was distracted talking to someone else and headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.