Scotland 2012: A Bus Tour

Tour guides, at least as I’ve had them, can usually induce a few yawns regardless of the beauty of the place. Dates and names and wars thrown out that just overwhelm anybody. The lady (whose name I unfortunately failed to catch) that led our bus tour in and out of Edinburgh took, however, was a refreshing storytelling.

Here are her top shares of the tour:

  • Guthrie, the physician who established the use of anesthesia for medical practices (then chloroform!), first attempted the science feat on his dogs and cats. Much to his happiness, it worked and he moved on to test it on humans… By inviting a large group of medical students over for supper. They, honored to be in the home of their respectable professor, helped to prove its success… By ingesting some chloroform in their meals and going  for a nice sleep!
  • The buildings in Edinburgh are all made out of a pristine brick that is, in nature, of a light grey color. The reason many of them appear so dark and gloomy is the mass amount of coal that were burnt sending thick smoke out of the chimneys and down over the house before the Scottish government outlawed the practice.
  • The queen is now going on 60 years in her royal position. This calls for a very special Jubilee as only one queen has held the position for longer.
  • A bungalow, large for Scotland but rather modest for the US, costs about 350k pounds — 700k dollars! Renting is a much more popular method of living over here.
  • Scottish Gaelic is still spoken on occasion, mostly in the north, and I wish I could share some of the words with you but then were much too long for me to catch!
  • There are 10 million sheep in Scotland. There are only 7 million people.
  • Whiskey, Scotch, malt, liquid gold… Whatever you want to call it, these shops are everywhere and contribute much of the economic base.
  • Of the countries in the union (the United Kingdom), Wales is the only one that is not a kingdom. This is why is not represented on the flag which actually takes pieces of the English, Scottish, and North Irish flags.
  • Scotland is the home of golf.
  • In a successful business scheme, two men became grave robbers. However, they weren’t after what you would think. Instead, were after the bodies (!) which they sold to medical students who needed practice. That is, until Lady of the Night when they were found. One was hanged in Scotland and one was sent to England which, see joked, is an even worse punishment to the Scots, ;).

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About Toni Lupro

"I've got a plan, I've got an atlas in my hands."

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