Days  1 - 2
Days  3 - 5
Days  6 - 8
Days   9 - 11
Days 12-13





Days 3 - 5: Edinburgh

The first "trip within a trip."  Both the train-ride and the city were interesting.  Again we found an Indian Restaurant and Pub to have dinner.  In the Pub we learned to be very careful about making comments on the Football (Soccer) game projected on the large screen TV.  Lauren whispered to me several times to "root for the red team."  At least in this pub, the home team was indeed the HOME TEAM as the opponents turned out to be from Glasgow.

We traveled to Edinburgh by train - which was a five hour adventure in itself.  The scenery was breathtaking as the countryside changed from the Midlands to the English, then Scottish coast.

In Edinburgh, we stayed at the Elmview Bed & Breakfast.  We found Edinburgh very old - mostly 16th and 17th Century.  Continuing our quest to be tourists, we toured the city via a commercial tour.  It was fun to have a speaker explain the buildings and some of the history. Below are some of the highlights - for more information about each building or view, please right-click and look at properties for the title of the picture. Of particular interest to Lauren was the hospital

One of the three great attractions in Edinburgh was Holyrood Abbey.  Started in the 13th Century, it was expanded and renovated continually throughout the early 18th Century.  It caught fire and the roof collapsed in the 1760s.  However, people continued to use it as a burial ground till the middle of the 19th Century.  We found the atmosphere from the missing roof to be a bit eerie which added to the gothic nature of the buildings.   Holyrood Palace, next door, was actually the guest house for the Abbey till taken over by James V - father of Mary Queen of Scots who was mother to James VI of Scotland and James I of England (got that?).  He made it into a royal residence which it remains today - however Edward VII was the last monarch to actually STAY there.  Inside one sees the place where Mary Queen of Scots slept, where her Italian "Secretary" was murdered (complete with blood stain) and a lot of hunting trophies.  The mountain in the view is Arthur's Seat - part of the Royal Hunting Park attached to the palace.

But, the biggest attraction was Edinburgh Castle.  A real, fighting, besieged, commanding Castle. Edinburgh Castle is a real castle - one which was not for show but has a long and scarred battle history. It is literally built on a huge rock mountain jutting out of the city.  Started in the early 12th Century, it was expanded and re-engineered during each epoch in Scottish - British History.  It was besieged and captured by the English, later by Scots loyal to the Old Pretender and taken, later still by supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie who were not successful, and was considered a military necessity till the middle of the 19th Century.  In it are housed the Scottish Crown Jewel, the home of the 1st Regiment of Foot (the Royal Scots) the 2nd North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) and the Scottish War Memorial. 

The Scottish War Memorial was very impressive.  Flags and the Rolls of every Scottish Regiment that fought in WWI, the name of every Scot who died in whatever branch of service (there were memorials to them all - from Royal Flying Corps to the Nurses Volunteer Service and the Dog Handlers - and a wonderfully ornate urn where the ashes of an unknown are kept.

By Day 5 we were ready for the train trip home.






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