United Kingdom

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434 travelers at this place

  • Jun22


    June 22, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    I have arrived safely in Edinburgh via Glasgow. I had a three and a half hour lay over in Iceland. Iceland Air is pretty good for short layovers. The majority of the people left on outward bound flights after an hour. The airport went from being supper busy to ghost like. I nodded off for a few minutes. After two hours it became frantic again. I took the 500 bus in from the airport and I was befriended by an elderly couple who turned out to be a retired Presbyterian minister and his wife from the outer Hebrides. They insisted on helping me find the 900 bus to Edinburgh. God was looking out for me I guess. My Air BnB was only a short walk from the bus station located in New town. The Air BNB is wonderful. It is on a quiet side street . It is a one bedroom apartment with a fully stocked kitchen and a very comfortable bed. I fell asleep at 9 and woke up at 8. I did a self guided walking tour through New town last night also known as the Zombie walk as I was quite tired from the trip.

    Today I did a bicycle tour of part of Edinburgh led by a restaurant owner. I met him at his restaurant the Smoke Shack and we peddled for about 12 miles including making it down to Lith on the North Sea. It was a little light on the history but lots of interesting information about running a small business in Edinburgh. I was the only one on the tour. I had contacted him in advance to see if he would run a tour on Sunday and he had generously agreed to. I think he was bored of running the restaurant. He had run various bars and nightclubs so he had lots of stories to tell. He also ran two air BNB properties in Edinburgh and one in Austria. His restaurant was 1 block from where I was staying so it couldn't be more convenient. After the ride I had a cup of tea with him before he had to dash off to his next business venture.

    In the afternoon I headed off to the national gallery beside Waverly station. It was a small gallery but hit pretty high with some notable pieces. When I visit galleries I try to concentrate on their notable works first and if I have the time and energy I will go back and look at the other paintings. They had a number of renaissance paintings by Botticelli and Raphael. There was a self portrait by Rembrandt. I guess he painted about 150 so what's a gallery without a Rembrandt. Of their impressionist paintings, the most famous was probably Sargent's Lady Agnew of Lochnaw. A very striking portrait. The very knowledgeable and engaging docent explained that the reason it is so striking is that her head is painted with total realism but the rest of the painting is smudged or indistinct.

    I had thought that the gallery would have taken a little longer but it didn't so I headed off to the queen's palace in Edinburgh known as Holyrood palace. It is at the far end of Royal Palace opposite to Edinburgh castle. I was fortunate to have headed off today as the queen herself is showing up tomorrow for the Royal week including the Royal garden party. The queen and members of the Royal family meet important Scottish people at the garden party. The palace was built on the site of a Abbey where Scottish royalty had been living in off and on from the 11 century. The present castle had been built in the 16 and 17 century. There was an excellent audio tour. Notable occupants of the castle included Mary Queen of Scots and for a short period Bonnie Prince Charles. After the tour you were allowed to walk on one path through the garden but you had to stay off the grass. I wondered whether I could see the current Prince Charles off in the garden weeding. Prince Charles prides himself on being a master gardener but has come under criticism as supposedly he doesn't like to get his hands dirty or actually do any of the work . His expertise lies in organising the gardeners. I wanted to ask him how he kept the weeds and grass out of his Thyme walkway. Alas as I wasn't allowed to walk on the grass to go and ask him I will never know.
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  • Jun26

