Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe - page 2


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 14th 2014

I checked this place out yesterday. It's a nice walk from my accommodation to the castle, which is about 3 miles outside of Edinburgh. Craigmillar Castle is a late-medieval stone castle built around the 1400s. Mary, Queen of Scots 'vacationed' at the castle at least two times that historians know of. The location was highly desirable because of its convenient distance from Edinburgh and because the area was rich with game. Mary and many other affluent people enjoyed the castle as a way to escape the constant scrutiny of the people in the city and to partake in hunting activity. Unfortunately, as time progressed, the castle was regarded as old and outdated; thus, it was abandoned for some time and fell into disrepair. There's virtually no props throughout the castle so all of the rooms are ... read more
Looking out from the castle (that is Arthur's Seat)
A side capture of the castle
Entrance gate

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 9th 2014

Today I toured Edinburgh Castle for the first time. The castle sits atop a hill over-looking the Firth of Forth as well as the city itself. You can look out from virtually anywhere in the castle walls and see a panoramic view of the city, so there's a lot of photo opportunities. Edinburgh Castle has quite a robust history. It was built in the 1100s, however, the land had been occupied and settled longer before that. Throughout its history it has served as the residence of monarchs, including Mary, Queen of Scots and as a base for military garrisons. Other than admiring the views from multiple points throughout the castle, you can tour the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Regimental Museum, the Scottish War Memorial and the National War Museum. The Scottish National War Memorial is a ... read more
One o'clock Gun
One view of Edinburgh
Dog Cemetery

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 2nd 2014

Part 1: Edinburgh - Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle Part 2: Edinburgh - Calton Hill and Greyfriars Area Part 3: Scottish Highlands and Urquhart Castle/Loch Ness Whenever you see an image of Edinburgh from any travel magazine, it is nearly always from the top of Calton Hill with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground. This is a very iconic part of the city and is a great place to have the kids run around, take in the city skyline, and have a picnic lunch. On top of Calton Hill, there are several buildings of differing origin showcasing an interesting mix of architecture. The unmistakably Greek-styled Dugald Stewart Monument sits across from the similarly styled National Monument of Scotland, which oddly sits unfinished and is therefore known by several names such as “Scotland’s Disgrace”. N ... read more
Alex charming the ladies.
We found Bobby!
Trying on armor at the National Museum of Scotland

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 31st 2014

The choice to visit Scotland was kind of unique for us, as it was a destination that we chose because of some family history on Jessica's side. Because of this history, there were some key sites - mostly the highlands and Urquhart Castle, and so we tried to plan around these destinations (more on them in another post). Otherwise, it was 'How do we get there easily and cheap?'. Edinburgh was very convenient as we had enough MileagePlus miles, and United had just introduced a new non-stop from Chicago to Edinburgh that had a lot of award seats available. So, Edinburgh was our central base, and the rest of our planning and activities fell into place in time. Part 1: Edinburgh - Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle Part 2: Edinburgh - Calton Hill and Greyfriars Area ... read more
Sir Walter Scott Monument
The Scottish Whiskey Experience
Alex loves his bagpipes.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 24th 2014

Until now we had never managed to time a trip to Scotland with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We managed to put that right this year. It was so easy and just an hour's journey by train from Glasgow. We also managed to meet up with Claudia who we had met when we were working in Libya last year. We had travelled a lot over there with her, so it was great to catch up on each others lives since then. Edinburgh is such a nice city at any time of year, but during the festival the streets are buzzing. Don't be surprised to bump into a bagpiper, a Zulu warrior and a Star Wars stormtrooper within yards of each other. Have your camera at the ready because as you wander through the streets you are going ... read more
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Haggis in the street!

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 9th 2014

Last day in Edinburgh. One of Tricia’s mission was to run in Scotland and run in London. Today, we achieved 1 of the 2. We woke up early and went for run in the Gardens. Considering, I hadn’t worked out for the last few months, I told Tricia I wasn’t going to run with her, but I would walk. It was quite a site to see. Tricia would run and every few steps, she would stop to take a picture.. run a little, take a picture, run some more… take a picture. I did the same, but walking… You couldn’t help it… the gardens were quite and had very few people around. Perfect picture taking time. All in all, we ran about 40 minutes or so… run in Scotland, check! After our run, the Rices went ... read more
Princes Street Garden
Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 8th 2014

So after going going for several days, we signed up for a bus tour of the West Highlands. The Highland Experience and Kenny (our bus driver) took us on a tour of the West Highlands. We start out in Edinburgh and make our way out of the city. First stop… Glasgow, but only to pick up two other tourist. Luckily we had most of the bus to ourselves. It was us and the two that we picked up on Glasgow. Kind neat to drive thru Glasgow. It reminded me a lot of Seattle. A city through and through, with hills. From Glasgow, we head to Loch Lomond. To see the Loch (i.e. lake), we stopped by in the cute little town called Luss. Luss is on the west bank of Lomond. This seems to be a ... read more
Loch Awe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 7th 2014

A bright sunny Thursday to start the day off. We had purchased out hop-on-hop-off bus tour for 48 hours, so we still had a few hours left to use it. So we hopped on to get to Our Dynamic Earth, near Holyrood Palace and Park. What is Our Dynamic Earth? It's a pretty cool museum that takes you thru time... from the beginning of the universe to present day earth. We start off in a classroom where the ghost of James Hutton demonstrates his theories on how the Earth was formed. After that you journey on to a room with a huge 3-D globe that shows the shifting of the earth and the plates. Then it's into the "time machine," a room that shows the formation of earth. Once the earth forms, you move into a ... read more
Arthur's Seat
Arthur's Seat

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 5th 2014

Day two of the Scotland Adventure started with a slow climb to the Castle. We decided to start the day off visiting the Castle. The Castle sits on top of volcanic rock and protected by cliffs on three sides. It's one of the highest points and easily the most identifiable monument of Edinburgh. The Castle presents fabulous views of the City below, houses the crown jewels and showcases the Mons Meg canon which launched 500 pounds of cannonballs back in the day. The Scots and the English battled for control of the castle during the Wars of Independence until finally in 1314 it was recaptured by the Scots. The Castle has been home to many royals include Queen Margaret and Mary Queen of Scots, whom we found out only had a bath twice a year. In ... read more
View of the City below
Scottish National War Monument
4 dudes in Kilts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 4th 2014

Twas Sunday the 3rd, what shall we do? Gather the troops and fly across the blue... Well, that's about all I got for poetry. In all seriousness, it seems that this trip was a long time planning and the time was finally here. We left on a Sunday and arrived on a Monday. We made the long wind through Heathrow to finally arrive via Virgin Atlantic's Little Red to the town of Edinburgh. Upon arrival, we took a ride on the newly opened tram from the airport to city center Edinburgh. It was a 40 minute tram ride, but for 5 pounds... you can't beat that. Add bonus, we got to see the outskirts of Edinburgh. We got off on the Princes Street Gardens stop and the first thing we see... Edinburgh Castle. What a sight ... read more
Heathrow Welcomes us
Edinburgh Castle
The Baked Potato Shop

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