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Whale fat ( Blubber ) - Grasa de Ballena
In Leith there is a monument to the whalers, showing a harpoon that was used to hunt whales.
This want to remember that they used the fat of whales to illuminate the lighthouse which guided the sailors
En Leith hay un monumento a los balleneros , que tienen un arpón de los que se usaban para cazar ballenas
Con ello quieren recordar que utilizaban la grasa de las ballenas para iluminar su faro que orientaba a los navegantes
In Edinburgh have been able to use and exploit their traditions, legends and characters and have used for giving the name of their pubs, which proudly look in very colorful façades
- The Last Drop, the site where took the last drink before beeing executed
- Greyfriars Bobby, where it is assumed that the faithful dog, Bobby, was waiting for his owner
- Deacon Brodies, where the brothers Brody lived, who were honoured locksmiths during the day and thieves in the night
- Maggie Dickinson's, was a fishmonger who was hanged, but did not die and got the nick nameof Half-Hangit Maggie
- The Conan Doyle, that is very close to the birthplace of the "father" of Sherlock Holmes
En Edimburgo han sabido utilizar y explotar sus tradiciones , sus leyendas y a sus personajes y han aprovechado para poner el nombre a sus Pubs , que lo lucen orgullosamente en unas fachadas con mucho colorido
Como ejemplo tenemos :
- The Last drop , el sitio donde tomaban la última copa los condenados a muerte
- Greyfriars Bobby, donde se supone que el fiel perro Bobby esperaba a su dueño
- Deacon Brodies , donde vivían los hermanos Brody que eran honrados cerrajeros de día y ladrones de noche
- Maggie Dickinson´s, era una pescadera que fue ahorcada , pero no murió y se quedó con el nombre de la medio ahorcada
- The Conan Doyle, que está muy cerca de donde nació el "padre" de Sherlock Holmes
Cornamusa - Bagpipe
In Northern Spain we also play the bagpipes, but we did not assimilate the "kilt", I think that's why I like the bagpipe
We saw some pipers along the streets, but we would have liked to see them and hear at the Military Tattoo , so we'll leave it for the next trip
We like the lyrics of the song "The Cave of Gold" where a piper says "... if I could have three hands, two for the bagpipe and one for the sword"
En el Norte de España también se toca la Gaita , pero no llegamos a asimilar lo del "kilt", creo que por eso me gusta
Vimos a algún gaitero por las calles , pero nos hubiera gustado verlos y oirlos en el Military Tattoo así que lo dejaremos para el próximo viaje
Nos gusta la letra de la canción " La Cueva de Oro " en la que dice un gaitero "... hay, si pudiera tener tres manos, dos para la gaita y una para la espada "
La Peste - The Plague
It is not normal to talk about cemeteries, but in the case of Edinburgh seems a must, as it is one of the sites to be visited
The skulls and crossed bones that are put on some graves indicated that the person had died by the plague to prevent grave robbers and people moving around
No es normal hablar de cementerios , pero en el caso de Edimburgo parece una obligación, pues es uno de los sitios que hay que visitar
Las calaveras que se ponen en algunas tumbas indicaban que la persona había muerto por la Peste y así evitar los ladrones de tumbas y que la gente se acercara
Decisión prágmatica/ Pragmatic decision
Edinburgh despite having no large rivers, have bridges over the railroad tracks and to cover the slopes of the city
Among them is the notorious North Bridge by the high level of suicides that were performed there. The authorities have created barriers for many years, increased protection, modified the rails ... and at the end what they have decided, is only put some posters with mobile phone of the "Samaritans" , the phone of hope, to convince them not to commit suicide
Edimburgo a pesar de no tener ríos, tiene grandes puentes sobre las vías del ferrocarril y para cubrir los desniveles de la ciudad
Entre ellos está el tristemente conocido North Bridge por el elevado nivel de suicidios que se realizaban allí. Las autoridades durante muchos años pusieron barreras , aumentaron las protecciones , modificaron las barandillas ... y al final lo que han decidido, es poner solamente unos carteles con los teléfonos de los "Samaritans" , teléfono de la esperanza , para que les convenzan de que no se suiciden
La Milla Real - The Royal Mile
Just a curious fact, do not think that this street measures 1,609 m, which should be logic , but it is closer to 1814.2 meters which is the equivalent to the Scottish mile
Tan sólo un dato curioso , no te pienses que esta calle mide 1.609 m, que parecerería lo lógico ya que se aproxima más a 1.814,2 metros que es la equivalencia con la milla escocesa
Se puede escupir - Spitting is allowed
The heart of Midlothian, which is drawn with granite cobbles on the floor in the Royal Mile next to the church of St. Giles, is the only place where you can spit in Edinburgh, so it is advisable not to walk over it , for obvious reasons and because they say that if you step it you will not find the true love
They say it's good luck to spit at this point, where was the door of the prison, and the prisoners spite before entering, as contempt for the conviction and for those that condemned him
El corazón Midlothian , que está dibujado con adoquines de granito en el suelo en la Royal Mile junto a la Iglesia Mayor de St. Giles , es el único sitio donde se puede escupir en Edimburgo, así que es recomendable no pisarlo , por motivos obvios y porque dicen que si lo pisas no encontrarás el amor verdadero
Dicen que da buena suerte escupir en este punto , que es donde estaba la puerta de la prisión, como lo hacían los prisioneros antes de entrar como desprecio a su condena y a los que le condenaban