    Something completely different

    June 26, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Today I was a little sad but also a little excited as I was leaving Edinburgh to take the train to Milngavie to start the West Highland Way. I really enjoyed my time in Edinburgh and probably could have spent a few more days here as there is just so much to see and do. It is always a good sign when you leave a place with a little regret. I still had a morning though before I had leave. My good colleague, a professed Scotsman, Dr Ross McLean had recommended a visit to Surgeon's Hall. Surgeon's Hall is a museum dedicated to the History of Medicine in UK. The museum took one through the early days of medicine starting in about 1600. We have certainly come a long way since the time of blood letting. I don't think the early physicians could offer much. I think they filled much of their time doing anatomy prosecutions some of which were preserved by paint and lacquer. Major breakthroughs were anaesthesia and sterile technique. During the Napoleonic wars approximately 90 per cent of people having surgery died of infection and sepsis. The museum also included a pathology museum which was a real treat. Surgical specimens and individual diseased organs from autopsies were preserved in square glass containers immersed in formaldehyde as teaching examples for students. They were an excellent means for teaching but very labor and time intensive to maintain. The formaldehyde had to be changed regularly. The specimens were also collected before the days of consent which has always cast some legal/moral issues on maintaining them. There was an excellent collection in Regina when I was there but the director was never sure what he should do with it and didn't have the resources to maintain it. I wonder if is still there. If a surgical pathologist can't enjoy a pathology museum, I don't know who can. Lots of specimens of very advanced tumors that we don't see anymore. Lots of advanced infection and rare infections that we wouldn't see with the advent of antibiotics. We truly live in a gifted time. There were also lots of specimens we still commonly see. Sorry no photos of the museum. It' against the UK tissue act and probably in bad taste. After a fun morning of death and disease I headed over to the John Lewis department store close to my BNB for a hardy lunch. John Lewis was a department store which had modern items but seemed a throwback to the 50s or 60s. I had bought an adaptor plug there the first day. They actually had sales people to wait on you and who seemed happy to help. The store offered pretty well everything and was actually busy. They even had a restaurant on the top floor offering hardy meals. I had a delightful Sri Lankan curry for lunch and enjoyed a wonderful view of downtown Edinburgh. It was surreal. After lunch I retrieved my luggage and heade off to Milngavie on the train for my next adventure. After checking into my BNB I headed to the start of the WHW for some photos and to check out the start.Read more

  • Jun24

    JK Rowling, Scottish Museum, Royal Mile

    June 24, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    I have had a very two busy days. Monday they were calling for rain. In fact they had severe weather warnings in effect so I thought that I should stay inside. The Royal Scottish museum seemed to fit the bill. It was about a 20 minute walk from my place. It was misting and very foggy. Any views of Edinburgh were totally obscured. The Royal Scottish museum was absolutely huge. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband had helped raise money in 1880 to build the building. Inside it was made of metal with sky light roofing. It was supposed to look like the Crystal Palace in London. I took two guided tours and hardly scratched the surface. I learned all about Scotland dating back to the pre Roman Scoti and Picti tribes, the effect of the Roman occupation on Scotland, the Norse who controlled northwestern Scotland after the Romans left, the Normans, Robert the Bruce, the Stewart dynasty and Mary Queen of Scots and the Jacobites. I have always had troubles keeping track of the English monarchy but it gets even more complicated when they started marrying each other and killing each other. Other curios included Dolly the cloned sheep, Ghanian coffins, Scottish camels and the millennium clock. By about 2 I had to flee the museum as I was just getting everything muddled up. I realized that I was in Blackfriars which is where JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame would hang when she was writing. Also home to Blackfriars Bobby the dog. Some of the character's from HP names are drawn from names on the graves in Kirkyard cemetary. Herriot school a prestigious private school is located beside the cemetery and was the inspiration for Hogwarts. Although I never was that into the series, my kids and one of my close colleagues loved the story so I felt compelled to go. Lots of tours being led by witch-like people wearing black and wearing capes. Elephant Cafe where she wrote some of the books was absolutely packed. I still had some energy left so I thought I would check out the entrance to Edinburgh castle for Tuesday and the Royal Mile which connects Edinburgh castle to Holyrood Palace. The RM especially around the castle was just crawling with people. I learned today when I visited the Edinburgh castle that in August it gets even busier. This time of year there are 6 thousand guests at the castle daily but during the Festival it hits 20000. They told me that there isn't even space to move. After checking out the castle entrance. The RM consisted of kilt shops, tweed shops, whiskey shops, gift shops, Harry Potter shops which seemed to just repeat themselves for th Royal Mile. After walking about half of the mile I had had enough and headed off to my Air BnB to call it a very full day.Read more

