July 25, 2005

Lisa: UK trip, day 11

On Tuesday, we got up and enjoyed the "breakfast" part of "bed and breakfast" (finally!) and took the city bus up to the top of the Royal Mile so we could be at Edinburgh Castle when it opened. At the castle, we saw the Scottish crown jewels, the royal apartments, St. Mary's chapel,

(the altar inside St. Mary's)

and the War Museum, which was very cool.

(outside of the war memorial)

We had some lunch at the castle's café before setting off down the Royal Mile.

(You can see these statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace as you leave the castle. Those people are totally not with us.)

Views of the city from the castle:

Blake was a very good sport on Tuesday, as the Royal Mile mostly means shopping! We found lambswool scarves in the Smith and Anderson tartans for our dads for Father's Day, and got a few things for ourselves too. Most importantly, Blake got a kilt and a Scotch thistle kilt pin!

(Deacon Brodie's tavern)

We did also stop at St. Giles Cathedral

(stained glass in St. Giles Cathedral)

(St. Giles' organ pipes)

and a museum covering the history of children's toys. When we got down to the bottom of the Royal Mile, to our dismay we found that Holyrood House was closed because the royals were in residence!

(outside Holyrood House)

(the new Parliament building across the street)

Instead of spending time there, we walked up to Canongate Church and checked out the little cemetery behind it,

and then trekked over to the Princes Street Gardens. I decided to climb to the top of the monument to Sir Walter Scott,

which meant climbing over 275 steps up a narrow and quite claustrophobic spiral staircase--

(There I am at the top! That's as far as Molly could zoom in.)

but the views of Edinburgh from the top were amazing!

(Waverly Station)

(toward the Royal Mile)

(overlooking the National Gallery)

(over Princes Street and New Town)

We walked back across Waverly Bridge to have dinner at an Italian restaurant on the Royal Mile, and then headed up to Warriston Close to the office of our ghost tour: The Real Mary King's Close. They took us down into the close, which had been built over with the new parliament building in the 1800s. The guides were in character, and they had some little scenes set up down there. It was a bit campy and cheesy, but it was also really interesting to see how closely together (and in what filth) the people of Edinburgh lived at that time.

After our tour, we headed back to our room to relax and read for a while before turning in for the night.


Posted by lisa at July 25, 2005 09:52 AM
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