Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 5th 2022

Today we split up and did different things. Don got up at 4:30 am and drove 1.5 hours to Saint Andrews to try to play the old course. Unfortunately, only the people who basically spent the night in the queue were able to get a spot so about noon, he headed back. I’m the meantime, I packed up our laundry and went to a local laundrette. It was a nice relaxing morning with my book. When Don got back, we went for a fish and chips lunch where a talkative Scotsman regaled us with stories about his naval family in the US. We walked from there to the National Museum of Scotland. It didn’t help us get too familiar with the history of Scotland, unfortunately. Then we did the Hop On, Hop Off bus around the ... read more
Don at Swilken Bridge.
Inside the national museum .
At The White Hart.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 4th 2022

We knew we had a long travel day (4 hours) today so slept in a bit in Liverpool. After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we hit the road. Most of our drive today was on motorways. Since today was about driving, here’s what we’ve learned about UK driving. 1. Lane markings are only suggestions. You can wander across the lanes if someone is parked in your lane or it just feels right. 2. Any type of intersection can be called a roundabout. 3. Local drivers have a rhythm as to when to take turns on narrow streets or congested intersections. 4. The left side of the road is closer than you expect. 5. Parking “just down the street” is always farther than expected. 6. The bigger the road number, the smaller the road. The A5414 ... read more
Saint Giles Cathedral.
One of the many “closes” or alleys in Edinburgh
Holyrood palace

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 18th 2022

SUN, 18 SEP 2022 - Day 11: Uncover Edinburgh’s Treasures - Ramble up the Royal Mile today and see the iconic sights of one of Britain's most enchanting cities. The elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse, in the shadow of Arthur's Seat, and the Scottish Parliament feature on your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Visit Edinburgh Castle perched atop Castle Rock overlooking the city. Admire the elegant Georgian architecture in the New Town and amble through the hidden passages of the Old Town before enjoying an evening at leisure. Consider an OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare.... read more
Guided Coach Tour of Edinburgh, Scotland
Guided Coach Tour of Edinburgh, Scotland
Guided Coach Tour of Edinburgh, Scotland

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 17th 2022

SAT, 17 SEP 2022 - Day 10: Journey to Enchanting Edinburgh - Heading back to the lowlands of Scotland, we stop in Pitlochry before heading to the historic home of golf, St. Andrews. Here, the first games were played during the 1400s. See its famous 18th hole before crossing the Firth of Forth to Scotland's enchanting capital, Edinburgh. Tickets to see the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo (5-27 August 2022) are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.... read more
Blair Castle – Perthshire, Pitlochry, Scotland
Blair Castle – Perthshire, Pitlochry, Scotland
Blair Castle – Perthshire, Pitlochry, Scotland

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 3rd 2022

I leave the Highlands after passing Kilchurn Castle in my previous blog at . This fourth and final blog of my ancestral visitations to castles in Scotland covers my visits to the Lothians. 31 Aug 2022 Wednesday. My next stop of the day is Doune Castle which was originally constructed on the site of a Roman fort in the 1200's, but restored to its current structure by Sir Robert Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany (17th ggf), the younger son of King Robert II of Scotland (18th ggf). His ascendancy continued when his elder brother, Sir John Stewart, Earl of Carrick (17th ggf), gained the throne as Robert III (the name change was to avoid connection with the earlier English appointed King John Balliol). However, King Robert III "The Lame" suffered a debilitating injury from a horse ... read more
Linlithgow Palace with wedding in progress
Linlithgow Palace
Blackness Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 8th 2022

During my two weeks in Edinburgh I visited four art museums: The National Portrait Gallery, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Scottish National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy. I also took in St Cecilia’s Hall: Concert Room & Music Museum with its wonderful collection of old pianos, harpsichords, etc. When I visited the The Royal Botanic Garden the greenhouses were under renovation but it was still worthwhile.... read more
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
Leon Morrocco at The Royal Scottish Academy
Leon Morrocco at The Royal Scottish Academy

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 4th 2022

On August 4 I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my friend, Ron, take in the Fringe Festival and go on a road trip to the Isle of Skye. On my first day I hiked over Calton Hill, down to the New canton Burial Ground, past Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament into Holyrood Park, then hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat for the panoramic view of the area. During my stay I visited four art museums, all worth a visit: The National Portrait Gallery, The Gallery of Modern Art, The Scottish National Gallery and The Royal Scottish Academy. The many Fringe Festival venues were spread around the central part of the city in spaces from tiny to large where we saw drama, standup comedy, live music, acrobatics, and the Military Tattoo. There were many musicians, ... read more
Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Observatory House & City Observatory on Calton Hill
Nelson Monument

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 25th 2022

Today was our last official day of our Ireland/Scotland tour with Cosmos Tours. After our tradition breakfast buffet, we got on the tour bus and set our for Edinburgh Old Town and New Town. (Our hotel was out of the city center). We had a local tour guide, Kenneth, join our group for an in-depth tour of the city of Edinburgh. Our regular guide, Will, made arrangements for our tour of Edinburgh Castle, where we would meet him at a later time. As we drove around the city I didn’t know which way to look first. There are so many churches, schools, monuments, building, etc. I just took pictures….lots of pictures. Sadly, today was a rainy day so some of the pictures aren’t the best. Many of them won’t be identified because we didn’t know what ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 24th 2022

We had our typical morning…up at 6, luggage to the bus at 6:45, breakfast at 7, load the bus and depart at 8. Today was mostly a travel day we had to get from the Highlands at Strathpeffer to our home for the next 2 days in Edinburgh. Our first stop was a little Victorian town called Pitlochry which is a cute town with lots of shops and restaurants. It is located close to the Cairngorms; the largest national park in the UK, which we drove through and would continue to do so for some time. Pitlochry was our morning bathroom / snack break. Interestingly enough the public toilets didn’t open until 10 am. We arrived at 9:50 so there was a long line!! Our next stop was St Andrews golf course. St. Andrews is the ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh July 15th 2022

~Edinburgh is a beautiful city, but it doesn’t photograph well. Much of its atmosphere relies on the repetition and congruence of its architecture, which is difficult to capture in photos. ~ It’s an easy city to explore by foot since it’s fairly compact. We didn’t take the metro or light rail at all. Crossing most intersections is terrifying, though, since the double-decker buses barely fit on the road and yielding doesn’t seem to exist. At least most crosswalks tell which way to look for traffic. ~ The city center is very touristy, especially the Royal Mile, which is a repetition of whisky, Scotland, and cashmere shops. Because the annual Jazz Festival was going on, we had to stay outside the city center in Stockbridge, which allowed us to explore more local spots.... read more
Edinburgh Castle
Royal Mile
Scott Monument




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