DAY 8 Continued...
When I left off, we had boarded a 4:45p.m. bus from St. Andrews to Edinburgh. We arrived in Edinburgh, located and checked in to our hotel, the MacDonald Roxburghe around 7:00 p.m. This was definitely the largest and fanciest hotel we stayed in. It was in a great location, right on Charlotte Square in New Town. Our room was small but very nice.
For the ghost tour, we met at St. Giles Cathedral at 9:30 p.m. Our guide's name was Jared, and he was very theatrical! He wore a black cloak and took us around town telling us ghost stories and legends. It was pretty fun. We ended up in some "underground vaults" for more ghost stories by candlelight. It was a very fun introduction to Edinburgh!
DAY 9: Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We were so tired after all of our St. Andrews sight-seeing, so we did not get moving quite as early as we probably should have Wednesday morning. We stopped for a quick muffin and tea at Starbucks (served on a real plate, with a real mug! Crazy!), then walked through Princes Street Gardens, which were lovely. We saw the Ross Fountain, with Edinburgh Castle on the cliff behind it. So gorgeous. We also saw the floral clock - entirely made out of flowers!
VIDEO: Views from the castle. Also, do you hear the bagpipes? (They start part of the way through)
One thing we made sure to see was the One O'Clock Gun, which has fired every day at promptly 1:00p.m. since 1861. We did some other Castle sightseeing until 1:00, but made sure we made it back to the gun to see it go off.
VIDEO: The One O'Clock Gun going off-well, mostly-our cameraperson (who shall remain nameless) JUMPED when it went off! Funny!
Other notable things we saw include the Dog Cemetery, a burial place for officers' dogs:
We also explored Greyfriars Kirk and the surrounding graveyard itself, where both Auld Jock and Bobby are buried.
Despite the rain, we left Greyfriars and made our way down the Royal Mile, stopping for a couple quick pictures along the way.
Love this shot - the cool tavern, the Scot in the kilt drinking a beer in an alleyway, the whole thing. It's great!
We made our way towards the Palace of Holyrood, which is the Queen's residence when she comes to Scotland. We were able to tour the inside (although no pictures were allowed inside) with the help of an audio tour. It was really cool!
VIDEO: Inside St. Giles Cathedral
VIDEO: Views around the Royal Mile by St. Giles Cathedral
After resting up in the cathedral, we walked back down the mile towards Calton Hill. On our way we were treated to some beautiful sites, including a rainbow!
again towards our hotel, although we did make a quick stop for some photos of the Scott Monument, in honor of Sir Walter Scott. I thought it looked like a drip castle!
I feel like this was the most all-business recap I've written - less narrative, more "we saw this, then this, then this." But really, that's how the day was. At that point we were undecided about whether or not we would be taking another day trip to Stirling on Friday, so in case we did, we wanted to cram EVERYTHING we really wanted to see in Edinburgh into one day. And it was honestly almost too much. We just hurried from place to place to place. We enjoyed it, of course, but not until I was looking back at the pictures now did I really realize how incredible the city really was. In the moment we were just so focused on getting everything done (and so tired) it was kind of a blur. But it really was an amazing place - I wish we could go back and explore it at a more liesurely pace! I'm happy for the pretty pictures we have to remind us of it, though.
Up next: Our day trip to North Berwick - more golf for Eric!