Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Remember, remember the fifth of November...

This past Saturday, the 5th of November, was Guy Fawkes Day!  (Side note: I've already converted to the UK style of writing dates, day/month/year!  This proved problematic when I almost bought plane tickets to go home for a wedding the weekend of 10/3/11 instead of 3/10/11!!  Luckily, Brian was keeping me in check!)

Guy Fawkes Day is a bit of a silly tradition, but since it's a holiday that is novel to us, we decided to participate.  The holiday is in memory of Nov. 5, 1605, the day Guy Fawkes' plan to blow-up Parliament was foiled (remember "V for Vendetta"?)  Since the King survived the planned treason, people lit bonfires and sent off fireworks in the streets in celebration. This tradition has continued throughout the UK ever since.

We took a hike up the Salisbury Crags to watch the fireworks.  Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags are large land formations on the east side of the city.  It is protected as a large park, and every clear day you see trails of people hiking to the top to take in the beautiful vistas.   Brian and I have gone up a few times in the daylight, but seeing as it's getting dark by 5pm these days, this was a different experience.
View of the city from Arthur's Seat at night.
We met up with a group of my classmates at the base of the hills, and guided by the light of a few cell phones and one prepared friend's headlamp, we made it up and set up camp in a nice, grassy spot.  Within the next hour, the park became PACKED with people!  Fireworks were going off from every corner of the city, including from far too close to us within the park!  The castle was lit up with a rainbow of colors.  It was pretty fun.

After a few hours, our snacks were gone, our drinks were empty and our fingers were frozen.  Trying to make our way back down the hill, this time among hundreds of people, was a bit comical, but I'm happy to report we had no injuries!

I discovered one of my new Scottish loves while one the hills on Guy Fawkes Day...Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer.  It's a delight.  I highly recommend trying it if you ever have the chance. :)

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