Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Day Playing Tourist in Edinburgh, Scotland. One of the most Interesting and Beautiful Cities in the World!

 Dear Family & Friends,

Today was a great day... Notice the photos, blue sky and no rain!! YEAH...:-)
We spent the day playing tourists in the city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a very old city with a lot of history and it is a beautiful city too! 
First we walked up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle and spent half they day viewing the castle. The Royal Mile used to be a street where the Royals presented themselves to the locals, but today it is full of shops, restaurants, and pub.  In the afternoon we took a 1 1/2 hour bus tour ride of the city. I know this sounds corny but these tour bus rides have excellent guides and you actually learn a lot.
While Edinburgh is very old and the buildings date back from hundreds of years to thousands of years it is a living city. Full of energy and excitement and every old building is put to use, not just a display or museum. There is also a great selection of street entertainers doing all sorts of acts..
The castle was amazing. So much history. We actually stood in the same rooms that Mary, Queen of Scots lived in.. You don't do that every day. We saw the Royal jewels but were not allowed to photograph them. 
We also viewed the "Stone of Destiny".. This stone has been used in the coronations of Scottish and English Kings for over 1000 years... Funny how superstition and symbols grow. "The Stone of Destiny" sounds impressive but just looks like a large garden rock....very unimpressive looking compared to its title.
The castle is full of war memorials. I did not realize what a big military history Scotland has.. I guess you have to build these glorifying memorials to motivate the next generation to volunteer for the next war.... sad.
Tomorrow we ride south to the city of York which is also a very historical city so I am looking forward to it.
I can't believe we are heading home in two weeks!! This trip has gone by so fast..
I also learned something new today,,, "Tatties" are Scottish slang for potatoes... 
Now this is something you don't see every day... A Bag Pipe Factory, all done by hand..

Castle Edinburgh

An Old but very vibrant city.

Long before Beverly Hills had Melrose Place Edinburgh had Melrose Close..

The home of Adam Smith and many other greats..

Edinburgh city hall.

On the main tourist road called The Royal Mile every other shop sells kilts and plaids. Who buys it all? Also kind of funny that most of these shop were maned by Pakastanis and Indians, not native Scots...

We just missed the last public execution...

Duane finally found someone he could talk to..

This used to be a large church. Now it is a cafe and event hall. Even though it is a very old city, it is still a living and lively place..

More castle views.

This knight statue looked just like the night from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade.

This was the original Royal Flush.... where the castle sewage left. You did not want to be standing there when that was flushed...

One of the very welcoming gates..

Manning the guns!

I wish I could dress like this...

Scotland has a long military history. I am afraid I could have never served with no rhythm or dancing ability..

Alcohol has been a long time curse to humanity..

This was an impressive room where the royals used to meet. Photos below.

This room and the following are the actual rooms where Mary, Queen of Scotts actually lived! What history here.

Note the sophisticated aiming system, a wedge of wood..

This tiny chapel is the oldest standing building in Edinburgh.

This tower is where the royals keep their sweaters... ;)

Lots of street entertainers.

A rather clever Invisible Man street entertainer.

How could it be Scotland without Bag Pipes?

An actual running 2CV.

Duane enjoying shopping for some good Cuban cigars..

They are not suttble about smoking being bad for you..

This pigeon has no respect for this literary giant!

Not something you see every day... a street harp player.

OK this is not even a translation problem, just rude... :)

OK here is another bit of James Bond trivia. In the original book series about Bond he was kicked out of Eaton school for bad behavior so he went to Fettes School in Edinburgh !

The birth place of Sir Arthor Conan Doyle the writer of some of  my favorite stories growing up... Sherlock Holmes.

The current Royal Palace where the Queen stays when she visits Scotland.



1 comment:

  1. Did you go to the Elephant house? its a restaurant where jk rowling wrote harry potter!!


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