Thursday, September 15, 2011

{Flashback}: Day 3

There were really only two things on our must-do list for Edinburgh; Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. So, we just took the bus and dropped ourselves off at the city centre. No set plans, no real agenda. (Which is not like us.) How did we know where to start? We followed the sound of bagpipes of course!

Listening to bagpipes play authentic Scottish music was so neat. As I was taking pictures of the bagpiper the girls just stood there listening totally mesmerized. We gave Natalie some money to throw in his box, which she did willing, but she was so shy that she slowly approached the box and then quickly threw it in, missing the box actually, and then ran back to us. haha

This old man was really nice. I never asked to take a picture with him but he totally offered. Sure, why not? And like I mentioned before, he played "Wheels on the bus" on his bagpipes for the girls as we sang along a bit. He works hard for the money! ha.

We knew the direction of the Edinburgh Castle (obviously not hard to miss) and as we walked toward it we walked through a small garden area and saw the Scott Monument, which was right behind the old man bagpiper.

Continuing our walk we got a good glimpse of Waverley Bridge between Old Town and New Town...

a bottom view looking up at the castle above (top right corner),...

a cute glimpse of some quaint Scottish homes,...

and lastly at the end of this steep climb, the entrance of Edinburgh Castle.

It was not one of my favourite castles, but it did offer a beautiful view of this part of Scotland and the Firth-of-Forth.

And what's a proper castle without cannons, statues, and guard booths?

After lunch inside the castle walls we walked down the famous Royal Mile where there were loads of stores selling kilts and cashmere. It was a fun little atmosphere and funny to see really nice stores selling really nice expensive kilts. I can't imagine grown men shopping for skirts. :)

Along the Royal Mile we saw St. Giles Cathedral and the statue of Duke Buccleuch.

We took a quick detour from the mile to take a picture of where Harry Potter began.

I totally walked in just so I can say I was inside the very cafe J.K. Rowling started it all. Don't you wish Hogwarts was real?? Seriously! Such amazing books! Love them.

At the end of the mile we saw the Palace of Holyroodhouse. We didn't go inside, but we enjoyed it from afar.

We then looped around and did a lot more walking back to the city centre. We took it easy so Natalie could continue her nap in the buggy and so Marisa could stop and smell the flowers, literally. We stop many, many times during our long walks on all of our holidays because of her. She is pretty pokey. But isn't this what life is all about? Stopping to smell the roses? Taking it easy and enjoying life's little moments? Thanks Marisa for the constant reminder.

You can see so much during a simple walk in Scotland. We even saw many people trekking along toward the edge of Arthur's Seat. I'm sure the view is incredible at the top.

Aside from the stark Medieval architecture we also saw a huge Greek architecture influence.

I don't know all the history details, but Tim says that Edinburgh is considered to be the "Athens of the North".  I didn't take a picture of it but we also saw the National Monument which was intended to be a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, but only the west side was completed before funds ran out leading it to be known as "Scotland's Shame".

Right at the top of the road we took another steep walk up Calton Hill where we saw the famous Dugald Stewart Monument. This is where we plopped ourselves near the edge and ate grapes while overlooking the city again. It was such a quiet atmosphere and the view was so lovely.

Once Natalie woke up we walked some more to see the The Balmoral Hotel, which is where J.K. Rowling finished the 7th book of Harry Potter. Wikipedia wrote, "Rowling left a signed statement written on a marble of bust of Hermes in her room saying; 'JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007.'" I wonder how much that room costs now!

At this point is was nearing dinner time and we had seen everything we really needed to see. BUT, we can't leave Scotland without eating Haggis!

Tim ordered it for his meal and I just tried a couple of bites. I'll let you click on the link to see what it is. I shouldn't have read what it is before hand because I wanted to barf at the sound of it, but I have to try it. I'm in Scotland! It wasn't bad at all. I had chicken pie though for my meal which was yummy in my tummy on this cold day in Edinburgh.


Kari said...

Now I know what to get Tim for Christmas! A kilt.

Sara said...

I'm glad the bagpiper didn't even stop playing his pipes to take a picture with you guys. He is ALL business.


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