Friday, July 17, 2009

Edinburgh | UK Adventure Part IV

After we bid Martha and Ben goodbye in Durham, we boarded the train to Edinburgh--the capital city of Scotland. As a side note, if you haven't had a chance to read my previous posts, you can catch up by clicking the Travels link under categories.

One of the more distinctive attributes of Edinburgh is its clear delineation between the old town and the new town (wow, that was a lot of big words! See Momma? My college education wasn't for naught). Basically the old town converges around the Royal Mile, with Edinburgh Castle at the top and Holyrood Palace a the other end. As time went on, people built up instead of out, as the geography was limiting. What once were open allies became "closes"--enclosed passageways.

Eventually, though, there just wasn't enough building up they could do to meet demands. So, "New Town" was built and connected to the Old town by bridges and such. But enough with descriptions, let's see some photos!

This was our view flying in on the plane (when we first arrived). Taken with my point and shoot camera.

Our first night we met up with our good friends Ken and Bethany (who live here in Pittsburgh).

Unfortunately, the good weather ended, and this was just a sign of things to come.

Royal Bank of Scotland.

Yeah, I'm a professional.

Crossing from New Town to the Old Town.

New College.

Through a close.

The castle.

Every fall they have this show called the Military Tattoo. Looks like they were already setting up and practicing.

And what castle wouldn't be complete without naval guns that never fired from its walls?

Nothing like a man in a kilt to show you about.

I love the royal coat of arms--unicorns!

There were loads of tourists. Is that man wearing pajama bottoms?

Detail in the dining hall.

The roof was built by ship builders without the use of a single nail.

This was the best view I could get.

Ye Olde Prison.

Some American revolutionary soldiers were kept here. One left his mark on the door.

We lunched at Greyfriars Bobby's Bar. There's a great story about this dog who was so loyal to his policeman master that he slept on his grave for 12 years. He was Greyfriars Bobby's dog.

Then we explored Greyfriars, which is a church/cemetery.

Where we discovered lots of creepiness.

Then it was off to John Knox's church, the famous 16th century preacher.

We continued down the Royal Mile.

And happened upon a wedding. I had to snap a photo of the guest's garb. Sweet!

This hideous building is the parliament.

The palace was closed due to a royal visit.

In the afternoon, Jay, Ken, and I hiked up the crags on Arthur's Seat

This was definitely a high-light for me. It was beautiful!

It was a bit windy.

And then the fog really got thick.

There were lots of these slugs around.

We ended the night by grabbing some pub grub.

Stay tuned for our adventures as we head up the Scotland shoreline.

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