Thursday, May 20, 2010


This is Hamish, Edinburgh's resident mascot and beloved furry cow. He used to be fat because tourists would feed him a lot of junk food but now they offer "Hamish food" in the gift shop (a healthy and efficient way for them to monitor his food intake more closely). I bought a poster of Hamish to bring home with me. Overall, I would say he's a pretty cool guy. The tour guide we had said that some people used to grab onto his horns and so they had to put up a second fence to keep people from doing this. I don't think he minds though.

This is Greyfriar's Bobby. Many, many years ago there was a grounds-keeper at the Greyfriar's cemetery in Edinburgh. This grounds-keeper was very lonely so he got himself a small dog and named him Bobby and they became quick friends. They did everything together. After two years the grounds-keeper grew ill and died. They buried him in the very cemetery that he and Bobby watched over. Bobby was very, very sad that his master was gone. Instead of moving on, Bobby sat on his master's grave awaiting his return. For years Bobby sat patiently, waiting and waiting. The new grounds-keeper fed the dog but before long this grounds-keeper died as well. The story of Greyfriar's Bobby became more and more popular as the years went on. The town offered to pay to keep Bobby healthy and happy. After fourteen years of loyalty, Bobby too passed on. Many people tried to petition to allow Bobby to be buried at his master's side but due to state law, it was illegal to bury a dog in a human cemetery. They buried him as close to the cemetery as possible. However, they did put a headstone in the cemetery in honor of him. Some people leave flowers for him. Others leave sticks because it is believed that he would have loved to play with them.

Man's best friend.

The cafe on the third floor here is where JK Rowling famously wrote the first two books in the Harry Potter Series. It is also said that Grayfriar's graveyard is where she went for inspiration. In fact, some of the headstones are where she got names for various characters.

Speak easy,


Robin said...

Fascinating historical tidbits! Thanks for sharing.

Cynthia Sherrick said...

I love Edinburgh!!