Pub Crawlin’ Nerd Style

Posted: March 3, 2009 by Jessie Assimon in Uncategorized
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What do you do when you want to go a pub-crawl, are exhausted from climbing up two mountains and have frequently been labelled a nerd? Well, you go on a literary pub-crawl, of course.

The Pear Tree, Robert Burns's former crib and a stop on the Literary Pub Crawl

The Pear Tree, Robert Burns's former crib and a stop on the Literary Pub Crawl

Five of my friends and I were in Edinburgh, Scotland on Saturday, February 21. A friend of a friend suggested we go on a literary pub-crawl, so we did.

Not knowing what to expect, we met Allan Foster, our guide and author of The Literary Traveller in Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour. He said he would take us to all the best literary spots in Edinburgh.

However, all of the sites we visited are unmarked and the average book lover would never know the literary secrets of the locations, luckily for us, Allan knew them like the back of his hand.

The group of 12 (we weren’t the only losers) followed Allan to our first pub, The Royal Oak. According to him, Rebus hangs out here! Rebus? You ask. We did too. Apparently Rebus is the main character in Scotland’s most popular crime fiction series by author Ian Rankin. If we were Scottish, I’m sure the pub would’ve been a bit more exciting.

As we crawled to the next pub Allan took us to the University of Edinburgh campus a.k.a. the creepiest campus in the world. Edinburgh is a dark, eerie city and the stories he told us inspired some of the most twisted books (and all the Rebus books).

He showed us where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle attended school and took classes by the professor who inspired the character we all know and love. Sherlock Homes.

See those buffet specials? J.K. Rowling used to write behind that window when it was known as Nicholson's Cafe.

See those buffet specials? J.K. Rowling used to write behind that window when it was known as Nicholson's Cafe.

We saw the real café turned Chinese Buffet where J.K. Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the pub turned Italian restaurant that Sir Walter Scott frequented.

The second pub we crawled to, The Peartree, was actually Robert Burns’ (celebrated Scottish poet) house back in the day, but according to Allan, no one in the bar knew that.

The tour kind of dragged after that stop and we all just wanted to go to sleep. However, we loved Allan so much we all bought one of his £3 Cds “Stories and Songs from Edinburgh’s Literary Pub Crawl.” Oh, we also bought Rebus books too.

-Jessie Assimon

Comments
  1. Katie says:

    Jealous. Did you get any pics of fabulous Allan?

    …This is what I do when other Jerks are partying at a launch party. I dote on the blog, alone in my London apartment. Sigh.

  2. […] No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I first heard about the series during a literary pub crawl in Edinburg, Scotland. Our guide took us to the office of the publisher on the University of Edinburgh campus who […]

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