Friday, October 9, 2015

Our England Journey: Last Stop, Edinburgh

I had a cousin who lived in Edinburgh for a year while we've been in the Netherlands, and we never managed to visit while she was there.  Once we arrived, we quickly realized that our not visiting sooner was probably a big mistake, because Edinburgh seems like one of those cities that would be a very different experience with a local guide.  Full of tourists, it's also full of little alleyways and little shops and cafes.  And there was definitely too much to see for our brief 2 days.

For much of our first day we simply wandered the streets of Old Town and the 'Royal Mile', the name given to the main stretch of the city.

St. Giles Cathedral:

 And a random parade:

We didn't go in to Edinburgh Castle, but it's not hard to find as it's built on a really big hill.  Below it's framed by two of Edinburgh's art museums.

On the second day, Dan and I split up.  I visited Holyrood Palace, where Mary Queen of Scots resided after returning from France.  No photos of the inside, but you can enjoy the outside.

The Palace is adjacent to Holyrood Abbey, which was initially built in the 12th century, partially destroyed during the Reformation, rebuilt but poorly, and is now really beautiful ruins. Yep, that's definitely the short version.

While I was exploring the Palace and Abbey, Dan was off hiking Arthur's Seat, which is the large hill at the other end of town from the one Edinburgh Castle sits on.  You can see part of it in the background of the photo below.

And a full view of it in this photo, which was taken from the top of another hill (which I did manage to climb!)

Each city we visited on our trip was amazing.  Almost three months later I still can't decide which I liked best.  But I know I want to return to, and explore a lot more of, Scotland.  Bath was iconic, Canterbury absolutely stunning, but the vibe in Edinburgh (and even Fort William) felt like 'us' somehow and I really want to return someday.  I guess I had better start planning Our Scotland Journey.

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