Adventures in Edinburgh
Trip Start Jul 20, 2014
16Trip End Aug 05, 2014
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As we passed the street our hotel is on we went by the Tron Kirk (church) which was built for the Presbyterians in 1630 when they left St. Giles Cathedral when it came under the Archbishop of Edinburgh's control. They have concerts in that church now. The Mercat Cross was our next stop where we ran into Charlie and Karen again. This is the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie was proclaimed king in 1745. St. Giles Cathedral was right next door so we toured it also. It had some beautiful stained glass windows and the Thistle Chapel which was small but full of heraldry. On the way up Castle Hill we saw the de-consecrated Tollbooth Kirk which is now used as the headquarters for the Edinburgh Festival which starts next week. That is the festival where the Tattoo takes place, a three week long competition for military bands from all over the world. We also saw and heard a bagpiper on the way up Castle Hill. When we got to the castle we walked into the parade grounds where the Tattoo takes place and saw the Front of the Castle.
Then we headed back down Castle Hill to George IV Bridge Street
We got on our tour bus and headed for Edinburgh Castle. Our guide was Yves (eves) and she was a terrific older woman who really knows Edinburgh. We approached the castle from a direction that allowed us to see the basalt rock it is built upon, We went into the castle through the portcullis (drop down gate) and Yves told us the history of it being built. We walked right to the top passing the Esplanade, the Argyle Battery, the Governor's House, St. Margaret's Chapel, to the Crown Courtyard at the top. On one side of the courtyard was the Palace in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James the VI and in which the Crown of Scotland and the Stone of Scone are displayed. The Stone of Scone was sat upon at their coronations by the kings and queens of England for 700 years even though it was originally for the Scottish kings. It was finally returned to Scotland in 1996. On another side of the courtyard was the Great Hall which was the meeting place of the Scottish Parliament until 1639. On a third side was a war memorial for all the men and women who have died in war beginning with WWI. It was neat because they had the names of all the dead in books you could look through. We didn't get to go into St. Margaret's Chapel because there was a wedding there today
We drove around Edinburgh and saw Princes Street, The Scott Memorial, Charlotte Square, St. Andrew's Square, Regent's Park and many other sites. Our next destination was Holyrood Palace which is where the queen and the royals stay when they are in Scotland. We parked just outside the palace but walked less than a block from the Palace to see the current Scottish Parliament which is in a very contemporary building. We were there only long enough to see the debating chamber. Then we went to the palace and toured it. Yves told us all kinds of stories. Holyrood means Holy Cross which King David I is said to have seen between the antlers of a stay he was hunting there in 1128. We saw many rooms and exhibits including the Throne Room and Royal Dining Room, the Long Gallery, We saw the room where Lord Darnley, the jealous husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, killed her secretary, David Rizzo. We also saw the ruin of the Abbey next to the palace. Now it was time to head back to the hotel.
There were eight of us who went out to supper together at the World's End Pub. Three more of us also ended up being there and we had a great time. Larry had Venison Sausages and Mashed Potatoes. For beer he had a Belhaven Black Scottish Stout and a Belhaven IPA. I had Balmoral Chicken (stuffed with Haggis), mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. We stopped at a shop on our way back but Larry and I didn't get anything. Then we came back to the hotel to blog and go to bed.