Tag Archives: Thatcher

Rick Steves: A Few Technical Issues

16 Jul

Here is a video by the renowned travel writer Rick Steves about Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Below I have highlighted where I think he goes a little off-piste.



0.01: Bagpipes Rick? Bit Brigadoon is it not.

0.04: “Old Edinboro’s main drag”. Edinburgh Rick. Not Edinboro.

0.06: “Nicknamed the Royal Mile”. The Royal Mile is not nicknamed The Royal Mile Rick: it is in fact called The Royal Mile.

0.14: “This colourful jumble is the tourist’s Edinburgh”. It is only the tourist’s part of Edinburgh because people like you say it is in your guidebooks.

0.20: ” A dense tangle of old buildings, fun museums and cultural cliches on sale”. What are the real cultural clichés Rick? The stuff on display in these shops or the people who come back year after year and pay money for the stuff?

0.25: “Edinburgh was a wonder in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries”. Edinburgh was fine in the seventeenth century I suppose – if you could cope with the smell – but  it is usually just the 18th century that people describe as the city’s Golden Age.

0.29: “It was famed for its skyscrapers”. Skyscrapers? No Rick, just no.

0.42: “It is said they knew each other not by how they looked but by how they smelled.” Really Rick, think about what you are actually saying here. They weren’t dogs.

0.43: not a great piece of music really is it now Rick?

1.03: “The buildings were narrow and tall, crammed shoulder to shoulder with little courtyards … these closes were connected to the main drag by skinny lanes.” The closes were usually named after a memorable occupant of one of the nearby apartments, or by the occupations of those that traded therein. Generically they are termed closes, although individually they may be named entries, courts and wynds – all of which are Scots terms for an alley. A “wynd” was one wide enough to take a cart, a “close” was too narrow for a cart. Most slope steeply down from the Royal Mile. Many have steps and form huge flights of stairs. To be a true “close” it requires to be built on both sides, giving a canyon-like atmosphere. I lifted this from Wikipedia Rick. You didn’t even bother to do that did you?

1.09: “400 years ago Edinburgh was nicknamed ‘Auld Reekie'”. Auld Reekie: good research there.

1.26: “For several centuries Scotland was ruled from London”. For many people it still feels like Scotland is ruled from London. Because it is Rick. There is rather a crucial difference between devolution and independence.

1.56: Triumphant music commences. We look at various shots of The Scottish Parliament for forty seconds. Thanks for visiting.

I’m only joking Rick. Don’t take it personally. Thanks for visiting and come back again soon old boy.