Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Windy, WIndy City

We got up early, after our late night, checked our luggage at the train station, and headed to Edinburgh Castle.  We love castles, so we could not leave Edinburgh without touring one of them! When we got inside, we headed straight for one of the free tour guides and followed along.  Hair blowing every which way, we managed to see and learn all about the beautiful protected castle on the top on the hill.

Edinburgh Castle was the most protected fortress back in the day.  Since it was up on a hill, there was only one entrance where others could enter.  However, this entrance had 6 gates and a moat that one would have to get through.  When the kings and queens wanted to be protected, they went to this castle, when they wanted to live and get away from the terrible wind, they went down the Royal Mile and hill and stayed at the Holyrodhouse Palace.  That is where the Queen stays now when she visits Scotland.

After touring Edinburgh Castle and seeing Scotland's Crown Jewels, we headed back down the hill and decided to go to "The Mussel Inn' for lunch.  I have been craving mussels all summer, and one of the people we met at our hotel mentioned to go eat here.  It was a perfect decision, as it was delicious! And now, I am probably craving them even more! There was a festival going on while we walked around, so we were able to walk around to bag pipes, and lots of music and people! It was a great touch!

After eating, we went back up to the Royal Mile, walked around in and out of a few shops, and managed to work our way down to see Holyrodhouse Palace.  By the time we got there, we had to turn around and start heading back to the train station to get our luggage, and jump on the bus to the airport.

Although we were only in Scotland a short while, we LOVED it! The people were incredibly friendly, the food was great (even though I guess we did not get any 'real' Scottish food while we were there because all of the locals said that Scottish food is gross and fried), the castles were beautiful, the city was beautiful, it was just overall wonderful! I would definitely love to make the trip back to Scotland and tour more of the area, and maybe add Ireland on the way!

 Pretty views on our way up to the Royal Mile

 In front of the Olympic Rings

 Pretty views
 In the distance, we could see the water
 Overlooking the city
 Very old church in the middle of the city
 Braveheart looking guy
 Edinburgh Castle
 Coat of Arms
 Windy hair in front of one of the statues entering the castle
 Walking up the hill inside the castle to the top
 Pretty Royal war memorial building
 back of the building
 The place where the crown jewels were held
 Another coat of arms
 Overlooking the city

 The city of Edinburgh
 T in front of one of the many cannons...Queen Victoria had 'fake' cannons moved to the top of the castle because she thought that it did not look like a castle without cannons
 A view behind the castle.  This is an Olympic Venue for some event, and the beautiful scenery in the background
 Flying away in the wind
 Inside the state apartments
 Inside the prison 

 T loved these hats, so I had to get a picture!
 At the 'Mussel Inn"....delicious Mussels
 Toasting to a wonderful vacation with great friends!
 Bagpipe in the city!
 Edinburgh Castle
 Holyrodhouse Palace
 The view around the Palace... at the top it is called King Arthur's chair. You can hike to the top and the views are supposed to be beautiful... we did not have enough time.
 Holyrodhouse Palace
 In front of the Palace... I have officially seen all of the Palaces in Great Britain!

This was the Scottish house of Parliament... strange and unique building

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