Friday, October 30, 2009

Vacation Part III - Edinburgh

I am going to post of our trip to Edinburgh and then I will have to post of a few things going on around here before I post about Inverness and St. Andrews.

Our newest granddaughter (and her family) are coming to visit us this afternoon and staying for a couple of days so I will want to share pictures of her.

Getting back to the trip......... We left the southern coast of England and took a train to London. From there we connected to Euston station and caught a delightful train to Edinburgh. Their trains are nothing less than fabulous and, unlike our Am*trak trains in the U.S., generally run on time. We sat back with our tea and biscuits while we enjoyed the trip through the countryside and small villages as we headed North. Passing through Lockerbie, Scotland, I couldn't help but think of the impact that the plane falling from the sky in a rather small town must have had on the residents.

We arrived later in the afternoon and made our way to our hotel on High Street and in the area known as the Royal Mile. The streets are cobblestone and the town is charming. With several universities within the town itself we found that the streets were filled with young folks out and about enjoying themselves for it was a school holiday weekend.

The castle was lit and the night air was refreshing as we walked about.

We were told that this was the "shortcut" to High Street. I thought the first flight (that is visible) was the end, but, no, there was yet another flight that is invisible. I must admit to being a little winded when we got to the top and the theme of Roc*ky was playing in my head.

This is the John Knox house which was located across and down a few buildings from our hotel.

A view of High Street which is the main street with Holyrood Palace on one end of the street and the Edinburgh Castle on the opposite end.

I wonder what one would find in here. Hmmmmm.

Out of order photo which is within the castle grounds.

A great view of the city of Edinburgh.

The colors of the trees was just spectacular although the camera did not pick it up. The days were very cloudy with threatening rain each day.

The city is very hilly so one gets wonderful exercise when you go out and walk.

This is from the castle grounds and is a view looking down on Edinburgh. We found that Edinburgh was in a transition of trying to be very modern and yet being burdened with so much history. The newer buildings are very modern in design and almost look like they simply do not belong.

The Edinburgh Castle. It was a very cold and windy day when we visited it. I had always thought that the coldest I had ever been was the first trip we made to Edinburgh - also at the castle. I am not sure that this one did not compare to that visit quite evenly. It was nice to grab a currant scone and hot tea in the tea room within the castle grounds.

Forever will the pets lie in rest at the pet cemetery - a true tribute to their love of their animals.

This is Mons Meg, a cannon capable of firing gunstones two miles. Built in 1449, it is believed to have been a gift to James II. It saw action only once against the English at Norham Castle. It was also fired in 1558 to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin.

This cannon is fired daily at 1 p.m. and is heard throughout the town. It has been fired each day at this time since the 1800s and is a delight to all visitors and townsfolks.

What was once the largest public open space in Edinburgh is now know as the Grassmaket. It was here where the public executions took place and people came to participate in the events. The area is now marked with a floral arrangement.

This is the whole area and one can only imagine what it must have looked like when it was filled with spectators.

An appropriate pub for the Grassmarket area - The Last Drop - and painted in red.

Another one located within the Grassmarket was Maggie Dick*sons Pub. Maggie was a gal who was sentenced to hang for concealing a pregnancy. She was sentenced and the hanging carried out. Her body was placed in the coffin and sent home with her family for burial. Upon arriving at home, the family heard noises coming from the coffin. Upon opening it they found Maggie quite alive. Nothing more could be done to her since she had already been charged, convicted and the sentence carried out. Maggie went on to live into her 60s.

The contrast of the new and the old trying to each find their space within the city.

The area know as "the hub" on High Street.

The White Hart in is another very old pub. In 1128, the Scottish King, David I, against the advice of his priest set out on a hunting trip on the Feast Day of the Holy Rood. He came upon a huge white stag that immediately turned on him. David began to frantically pray to God and, as the story goes, a fiery cross appeared between the antlers of the stag before it vanished. He immediately built a shrine at the spot which was became the Holyrood Abby. The pub got its name from the story and the White Hart Inn which was built on the site in 1516. The Inn was kept busy during the periods of execution as well as visits from many guests including William Wordsworth, Robert Burns and the notorious Edinburgh "bodysnatchers" William Burke and William Hare. In 1828 Burke and Hare spent their time enticing fellow patrons back to their homes only to be killed and their bodies sold to Dr. Knox at the Edinburgh Medical School.

After about a nice pulled pork sandwich for lunch?

We also visited the Royal Yacht Britannia. It was just gorgeous and I will only post a few of the photos from the inside. It is now retired, but still quite spectacular. This is the bedroom where Diana and Charles stayed on their honeymoon. The Queen and Prince Phillip each had their own rooms as well - one very masculine in decor and the other very feminine.

