Day Fifteen - Edinburgh - the Castle & Holyrood House
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After a great breakfast at the Star & Garter, four of us walked from the Hotel in one minute to the ScotRail station, where we bought tickets from a live person, and climbed a flight of stairs to the train platform.
In the first photo you can see how close the Star & Garter is to the station. The two windows at the left is where our room was, and, you can also see a trace of the Kirk & the Palace at upper left.
|Star & Garter from ScotRail platform||Linlithgow station||local house seen from the platform|
Waverly Station, in the center of Edinburgh, is 25 minutes away. There's a surprising amount of open farmland between Linlithgow & Edinburgh, pleasant to see.
We walked and rode escalators up to Princes Street. A short distance north is where the immense Scott Monument is, Victorian architecture to the max for this National hero. Today it is often referred to as a "gothic rocket ship."
Then we migrated uphill in the general flow of tourists on foot, ascending The Mound & aspiring to see the Castle.
On the map look for the Castle, High Street, Palace of Holyrood, and Greyfriar's Kirk. High Street = the Royal Mile.
note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.
|Scott monument, near Waverly Station||sometimes called 'a Gothic rocket ship'||Sir Walter Scott & his favorite dog||a key part of Scottish history|
|The Mound||first view of Edinburgh Castle||Princes Street Gardens|
|expensive hotel close to the Castle||on the Royal Mile||impressive Edinburgh Castle|
|the Castle||looking south from Castle entry||the four of us|
|Portcullis||wide view of the City (looking east)||view of Calton Hill & beyond|
|only patch of green in the Castle||Docent for a 30 minute walking tour||oldest part of the Castle|
|Castle view looking north-east|
|autumn light||Arthur's Seat from Castle|
We were at Edinburgh Castle for about 90 minutes, soon enough back on the Royal Mile, heading downhill, taking a side trip to St. Giles Cathedral.
|the Royal Mile is always crowded near the Castle||St. Giles Cathedral||great interiors...|
|firebrand John Knox preached here||statue of Adam Smith|
|top of St. Giles||Royal Mile mid-afternoon, see note|
note - In Edinburgh, at almost 56 degrees north, mid-afternoon light looks more like evening light, as the last image shows.
HOLYROOD PALACE & ABBEY
Around two pm we arrived at the lower end of the Royal Mile, and toured Holyrood House & the adjacent Abbey and gardens. I've been here before and it's a stuffy old Palace. On the other hand, if you wish to learn about the history of British Royalty, you could easily spend one or more hours here.
As before, photos were not allowed, so I walked quickly through the rooms to get outside, where it was a sunny afternoon.
The old Abbey and gardens & grounds are worth seeing.
|Scotland's Parliament buildings||above is a steady grade going to Arthur's Seat||people at Arthur's Seat|
|old Abbey atmosphere||door w/ character|
|celestial light||palm tree in the center of this photo|
|beautiful park||popular at times||there are many ways to Arthur's Seat...||.|
Once we escaped from the spell of Holyrood, we hopped into a cab and 10 minutes later arrived at the Greyfriar's Bobby Pub & Nicholson Pie House, with one of the best menus in the City, where we had an uncrowded 4 pm dinner.
Next to the restaurant is the atmospheric Greyfriar's Kirk yard, which we strolled through, around sunset.
|next to the Greyfriar's Bobby Pub||the Kirk yard||family monuments against houses||fall light|
|Castle at upper left||someplace in Edinburgh near dusk|
We found some stairs that took us to the top of the Mound, steep in parts, and then we were on a familiar road downhill to Waverly Station, where we ran to catch the next train to Linlithgow. At dusk we were back at The Star & Garter Hotel.
Is was great to exit the train at Linlithgow, and be in our Hotel room, in less than two minutes. There's something magical or maybe old-fashioned about it.
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