Edinburgh: 5: Checkmat

We arrived early for our Mercat tour, and so spent an hour or so watching street performers before meeting up with Lizzie, our guide. We spent around an hour or so hearing stories as we wandered around the new town. Lizzie was an amazing storyteller and so captivating, me and Amy decided we wanted to be storytellers just like her!

After our tour of the town we descended into the underground vaults. This was the part of the tour I was most excited for, but the part Amy most dreaded. As soon as we got into the vaults the air changed. It became drier and hotter and I could see Amy was struggling. She gave me a look, and I knew she needed to get out.

“Do you need to get out?” I asked her.

“I don’t want to ask.” she replied. Quickly, I ran to the front, got Lizzie’s attention and Amy was led back upstairs. I knew logically Amy would be fine, but I worried for my friend.


The underground vaults were as scary and creepy as I hoped they would be but I think the atmosphere was heightened by my worry for Amy. While I didn’t feel any ghostly activity, the vaults did really affect my throat, which of course I did nothing about.

After coming out of the vaults, I was reunited with Amy, and we settled in for a storytelling session. Relieved, as Amy looked a lot better, we were given drinks and listened as Lizzie told us some more ghost stories about the beings that haunted the city. I tried Scottish whisky for the first time and Amy laughed. The face I must have pulled! Whisky aside, the stories were great and we ended the tour both having enjoyed it.


We were so tired by the time we got back to the train but we were still hyper from the adrenaline and sugar. As we waited for the train to leave we saw Amy had messages from our friend Lewis. Lewis had gone to Orkney and had been home a couple of days, having decided not to continue to Edinburgh.

“Did you know Lewis decided to take a dead crab home?” Amy asked me.


“Yeah, he found this dead crab, washed it and decided to take it home with him. Now he’s complaining because it smells and his mum is making him wash it again.” I decided to cause mischief, messaging him ‘Getting the train home, must remember to wash my crab when I get back’. He was confused.

‘Is this a joke, did Amy ask this of you?’ For some reason I couldn’t stop.

“No, I just picked up a dead crab

‘okk? someone been drinking?’
‘I just went into a seafood restaurant and I don’t know what happened’
‘so you have been drinking? or you killed a fish?’
‘Not a fish, a crab’
‘methinks someone didnt go into a seafood restaurant’
‘Methinks I maybe killed a fish’
‘i doubt that’
‘It’s true. I’m really tough’
‘You’re drunk. I’m so tough


I live in south London, bruv’
The conversation escalated and Amy and I couldn’t stop laughing as we sent conflicting messages. Finally the conversation started to come to a close.
‘drunk people claim to go places they havent and to have killed fish
boom checkmat
“Amy,” I gasped, trying to stop laughing. “Checkmat.” This typo was simultaneously the most nonsensical and hilarious thing we’d ever heard.

Lewis will forever be Checkmat.


A guard entered the train and suddenly we were running to get on a different train on a different platform. I wasn’t even sure why. By the time we got on the new train and got home it was after midnight, and we were exhausted.

Scottish Foods tasted: 0
Tours Taken: 1
Museums Visited: 2
Shows seen: 2
Miles walked: 7.69

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