El Cardo - The Thistle
The thistle is the official symbol of Scotland
The legend says that one night that the Nordics pretended attack by surprise to the Scots, they were attacking barefoot so no noise, but as the ground was covered with thistles, the Nordics when stepped on them started screaming and woke the Scots, thus avoiding surprise and allowing defeat the enemies
El cardo es el símbolo oficial de Escocia
La leyenda dice que que una noche que los Nórdicos pretendían sorprender a los Escoceses , atacaron descalzos para no hace ruido , pero como el suelo estaba cubierto de cardos los Normandos al pisarlos empezaron a gritar y despertaron a los escoceses, evitando así la sorpresa y permitiéndoles vencer a los enemigos
Red doors - Puertas Rojas
In Edinburgh many doors are red in the churches and the truth is that we've heard several reasons, but none quite convinces us
Among the reasons we have heard, are the following:
Symbolizes the blood of Christ, which purifies those who come to Him and that once transgress the door, you are on holy ground, where you are physically and spiritually protected
You've paid the mortgate
If the church is Lutheran can symbolize the roots of the Reformation
If you know a better reason I'd appreciate that you will indicate
En Edimburgo se ven muchas puertas rojas en las Iglesias y la verdad es que hemos oido varias razones , pero ninguna nos convence del todo
Entre los significados que hemos oído están los siguientes :
Simboliza la sangre de Cristo, que purifica a los que vienen a El y que una vez que traspasas la puerta, estás en tierra sagrada, donde estás protegido física y espiritualmente
Que has pagado la hipoteca
Si la iglesia es Luterana puede simbolizar las raíces de la Reforma
Si sabes la razón te agradecería que me lo indicaras
No te olvidamos - We do not forget
This is a peculiar custom, at least for me
The park benches have a bronze plate that indicates the name of a person
When someone dies, as a reminder, the family buys the right to put his name in the bank, for prices that can reach 2,000 pounds for ten years
Esta es una costumbre curiosa , al menos para mi
Los bancos de los parques tienen una chapa bronce en la que se indica el nombre de una persona
Cuando alguien fallece , como recordatorio, la familia compra el derecho de poner su nombre en el banco, por precios que pueden alcanzar las 2.000 Libras por diez años
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Spit on the Heart
Just outside St Giles Cathedral on the cobbles on the west side towards the castle you will find a big heart. It is the Heart of Midlothian and the custom is to spit on the centre and it is supposed to bring you good luck.
Deacon Brodie: The Real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
You'll see lots of references to "Deacon William Brodie" around Edinburgh and if you're anything like me you'll have never even have heard of the guy. Brodie was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 book "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". In the mid-1700s, Brodie was a respected Edinburgh cabinetmaker, tradesman, a member of the town council, and a pillar of the community... by day. By night he secretly led a life of gambling, drunkenness, and debauchery. He frequented the lowest levels of brothels and pubs. (Shows you how little has changed in the world of politicians.) He was a skinny, sickly, and homely looking man. Brodie began making wax impressions of the keys to the houses and shops where he was doing woodwork so he could later make a copy of the key and then burglarize these establishments by night. Eventually he formed a small gang to further his criminal behaviour. They even stole a silver mace from the university. After a failed attempt at trying to rob from the Excise/Tax Office (which collected all tax money for Scotland), one of the Deacon's accomplices turned him in for the reward. Brodie was sentenced and hanged on a gallows that he himself had designed and built.
But, it's said that he really didn't die; that he had constructed a harness to wear under his collar, that he'd paid off the hangman and priest. During restorations to the Edinburgh graveyard, his plot was in fact empty.
As a child Stevenson had an original "Brodie & Brodie" cabinet in his bedroom in Edinburgh. He grew up fascinated by the spectre of the Deacon and often related his own use of alcohol and drugs to the double life that Brodie had.
There is a pub on the Royal Mile near the castle called "Deacon Brodie's Pub", an alley has been named after him, and you can even find some wooden statues of him in front of some establishments. But to get the real feel of what he was like, go and lurk around in "Fleshmarket Close" pretending to be Mr. Hyde!
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Maybe the locals are so used to the drizzle that they no longer carry them but I found as I was walking back a couple of nights that no one was using them even though it was raining hard enough that I normally would. Transported back to high school when it was sooooo uncool to carry an umbrella and not wanting to look like an outsider (ha, ha!), I just put my hat on but I found that rather peculiar.
Spitting on the cobblestone heart
Near St. Giles, there is a heart pattern in the cobblestones marking the site of the old Tolbooth which served as a town jail and where taxes were collected, nicknamed the "Heart of Midlothian" by Sir Walter Scott in a novel that I'm quite sure I will never tackle. It's said that spitting in the heart is supposed to bring good luck, our guide said the custom likely came from a disdain of the tax collectors.
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