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My European Magical Tour – Week 6: Edinburgh

Back in July I started my six week magical tour across seven European countries. My goal was to use magic as way of meeting as many interesting people as I can, explore every city that I visit, and to help cover expenses.

If you missed my previous blogs of my first five weeks in Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and London, be sure to check those out too.

After I finished my week in London, I hopped on the train towards my final European destination, the Festival Fringe of Edinburgh.

On my way there, I passed through a small town in England called Darlington. This is where my father was born. I never stepped out of the train, but at least I got to pass through some family history.

I was arriving in Edinburgh just in time for the Fringe Festival, which is the largest arts festival in the world. Artists from all around the world travel to this event, making for over 10,000 shows in just 30 days! I was excited to both perform and to watch other performances.

I didn’t take long to meet other magicians in this city. Every morning, all the performers put their names in a hat before the organizers draw the names one by one as each pitch gets booked. There were many more performers than pitches, you were lucky if you got more than two slots per day, within the fringe.

Because of this, many of my performances took place just outside the fringe boundaries. I noticed there were almost just as many people, and I did not have to pack up my show after just 30 minutes to allow for the next scheduled performance.

It was overwhelming to see how many performances were happening. I think just about every venue/bar/pub was taking part in the festival and had nonstop shows all month. I checked out a couple of shows in these venues, but completely forgot to take pictures.

I did, however, get some good shots of other street performers. This juggler was incredible.

Saturday night rolled around and I decided that this was a good night to go out for a few drinks and meet some people. I randomly bumped into two interesting people by the names of Natalie and Jamie, halfway up a massive set of stairs. Jamie could not stop making me laugh. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Scottish accent so thick, I thought he was talking German at first. I told them I was looking for a good bar to meet people, and they were kind enough to take me along with them.

They took me to a bar called Glided Balloon. From what I understand, it was a university building, converted into a huge bar. It had the layout of a university with a historic feel, with bars in almost every room.

Jamie and Natalie introduced me to other friends just before I showed them some magic on the patio. I don’t think I paid for a single drink that night. I was very grateful to meet them and hope to see them again one day. Natalie was kind enough to meet me the following day and record one of my sets on my last day there. This was the only picture I got of us that evening.

On my final day in Edinburgh, I decided to do some siteseeing. I checked out the Edinburgh Castle and walked the Royal Mile.

That led me to the Edinburgh hills which all looked too tempting to climb. The highest point looked to be a peak called Arthur's Seat. It was about a 45 minute hike and had an amazing view of the entire town of Edinburgh.

At the top of Arthur’s Seat, there was a bagpiper, piping his heart out. I had seen many bagpipers in Edinburgh, but this guy was my favourite. Truly Scottish!

The rest of the week was spent performing as much as possible to help cover expenses. I truly had an amazing 6 weeks that flew by too quickly. As much as I was looking forward to flying back home to Ottawa, I was still sad that my adventure was over. Something tells me that there will be more traveling adventures very soon!

Thanks for reading!


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