Edinburgh - CastleJanuary 6 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C
Blue skies again in Edinburgh. Walked to the Royal Yacht Britannia and had a lovely couple of hours wandering around the ship. The ship was decommissioned in 1997, after 43 years service. It was nice to see the less formal furnishings on the ship. The Royal family definitely must have relaxed aboard the ship as seen in the many family photos displayed. After having luncheon in the tea room we went by bus to the city to take some time out walking around the gardens.
We walked through Princes Street Gardens then went over Dean Bridge hoping to walk along the Leith River or Dean Gardens. There was no access to these parks or Queens Park unless you lived in the catchment area and paid £115 a year for a key to unlock the gates.Read more
A bit of a late start to the day, I was trying to work out where to go next as I want to spend more time in Scotland.
I had intended to visit the castle first but the bus I got on was going in the wrong direction so I went to the Dynamic Earth instead.
This is an amazing place, a museum I suppose. It looks at the geology of the earth and makes it very interesting.
I started by going back in time with their time machine and then gradually came back to the present day though a series of rooms and experiences. The temperature of the room varied according to the theme of the room. I got to experience an "earthquake", I didn't realise the ground shook from side to side rather than up and down although if I'd ever given it much thought.
If you are in Edinburgh I recommend you visit!
I then made my way to the castle. The area outside the castle is very interesting. I detoured to see one of the buildings restored to the Georgian era.
It was nice to see a more or less complete castle instead of a ruin! There was so much to see and I'm sure I missed bits.
In the "time machine" at Dynamic Earth
Saber tooth tiger
Owl on the Royal mile
Stained glass window in St Margaret's Chapel
Bloke playing bagpipes on the Royal mileRead more
Today, we conquered Edinburgh Castle, from the inside this time. Our local guide, Rita, had many fascinating stories, such as describing how the Scottish Crown Jewels were buried in a cellar under the tower to hide them from Hitler, should he invade. We walked the streets of the Old Town, where the buildings might have eight floors, with the poor people in the bottom, wealthy above, but all sharing the same entrance door.Read more
After sleeping for 11 hours, we got up and made breakfast and got out the door around 9 to make our way up the Royal Mile (a rather kitchy, but essential part of any Edinburgh visit). It's the original high street with lots of old buildings and closes and cobblestone streets. It starts with the Edinburgh Castle on top overlooking the city all the way down to Holyrood Palace where the royals stay when in town (and the queen and Her Majesty's hubby were in residence- so we couldn't tour it). We arrived at the castle with our pre-bought tickets (the line was insane- internet people!) and walked straight through. The castle has been built on for centuries starting as a fort in the first century and slowly built on with a great hall and an 18th century residence and other museums and such. It was a really interesting place with a great military museum and a rich history. Eventually we had enough of that and found our way to The Elephant House cafe where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series. I was expecting a bunch of nerdy Harry Potter fans, but I think everyone was trying to be like me and pretend you didn't know where you were. We had a nice coffee and salted caramel brownie in the back room where she wrote her books with a great view of the castle (no doubt Hogwarts inspiration). After that we walked about the royal mile, chatted with shop owners, and found side streets to get lost in. We eventually made it to the new Scottish Parliment Building that's quite possibly the ugliest building I've ever seen (it cost 450 million pounds to build- 400 over budget and may be torn down soon because it's too expensive to maintain apparently) and then across the street to Holyrood Palace to catch a little glimpse at the gate. We walked to our flat for a rest and then walked some more down Queens Street (a major shopping area) around the back of the castle to The Beehive Inn for some pub grub. After walking so much is was perfect to sit in an authentic pub with rowdy people yelling at Wimbledon and eat a Steak and Ale Pie with mash. The side rooms with their deep tweed chairs and fireplaces was just the right vibe. We meandered back down the windy hilly streets back to our flat to make a decaf and eat some coconut ice cream with the BBC news before we hit the sack.Read more
Spectacular is a bit of an understatement for this fabulous event. Now in its 68th year, we joined 8000 people to watch more than 1200 pipe and drum band members, dancers and musicians from around the globe strut their stuff on the Edinburgh Castle esplanade. By comparison, the first Tattoo attracted a total 6000 spectators. It had poured during the day and we'd half expected the performance to be cancelled. Amazingly the skies cleared and the moon shone through. In fact not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled! The castle walls provided the perfect backdrop for the amazing projections that added to the splendour of the performances. A truly magical experience.Read more
Made it to the castle. It was a wet but sunny day and lots of tourists. Pretty amazing site which they have dated back to 600 AD or so. The earliest parts of the castle date from the 1100's with much of it having been restored several times through the centuries after being destroyed.
Scottish coat of arms, interesting statues in front of the war memorial. No photos allowed in the memorial. It contains sections and books which list all the Scotts who were lost in battle. A nice memorial and remembrance for the Scottish people. https://www.snwm.org/
I'm happy I made the journey to Scotland. There was much to see and much history to learn. I just touched the tip of the iceberg. Once I finished at the castle I road a couple of the tour buses just to see more of the town and hear the history. Pretty interesting and something for others to explore. Once I was done it was off to the guest house to retrieve my bags then off to the airport for my journey to London and then flying back home to Seattle on Monday. It has been a fun experience and I hope that someday I can journey here again to explore further.Read more
We have always wanted to watch the Tattoo after watching it on TV for years and years (usually around Christmas time) so when we were planning this trip we booked our tickets about 8 months ago. To make it a little special we thought we would splurge a little and have the Amber package which included a 4 course meal plus good seats to watch the Tattoo. However, when Brad booked it with the travel agent he did not realise there was the standard Amber package and there was the super duper Amber package which had all this plus a souvenir plus wine, plus whisky, plus a seat in the Royal box for the best views for the performance (...plus extra $). Anyway, what was done, was done, and I must say it was worth every cent.
So we had to get dressed in our glad rags because we were sitting in the Royal box and you never know who we might be sitting next to. (Actually, Prince William and Kate were in Edinburgh the previous day and guests at the place we were staying at saw them in town). The meal we had was excellent and we were then escorted to our seats where we were even provided with a blanket. The weather was fine which was a bonus because it has been raining a lot this summer.
The performance itself was excellent, the precision marching, drummers and bagpipes, Highland dancers plus special performances from India and Japan and representations of all the Scottish Clans and a reenactment of the Jacobite Rebellion . The time went so quickly that we were sorry it was over. I'm sure the photos do not do it justice. I would certainly recommend this to anyone.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburg-kasteel, Edinburq qalası, Единбургски замък, Kastell Dinedin, Castell dEdimburg, Edinburský hrad, Castell Caeredin, Castillo de Edimburgo, Edinburgheko gaztelua, Edinburghin linna, Château dÉdimbourg, Caisteal Dhún Éideann, Caisteal Dhùn Éideann, Castelo de Edimburgo, Edinburški zamak, טירת אדינבורו, Edinburgh-i vár, Istana Edinburgh, Castello di Edimburgo, エディンバラ城, 에든버러 성, Zamek w Edynburgu, Castelul Edinburgh, Эдинбургский замок, Edinburški grad, Дворац Единбург, Boma la Edinburgh, Edinburgh Kalesi, Единбурзький замок, Lâu đài Edinburgh, 爱丁堡城堡