  • Jun25

    Edinburgh Castle

    June 25, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Today was the day to visit Edinburgh castle. It had been recommended to get an early start so I purchased my entrance ticket for 9 :30. When I arrived at the entrance at 9:15 there was already a very long line. They let everyone into the grounds in front of the castle where the Edinburgh tattoo is held. It was large enough to hold us but the space was surprisingly small for hosting such a large event. At 9:30 they let us into the castle. I had signed up for the audio tour which lead one throughout the castle describing events from Scottish history. Stories of Scots fighting Scotts and the English. For much of the history the castle had been occupied by the English. The Scottish had always been smart enough to find the hidden pathway up to the castle where it was easy to scale the walls and overcome the English. One thinks that the English would have caught onto this trick. How many hidden pathways could there have been. After it wasn't required as a fort it became a garrison for Scottish regiments and at times a prison for enemy soldiers. There was a nice exhibit of what the prisons had been like during the American revolution. The audio tour made it sound quite rosy and fun. The French soldiers had been able to counterfeit Scottish bank notes by making stamps from bones and dyes from plants and animals. It seemed quite incredulous but they showed examples of forged notes and the stamps they had made. I couldn't tell the difference. It is incredible what one can accomplish when on has alot of time on one's hands I think that during the Victorian era the castle had been extensively improved and remodelled so one really doesn't know how similar the building is today to when the Scots were fighting over it. At the citadel a war memorial to those who fell during WWI had been built following the war. Scotland lost 148000 soldiers during WWI. One could walk through the building and see the Coat of Arms of the various regiments with the battles they had been involved in. It was very touching. The Canadians of the Black Watch were mentioned with the the Scottish Black Watch. There were also three or four regimental museums at the castle and a museum of war. Some of these regiments were 400 years old so they had a lot of history. There was a lot of interesting stuff. They had the original paintings depicting the Thin Red Line and the Defense of the Hougemont gate at the battle of Waterloo. I am worried that my wife Cheryl who is coming to Edinburgh in August with Madeline and who has a penchant for Military museums will never be able to leave the castle. Reading all the exhibits would take days. I lasted at the castle for about 4.5 hours but there is only so much fighting, killing an maiming one can handle in a day so I left for some culture at the National Portrait Gallery.Read more

  • Day2

    Parlament square

    June 2, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 16 °C

    The building is no Parlament anymore. It's no Supreme Court

    Kirk pillars inside are build in 11th
    John nots changed to protestants and changed education reform. Over 50% alphabets in 15th.
    John is barred under the parking lot, because he dedicated his life to the St Giles' Cathedral

    The statue is not clear, it says Charles the 2. But he didn't look like this
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  • Day2

    Writers museums

    June 2, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Back in time it was he home of the 17th Kim Kardashian

    "9 inch could please a lady" was written in this building

    Dr Jackle and mister hide was inspired by Edinburgh and William Brody a clever thieve and womanizer. Killed by the mashine he has invented.Read more

  • Day9


    May 19, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    Aangezien we bijna bij de finish locatie zijn, kunnen we vandaag wederom rustig aan doen, en nog veel belangrijker morgenvroeg uitslapen! 🎉😁

  • Day1

    Very Scottish

    August 5, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Wir sind (nach viel Kuddelmuddel) angekommen. Jetzt müssen wir nur noch etwas zu essen jagen. - Aegon

  • Day9


    May 19, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Even de toerist uitgehangen. Een voordeel van niet mee kunnen doen aan de rally is dat we wat meer tijd hebben voor zulke dingen.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Edinburgh, EDH, Dùn Èideann

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