Edinburgh: Days Seven and Eight

Edinburgh is nice because it is small enough that you can walk everywhere.

We walked up to Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile.
The High Street is called the Royal Mile because it’s about a mile and connects the castle to the palace.

The castle didn’t open until 10, so we got there and listened to the bagpipes.
There are great views of the city as the castle sits at the top of the hill.
They even had a cemetery for dogs
They were getting ready for a festival in two months.
The oldest church in Scotland
Mary, Queen of Scots lived in this castle.  After she was forced to abdicate, her son, King James united England and Scotland.  He had the Bible converted into English, thus the King James version of the Bible.

Home of the Scottish Crown Jewels
Loved the colors of this wallScotland is gorgeous

We then went to court where they taught us how to dress and all the layers involved.

The ladies called me up to teach me how to curtsey.  They invited me to court with the Queen and said they would try and find me a husband there since it was appalling that I’m 25 and still single.  I’d have to change my shoes.

 We walked down the Royal Mile and ate lunch at the Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter.

The views of the castle remind me of HogwartsI had a lamp pie, which was delicious.
After lunch, we walked through the shops on the Royal Mile.  Most are junk, but I did go to a nice shop and buy a kilt and a tartan scarf.  Why do I need a kilt?  Well, you just never know.

There is always a bagpipe player!  Great for tourist, not so great for locals.

Kilt wearing is common

Tartan is everywhere!
We passed Canongate Kirk, which is the church where Zara Phillips was married last summer.
Scotland Parliament is right across from the palace.
 At the bottom of the Royal Mile is The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
Luckily, the Queen is only there for one week in July, so we were able to tour it!

This is the old part of the palace where Mary, Queen of Scots lived.
Inside it was just gorgeous.  Really neat to stand where the Queen met the pope and where she eats breakfast every day not to mention where past kings have walked.

I loved this courtyard.
This is the original abbey
The Queen will host a garden party here in early July, and the gardens were beautiful, especially since they are surrounded by the Scottish hills.

It was a beautiful day in Scotland!  Very windy and chilly in the morning, but in the afternoon, it warmed up and the sum came out!

Our next day was pretty uneventful.  There was more that we could have done in Edinburgh, but we were pretty museumed-out.

We went shopping in John Lewis that morning.  It is Bloomingdales + Target + fabric store.  It was massive and I found so many things I loved.  I of course tried on some hats, but didn’t find any that I really fancied.

We got to the train station early to make sure we made our train and because we’re Americans and used to getting to the airport super early.  Then, they didn’t announce our platform until 10 minutes before the train left.

We had reserved seats since we were taking the train all the way to London.

When we got on, two groups of people were on it with us.  One was a group of women celebrating a 40th birthday, the other was a football team from Glasgow both on their way to Newcastle.  They became friends with each other and with us.  We got offered food and drinks.  It was the party train.  They were all really nice and provided some entertainment!

I didn’t have a hard time understanding the Scottish accent in Edinburgh, but the Glasgow accent was difficult.  One guy tried to tell me that he worked for the “Celtics” but I thought he said something totally different, so he had to get out his business card because I couldn’t understand him.  In fact, when they were telling inappropriate jokes, they said they felt bad saying it to the Americans, but I said it didn’t matter because we had no idea what they were saying!

We passed the North Sea on the train.  I wish I had gotten pictures, it was beautiful.

The only picture I have from this day is this one of Arsenal.
We made it back to London at King’s Cross.  Rick Steves said platform 9 3/4 was outside the station, but he was wrong, so we didn’t see it.

We were back in London as the Jubilee was underway!


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