Day Fourteen - Linlithgow Palace

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At the Dryburgh Arms in St. Boswell's we had a relaxed Sunday breakfast. One of the Scottish women who we had seen a few times before, and who served today's breakfast, came around towards the end of our meal, and sat & talked with us for an hour. 

She has a degree in Hospitality, and somehow had traveled an amazing amount, in the current year. It was true that one or two key women were running the entire business here, including tending the pub. They never asked for payment until we were about to leave.  I'm really glad we booked this out of the way  place.      

Edinburgh was an hour's drive to the northwest and we headed further west, arriving at Linlithgow, around noon. We checked in for 3rd floor rooms at the Star & Garter Hotel, unfortunately without a lift.  Once we settled in, the rooms seemed comfortable & modern.   

The Hotel is in the center of this small town and next door is a ScotRail station. Across the street is a shopping area with a Tesco grocery, and, two competing coffee shops, located next door to each other. 

In the afternoon we walked through town to see Linlithgow Palace. St. Michael's Kirk is the first building you come to, once inside the Palace gate.  

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

we were here for three nights ScotRail station to the left The Four Marys, restaurant, see note near Linlithgow Palace
  uphill to the  main sights St. Michael's Anglican Church Kirk yard  
terrific ceilings, continued fresh flowers the altar    
expressive stained glass windows history of head ministers      

note - the Four Marys name refers to four women named Marie who were the longtime handmaidens of Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), and who accompanied her upon her return to Scotland, from Paris, where she briefly resumed her role as Queen.   

Once at the Palace, there was a strong & at times cold wind blowing through the skeletal five-floor structure, with most of the 700 windows missing. 

Linlithgow is one of only four Royal Palaces in England; the others being Holyrood, Falklands, and Dumferline.

  Palace court yard w/ James V fountain  close up of the  sculpture a windswept Great Hall
  huge fireplace   interiors
  2nd floor passageway old circular stairs apartment dwellers in a Royal Palace  
  fierce wind at the top of the Palace a good day for sailing on the Loch  
the northeast 'turnpike', by James VI   Loch again Palace, Church & town

This elevated lochside location was the site of a Royal residence as early as the 1100s.  King David I (1124-53) was the first Scottish monarch to build a residence here, and he also founded the town of Linlithgow. After a fire in 1424, James I (ruled from 1406-37) began rebuilding.  Between 1424 and 1625 Scottish Kings James I, III, IV, V, and VI each added successive rooms, stairs, and layers.  (from the official brochure)

We had dinner that night at the Star & Garter, once again we were the only overnight guests. The staff seemed glad to have us there. The young woman who got us checked in said that the people who work here are very friendly, which turned out to be true.     

Downtown Linlithgow - Having stayed in very quiet places in the country for the last 13 nights, here we were, at the center of a small country town, with a traffic light outside !   

On the street side, R & L were exposed to low-key traffic noise, which became louder upon opening a window for air.  Our room at the rear of the building faced the ScotRail station, maybe 100 feet away.  Electric trains arrive & departing quietly, but the station itself hummed like a transformer.  Fortunately for all of us, the street & train sounds diminished around 11 pm. 

On the second and third night there, such noises were barely noticeable, so we adapt quickly, it seems.     

One thing we could not adapt to was a bright green LED light emanating from an emergency exit beacon located on the ceiling, just above the entry door. It was amazingly bright, an effective sleep deterrent.  

Over breakfast the next day we laughed when we compared notes on how quickly each of us had brought out tape or band aids to cover the dang thing, and you had to drag a chair over in order to stand on it to place bandages.  

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