This is the formal dining room. It must have been quite the sight to see this table filled with people.

The drawing room.......a large Grand piano sits in one corner and this is where the family retired to in the evenings for board games and conversation.


Dawn said...

What a wonderful trip you had. The train ride sounds so much fun. The contrast between old and new is stark - I like the old better!

My cousin was supposed to be on the Lockerbie flight, but changed it to the next time. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I heard that.

Can't wait to see the new grandgirl's pictures!

blushing rose said...

Love Scotland, the peole were wonderful. The countryside & cities were so inviting, the Highlands were breathtaking .. enjoyed the trains immensely. Loved the slow country trains but the 'bullet' was quite an experience, also.

Glad you had such a grand time, also.

Please visit our DOUBLE GIVEAWAY! & Happy November! TTFN ~Marydon

G'G'ma said...

Enjoyed your trip photos. I'm sure you have wonderful memories that will last a long time.

Looking forward to a picture of that baby in your arms!!

Pat said...

I am still enjoying your travelogue...but I will gladly have it interrupted to see photos of your newest grandchild!!!

Obe's said...

What a trip !!
I am green with envy!!

jacquie said...

thanks so much for sharing this...i want to go even more now!!

lindsey said...

Your trip to the UK looks amazing. I have never been to Edinburgh although I have been to Scotland a number of times. My husband was at Bible College in the New Forest so we lived nearby and often walked through parts of the forest...beautiful. Thanks for the great photo's

Dorine said...

What a wonderfull trip you made in Scotland.
I never been there.
My sister lives in Ireland an that seems similar as I see in your pictures of Scotland.
It is wunderfall such old cities and buildings.
I live in a city that is just 30 yaers old and on land that is just50 years dry.
SO all new.
greetings Dorine

Maria said...

thank you for the trip through Scotland especially Edinburgh. I love reading yur stories.It is like I am there (well almost).

Can't wait to see the photos of the new baby.

em's scrapbag said...

As if walking up all those stairs for your short cut was not enough of a workout you got to walk the lovely hilly streets. Did it give your gluts a work out? Thanks for sharing all the pics. I like the witchery.

Midlife Mom said...

You took some really fabulous pictures! Just beautiful! Next time you go I want to go too! I don't know about those stairs though, I probably wouldn't make it to the top.....

Can't wait to see the pictures of the grandbaby!!!! Does this make 20 or 21?

Going to the stable tomorrow morning to see the boys and to ride. I have stopped by twice since Saturday but not long enough to ride as we were headed up north both days. I am adjusting to them being there but don't like it much. Oh well, I wouldn't like shoveling stalls in -20* either now would I? lol!

Looking forward to the rest of your pictures! Love to you and E!!!

Kerri said...

Oh what a wonderful trip you had!
The train travel sounds like a very relaxing way to go.
Those old historic buildings are spectacular. Edinburgh, with so much history, must be a fascinating place. I'd love to go there. Those cold winds blow right through you, don't they? You need lots of layers to rug up against them.
Looking forward to seeing pictures of that new little cutie pie :)

palmtreefanatic said...

oooohlala! I love the pics!
I feel like I was there!
I think you had a fabulous trip!

I am not feeling so hot hopefully a bad cold, but its in my chest!UGH!

Can't wait to see your new granbaby!

boysmum2 said...

was last in Edinburgh 8 years ago when we took a trip to the UK for 6 weeks. It was an awesome city and I loved being there. Would really like to go back and spend more time. I loved the Brittania and would happily check it out again.

nancygrayce said...

Oh, what a wonderful trip!! I love the old buildings....and the history!

The Penny-Pinching Mama said...

Lovely photos. My mother is originally from England (London, Broadstairs, Kent)and I'd love to visit one day. :)

PEA said...

It's always been a dream of mine to visit Scotland and Ireland and you've just shown me why:-) I absolutely love all the history behind all the castles and other buildings. The cobblestone streets are so lovely as well...oooh how I enjoyed every picture!! I would be in my glory there for sure. That was such a fascinating story about Maggie Dickson. Can you imagine having actually survived a hanging!!

It must have also been thrilling to visit the royal yatch...such opulance!! Must be nice to be born to royalty! lol

I thoroughly enjoyed this part of your trip as well...looking forward to more:-) xoxo

Barbara said...

Nice to see Edinburgh again through your eyes.

So nice to read that our trains impressed you and that they were on time.

I am jealous that you got to visit the Royal Yaght? Sp! I have a book on it with lots of history and pictures but I have nto been to Edinburgh since it was laid to rest there.

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

funny how no one is on that "shortcut" of steps. haha