November 6, 2008

November 5th: A Night Easily Forgotten

Life in Edinburgh has been pretty eventful. From following a random Hindu Parade to the top of Calton Hill for fireworks, burning effigies, and Indian dancing, to climbing to the top of the Salisbury Crags for Mark's birthday, to a wild parade and series of parties on Halloween, to staying up until 5:30am (or later to hike to the top of Arthur's Seat) to watch the election... I had high expectations for Guy Fawkes Day.

Guy Fawkes Fireworks
I've seen "V for Vendetta" and I've learned the charming little nursery rhyme: "Remember, remember the 5th of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why to gunpowder treason should ever be forgot." But unfortunately, not much was memorable from our 5th of November.

          MC at the top of Calton Hill

The Mylne's Court crew climbed to the top of Calton Hill, under the impression that there would be a giant bonfire where we would burn Guy Fawkes in effigy. There were even tales of throwing live stray cats onto the fire so that they would make this eerie, unsettling hissing/howling noise (although I'm still pretty sure that Hugo and Liam made that up). Well, there was a bonfire - but it was on the other side of a 12-foot-tall brick wall that emerged from the bottom of a deep ditch.

Rubbing mud out of my eye, thanks Rachel
Since my friends here like to make things interesting and do things the much harder, but much more adventuresome, way... there was a brief attempt to scale the wall. But we were unsuccessful, so we walked back down the hill along the wall trying to find a way in. Fireworks were exploding directly overhead. It felt like we were a troupe of soldiers, marching through the trenches into battle. We definitely used the word "siege" more than once.
Trying to scale the wall

Back at the bottom of the hill, we discovered that the bonfire on the other side of the wall was a private party at a Country Club type of place. How posh and elitist. So, naturally, we climbed back up to the top of the hill and stood on the highest crest to watch all of the fireworks being set off all over the city. That part was pretty cool. Every direction you looked, you saw more fireworks. So we climbed up onto the Scottish Monument (the unfinished Parthenon) to get a better view.  It was fun, but a bit anti-climactic compared to the unknown and unplanned excitement of the Hindu Parade and festival, and the Samhuinn parade, etc. So even though we are told to remember November 5th, unfortunately it may be forgotten among all of the other exciting events that have happened here so far this year, and all of the exciting things to come.

Watching the works atop the Scottish Monument

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