Edinburgh

We traveled from Glasgow to Edinburgh this morning, escaping the light rain showers that started about the time we left. Our ScotRail train was a short 49 minute ride. We didn’t have time to eat breakfast before we left Glasgow this morning and we left from the Queens Street station (rather than Central) , which is under construction (so no food there). We found the usual selections in the Edinburgh Waverley station, so we ate there before venturing out to find our hotel.

Fortunately, though overcast, it’s not raining (yet). Our hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the station if you take the right exit (we did).

So far, like Glasgow, there seem to be a lot of Victorian era buildings. The first picture below is taken from Princes Street looking toward the old town and Edinburgh Castle. Though it’s on a steep hill, It looks to be a massive/solid wall of such architecture, with the Edinburgh castle on the far right end. The spire you see is St Giles Cathedral (see below).

Not unexpectedly, at 11:30am, our room is not ready so we’ll leave our bags and go out exploring. The desk will call me when the room is ready.

All of the pubs are decorated with an explosion of flowers.

We reversed course, walking back past the train station to the massive monument to Sir Walter Scott that sits facing Princes Street. The monument could certainly use a cleaning, but doesn’t look much different than when I was here 33 years ago. The Garden at Princes Street is still green, with the hydrangeas blooming,

as we walk towards the Scottish National Gallery. There’s a brief rain shower, enough to get you wet if you don’t take shelter, hard to find out here, but we found a large tree to stay somewhat dry. We ducked into the cafe at the Gallery to have a snack while the drizzle abated. The Princes Street Gardens, which serve to separate the old town on the hill above (where the Castle is located), from the new part of town, was created when the existing Nor Loch (Nor = “north” loch =” Lake”) was drained. No “witch ducking” going on today. 😉 Nor Loch was more of a marsh than a lake, but was used to improve defenses of the city on that side by flooding the loch.

We wanted to head up to the Royal Mile, a pedestrian shopping area which is up behind the buildings in the first picture above. Being on the steep hill, it’s easier to walk up the street that winds up than going up at a steep angle on the steps.

Based on the conversations I’ve overheard, this ought to be one crowded school. Some Scots have quite an accent.

Walking down the Royal Mile, we come upon St Giles Cathedral. St Giles is a significant church in Scottish religious history and was founded in 1124.

Ahead of us is Edinburgh Castle. It’s too late to plan to go in today as they’re closing in a couple of hours, but we’ll wander around in the courtyard in front, where they’ve started taking down the massive scaffolds for the seating for the Tattoo.

I received a call earlier that our room was ready, so we spent some time perusing the many shops along the Royal Mile on the way back to the hotel. If you need a tartan or clan scarf, there’s likely a shop along here that has it, though sadly not that of my wife’s ancestral family. My own Scottish ancestors were too poor to be part of a clan.

In our travels, we’ve seen many street musicians. Unique to Scotland and playing something other than Scotland the Brave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s