Hogmany and the last of Christmas

60,000 people landed on Edinburgh for the annual Hogmany (New Years) torchlight parade. This year it went straight down the Royal Mile ending at Holyrood Palace where people were qued into the shape of Scotland. You can see it HERE. I'll admit, Stan and I didn't make it this year as we prefer to sit in restaurants above the fray with a view as the parade goes by, and there aren't that many options on the east end of the Royal Mile. We also have the wonderful option of watching the fireworks show from our bay window in the flat - which we did. It was lovely!
     I did, however, make it to the Christmas Village (pre-New Year's Eve hoopla) with my friend Katie.
We met up with our friend Boris at a coffee house on George Street first. Boris is pursuing a PhD and asked our advice about putting together his proposal. Ironically, Katie was my mentor when I was in the exact same position two years ago - so it was nice to be able to pay the favor forward. By the time we finished, it was dark out and some of the New Years Eve entertainment was already getting rolling, so Katie and I decided to walk around and enjoy some of it.
Princes Street and several other main drags were closed off to traffic in expectation of the street party to come. But we got there before the main party started, so the Christmas Village was surprisingly not at all crowded.
We leisurely walked through enjoying the spinners...
the soldiers...
and the lovely lamps.
The line for mulled wine and spiced cider was shockingly short.
And we could actually get into the stands to try things on.
What a lovely way to experience the village that swells to a crowd of thousands during the height of the holiday season.
And what a lovely way to say good-bye to the crazy year that 2018 was as we set high hopes for a new year filled with peace, sanity, compassion, and joy. I wish you all of that in 2019!

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