Sunday, 11 September 2011

Day 5 - Saturday, September 3, 2011

To Edinburgh - Holyroodhouse Palace, Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Princes Street

We got to sleep in a bit as we were leaving for Edinburgh at 9:30 to arrive at Holyroodhouse Palace at 10:30am. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of The Queen (ERII) when she is in Edinburgh.David, our cranky, kilted guide, greeted us and herded us to the front entrance. We got a tour around the second floor which is where state dinners occur. The Royal Family actually lives on the third floor when they are in residence. There are several impressive rooms, many with huge paintings and portraits.

We then rode over to Edinburgh Castle. The first thing we visited was the War Memorial. It reminded me very much of our Peace Tower where the Books of Remembrance are displayed.
However, I felt the Ottawa memorial conveyed a much more reverential tone - probably because the number of people admitted at any one time is limited (due to the narrow elevator that transports people to that area of the Peace Tower). At E’burgh Castle people can just walk in and out of a couple of doors.

We then went into the castle and saw the Scottish Crown Jewels and sceptre. We weren't permitted to take any photos inside the Castle.There were other rooms to explore as well. We then went over to St. Margaret’s Chapel which was closed as a wedding was about to take place.Here is part of the wedding party...
and, of course, the piper.
Nearby is the Dog Cemetery. It was so crowded, I didn't get a good picture, however, when editing the photos I did get of the city below, I noticed I got a shot of a wee bit of the pet cemetery. On close inspection, I noted the names of the honourable dogs: Don, Major, Jess and Scamp. I couldn't read the names on the three right-hand headstones.
The Castle is a wonderful place to get a view of the city and Princes Street. The covered canons (below) are prepared for the finale of the Edinburgh Festival that was going to take place that night. The other silver, cylindrical things are fireworks ready for ignition.
I was intrigued by this stately, sooty, spired, intricate monument over to the east. I later learned it is the monument to Sir Walter Scott. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world.
After our tour, we walked along the Royal Mile
and stopped in at the Jolly Judge for lunch. Marion and Cindy had the ploughman’s lunch and I had a delicious toasted ham and cheese sandwich and a pint of lager and lime.
These bagpiping buskers are located every couple of blocks.
We then walked down to Princes Street and split up to do our individual shopping. On our way down, we spotted the The Writers' Museum with the entrance off an alleyway.We walked past the Scottish National Gallery.On Princes Street, I bought some post cards, a book of embroidery stitches and some microfibre plaid tights.

We met the bus again at 4:30 at St. Andrew's Park for the ride back to Peebles.
Once there, Marion and I headed across the street to The Crown Hotel to use their wifi. Here we're calling Elaine via Skype. We still marvel at the ability to make a TransAtlantic call using my iPod Touch and a $2.99 Skype to phone plan.

Dinner was at 7. Laurie had a couple of fibrey friends she knew from the internet come to the hotel with some of their roving, top and handspun. I bought some lovely BFL hand dyed laceweight from Gilleoin Finlay-Coull and 100g each of Roundesay and Shetland top.

Marion and I went to bed at about 10:30 so we’d get lots of sleep before our early wake-up so we could get on the road to Harrogate by 7.


  1. Such an amazing trip!
    Love the beautiful pictures.

  2. Don't you luv Edinburgh. I found it to be very Goth looking. Did you manage a visit to Mary King's Close? Ultra spooky place!
    I do hopeedism I get to return someday :-)