Friday, June 26, 2009
Charming, Historic Edinburgh
6-8. Monday morning & we awake in Edinburgh after being here 1.5 days. It is quite an interesting city – more London feeling than I remember London. Rows and rows of tall, old, tan colored buildings that have blackened with age, all with majestic roofs and a truly historical feel. We climbed to Arthur’s Seat – quite a climb for an old lady with 4 layers on carrying camera and pocketbook filled with an extra lens. I am feeling the aches today. But what a glorious 360-degree view we were met with on top!!! Awesome is putting it mildly.
When we finally got down, we walked through a pretty park at the base of the giant volcanic cliffs and spotted the beginning of a heart walk. Andy wanted a Heart Healthy Scotland t-shirt so we walked over and had a talk with several local ladies. One old woman was happy to tell us that where we now stood had been her backyard growing up and they had boat rides in the local loch and, as we stood beside Holyrood Palace, she claimed that they used to bring excess food to the gates and all would be delighted at the spoils.
Hollyrood Palace is a place the Queen still stays at when she is in Scotland. We toured the palace – ostentatious ceilings, beautiful tapestries, lots of giant portraits on wooden carved walls – then began our decent up the Royal Mile.
We stopped for a lovely break in Clarinda’s – named for the inspiration of a Robert Burns poem – a lovely tea shop, where I had a brie and cranberry toastie followed by an almond delight .. all with tea of course. Up the hill to oooh and ahh over the architecture and the many silly tourist shops. Stopped to buy Scottish souveniers for N&K, past St. Giles –a very Gothic Church. Mandy told us that they make decrees here (still do) and, many years ago, if someone was accused of robbery, he would have his ear nailed to a thing in the middle of the road and have to stay there for 24 hrs. He could pull away, leaving him with a permanent scar that all could see and know his crime.
Onto the castle. But it was getting late and we like to take our time inspecting, so we went across to check out the Camera Obscura. That was a lot of fun. So much so that we went back on Tuesday.