Mary Kings Close

We got to the Mary Kings Close tour office early so we stayed outside on the street for a little while taking photos on long exposures. Kim took a really nice shot of St Giles Cathedral with people walking in front of it but, they are blurred because of the slow shutter speed. She had no idea how she did the shot but, she was very pleased with the results. In the tour office/gift shop we spent some time hunting out what we would like to buy when the tour finished. That is where I came across Ronald the Rat. We also liked the music playing so we spied out the CD and got that later on as well. The CD was Lightweights and Gentlemen by the group Lau. These days when I hear Lau’s music, particularly Twa Stewarts or Gallowhill, I am instantly transported back to Edinburgh.

While we waited for the tour to start we were able to see the other people that would be on our tour. One particular person had a really bad wig on or a very bad hair cut. Kim thinks it might be a real hair wig that hadn’t been washed for some time. We also think that the man’s wife heard us talking about it as we think she was sitting to our right.

The tour was very good and our guide was wonderful. The guides dress up in period costume and present themselves as someone who would have lived there in its day. The Close use to be open to the air but there wasn’t much of an opening, only the gap between the buildings. Eventually they wanted to build another building there so they just covered the existing buildings over and built on top of them. The Close stayed in use however, as many people still lived there. Eventually it became a place for the sick dying of the plague. For the most part the tour was good, but there was one room that got under both our skins, Kim’s in particular. It was just a bad feeling in there that we both sort of picked up on. At the end of the tour we had our picture taken with the infrared camera mounted in the walkway (the original ally way). It was a good image except for the dust ball that seemed to appear over Kim in the shot.

The walk back to our apartment was fine, but Kim was a little worried about being confronted by someone as we walked past the pubs. I kept myself between Kim and the pubs as we walked but as we crossed the last road we had to walk between some tourists. That was the closest I felt to being in danger, and we weren’t in any danger at all.

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