And then it was New Year’s Eve. The year went so fast! But what an amazing year! During 2017 I finished my Grand Adventure, travelling in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan and China, got home on a container ship from China, found my new home in Edinburgh, traveled some more in Scotland, finished the first draft on book one of my to-be cozy travel mystery series, and half of book two. And along the way I launched my new author website, and explored my new fascinating home town. The year culminated in a very lovely Christmas spent with my mother and now New Year with a dear friend. What more could a girl hope for?
But enough waffle, how was the New Year? The day after the Torchlight Procession we made our way to town again, this time for the grand Street Party. I had booked our tickets in advance again, and from what I hear it was pretty fully booked. It seemed like it. There were just so many people! Estimates run in the 80.000 to 90.000 range, and at times the crush of the masses was just too much. But that was mainly in front of the (far too few) bars and pop up food stalls alongside Princes Street. And not a trash container in sight. Apart from that it was well organized. The street party ran the whole length of Princes Street, with a few meters blocked off in a continuous strip just near the shop windows, both to keep them from breaking, I assume, and to provide a corridor for the police and any emergency use that might be needed.
There were three stages scattered around the blocked off area, and huge screens showing speeches and additional shows. I hadn’t read the details very closely it seems as we would have needed additional tickets to go into Princes Street Gardens to actually see the shows. Our tickets only got us as far as Princes Street, for the street party. So we missed Human League and Ed Sheeran, but we didn’t mind as we had a grand time as it was. We made it to the party just before 9 pm to catch the first of the mini fireworks shows after which we wandered around. We found a good spot toward the west end of Princes Street, overlooking the castle, to watch the 10 pm and 11 pm shows, as well as the grand midnight fireworks. At some point we braved the crowds to get something to eat and drink, but later it got too busy for my friend to manage to get another beer. I was well stocked in water and a whiskey I had brought from home. Yes indeed! You were allowed to bring your own alcohol, as long as it was in plastic bottles. The bags were checked at the entrance gateways.
The final fireworks were brilliant, and the party really only really got started after that. The final hour of the street party was one mass of people rocking to the music played over the loudspeakers. We danced our way to the east end of Princes Street and made our way to one of the free night buses running to take weary party goers back home. Just as we were approaching the bus stop, it started to drizzle. But imagine: until then, and all through the previous night’s torchlight march, we had lovely clear skies. What great luck!
The next day we ventured back into town and just like magic the city was mostly back to normal. The only visible sign of the party were the pink entrance gates across the streets leading to Princes Street, a few piled up metal fences, and a tiny amount of litter still being swept away. All in all, I would say very well done, Edinburgh!