From York on to Edinburgh. We arrived by train and were assured by a gentleman who looked like he should know that he could direct us to our hotel. "It's only a 5-10 minute walk," he said. Uh-huh. It was farther and there was a more direct route we found later. AND later I was in trouble for mentioning that the Scots told some whoppers. Well, okay- I was a little more direct than that.
We got to Edinburgh on August Bank Holiday as the Fringe started. It was a pretty busy place for two old prairie dwellers. I felt like I was up and down the Royal Mile more often the Queen in our three days. I have always said that I loved Edinburgh Castle because it fits my idea of what a castle should look like. It turns out I liked Holyroodhouse Palace a lot more. It's the Queen's official residence when she's in Edinburgh and you can see it the picture above as viewed from the path up to Arthur's Seat. As fitting, it is quite grand and ancient (the rugs are even a little threadbare in one of the dining rooms.) The ruins of Holyrood Abbey are awe-inspiring and I say it knowing how over-used the words awe and awesome are. Holyrood Abbey is old and no longer functioning except as a site for tourists. The grounds of the palace are pretty nice, too.
This is Arthur's Seat which you can climb right to the top of. Bernie and I didn't but we did do a good 3/4 of it which isn't shown. It was really a break after the crowds on the Royal Mile and in the city generally. The weather was perfect ( a little warm for Bernie because she had a sleeved top.) We took our time climbing and stopped at one point to rest beneath a cliff on the rocks. There are spectacular views of Edinburgh in one direction and the Salisbury Crags in another. Paths criss-cross the area but it seems fairly natural.
Arthur's seat and adjoining hills are old volcanic vents and the Salisbury Crags are part of the same formation. You can tell that they are ancient because they are fairly rounded and not sharp and steep like the Rockies. Legend suggests that Arthurs' Seat may have been the site of Camelot of Knights of the Round Table Fame. However, there are many similarly named formations in Britain.
We could walk around to the left of the picture and back to Holyroodhouse palace. Our hotel wan's far from the palace.
We did go to see Edinburgh Castle and booking our tickets on-line was a good idea. It saved us a big line-up the morning we went. Unfortunately it didn't save us from the crowds of like-minded tourists gawking and we eventually gave up and left.
Not before the cannon was set off at noon, though. Bernie and I didn't realize that this was a regular thing and joined the crowd near the cannon without knowing why. The blast was loud and there was a lot of smoke. Bernie tapped a lady on the shoulder just as the cannon exploded and her jumping pretty much spoiled the woman's chance of taking a good picture.
Next- Cardiff....why?? People kept asking.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.