After Edinburgh castle, we met Lisa’s friend, Emma, for tea. How very British. Emma was teaching in Moscow with Lisa, but was visiting her boyfriend in a small town just outside of Edinburgh. She and Lisa are on a beach in Spain right now! After tea, Emma joined us as we wandered down the Royal Mile. We stopped first at the Writer’s Museum, in the former home of Lady Stairs. They had lots of information on Scottish writers, especially Robbie Burns, and of course the obligatory circular staircase in the turret.
We saw St. Giles Church, a magnificent piece of architecture. (That’s Emma on the right.)
We saw an authentic Scottish piper in front of an authentic Scottish pub.
We also saw Greyfriar’s Bobby, a statue of a little dog who once belonged to a friar, and wouldn’t leave his master’s grave until the day he died. It was quite a touching story. The Greyfriar’s church and cemetery were wonderful, too. The guy Lisa is talking to is from Seattle, Washington, and could have been Evan Bennett’s twin.
This is a view down the street from the statue. It was so quaint and colorful.
We finally reached Holyrood palace, the Queen’s residence when she is in Edinburgh. It is open to the public – for a fee, of course! – but picture-taking is not allowed inside. The outside views were awesome, anyway.
This is Holyrood abbey, behind the palace. The architecture and contruction are amazing.
This view shows the outside of the abbey, with the Salisbury craigs in the background.
This view shows Arthur’s Seat (the flat hill), which you can climb if you want. We didn’t want. The tents were being set up for the Queen’s garden party the next day.
A year ago or so, an Andrew Fisher of Edinburgh contacted me via the internet regarding the family tree. It turns out we are related – third cousins once removed – and I emailed him about our trip to Scotland and we set up a time to meet. He picked Lisa and me up at our B&B, and gave us the most wonderful driving tour of the city, with lots of insight on the city based on his years of living there. First we stopped to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, from a parking lot at the dock!
This is Edinburgh’s “Old Town”, and we stopped and had a half-pint at “The Last Drop”. Cute name, until you learn it was because there used to be a hanging gallows just outside!
Andrew took us to a great look-out point near the observatory at the university. It was a bit of a climb, but most of it was by car. This is another view of the Salisbury craigs and Arthur’s Seat.
Then it was off to the west side of the city, and a spectacular view of the Forth Road bridge over the River Clyde. We had actually gone over this bridge on the bus tour to Loch Ness.
This is Andrew and me in front of the Forth rail bridge. Thanks, Andrew!
Tomorrow, Rosslyn Chapel. Stay tuned!