Blogs from Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe - page 5


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 30th 2017

The rain subsided but low clouds threatened the morning and I knew well enough to pack my rain pants (quick reminder- all of this is internally accented with a fine brogue). It takes some courage to get started the first few mornings of a journey. I have to brace myself for awkward misunderstanding and periodic puzzle-solving to make my way in the world. Of course, the language is a breeze here, and the culture is predictably Western. However, I tend to have the codependent problem of worrying about being polite enough, and I'm convinced that by simply being American, I'm ignorantly offensive in dozens of subtle ways. This gives me a nervous tick of uncontrollable bursts of thank-you-so-very-much and please-if-it's-not-too-much-trouble and I'm-so-sorry-to-be-a-bother. Meanwhile, I count my change like a baby who hasn't learned about numbers. It ... read more
I want to lick the picture!
Gotta get a belly fulla wine

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 29th 2017

Come on. This graveyard needs its own entry. Established in the mid 1600s, Greyfriar's Kirkyard, named after the friars who wore- guess what colour? This location was deemed a more fitting location further south of the Old Town, so as not to contribute to the already squalid stench of hard living. The gothic tombs feature skulls, morose angels, and elaborately poetic dedications. Many headstones are embedded in the original wall to enclose the old town. Some headstones lean against the walls of homes. In these apartments, regular folk can sip their tea and gaze out their wee kitchen windows over the deathscape like it's regular everyday life. When I first walked in, I was checking out a dog's headstone (more about that later) when this screeching toothless woman sitting in an abandoned mausoleum warned visitors to ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 28th 2017

The flight was fine. You do what you must on a transatlantic crossing. Movies. Gazing. Reading. Eating. I'm happy to have left in the afternoon; I was able to stay up all night until it was night in Scotland. It was much easier to acclimate this way. My abode is a sweet wee apartment in the West End, within walking distance of the castle and Old Town and New Town. The owner left me a bowl of fresh fruit, biscuits and jam, and coffee to get me started on my first day. Okay, I'm just going to have to say right now that, in my head, I'm hearing all of this in a Scottish accent. It can't be helped! I'm surrounded by brogue, farleh droonen' en eh'! My first day was so wet. I brought rain ... read more
Poor Granny

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 14th 2017

Arrived to freezing cold, pouring rain and a howling half, yep we are in Scotland! Picked up rental car, it's a Skoda....Stephen less than impressed, it's very skodaish....the rear wiper goes on of its own accord and there is no rubber on it, very annoying and probably not great for the back window. Find our hotel fairly easily, we have an awesome view of Edinburgh Castle and within walking distance of the tourist area, restaurants and main shopping street. By the time we get to the hotel we have time for a quick unpack and then a short hike in the driving rain to Howies restaurant for dinner. Very nice, I had their version of a lobster reminded me of a cross between a NZ cray and a Morton Bay Bug, Stephen had a beef pie, ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 29th 2017

Day 3 Edinburgh Tour Today our plan is to Find the Hop On Hop Off starting point and begin the race around the city. Made it down the Royal Mile to the one end at Holyrood Palace (The Queen’s residence when in Edinburgh). While having very stately rooms it also has very old artifacts dating back to Mary Queen of Scots. Part of the tour takes you thru the rooms where her son was murdered. Always a worthwhile tour. Back on the bus to another stop. Found Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant (Jamie’s Italian) for lunch! Wow! Highly recommend anyone to try it. One target is the Grassmarket area known for its open air flea market. On these streets are a lot of local curiosity stores. We also wanted to find the most haunted cemetery in Edinburgh, ... read more
Roxburgh Close
Edinburgh Castle
Holyrood Abbey ruins

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 16th 2017

We awoke on day 2 of our visit in Edinburgh to sunny skies :) Perfect for a trip to the icon of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle. Over the years, Barb and I have visited many castles all over Europe, but indeed, Castle Edinburgh, sitting on a high rock outcropping, overlooking the city was true to form. From the dungeons to the room that houses the crown jewels, the history is evident and rich. At 1pm every day, a modern gun is fired from the castle which can be heard throughout the city. This is/was done to synchronize the town's clocks , especially handy to the ships in the harbor . Another ride on the Hop On Hop Off Bus and we arrived at the Royal Botanical Gardens. A 50+ acre garden that includes many glass houses full ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 15th 2017

Made it off the train....short cab ride to the hotel, showered, and off to bed :) Day 1, weather pouring rain (no surprise) although the locals told us it had been dry and sunny for the past week! Regardless we treked to the Hop on Hop Off Bus and started our first day's adventure. We were told that the Palace at Holyrood (sounds like Hollywood), the residence of the Queen when she's here, was going to be closed starting Tuesday for a week, so we strayed from our usual ride the bus for a complete rotation first, and hopped off @ the Palace. This was where Mary Queen of Scotts was basically imprisoned in the mid 1500s and beheaded in 1587 by the order of her cousin Elizabeth I (watch the movie). The first structure on ... read more
Britania Crew

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh April 28th 2017

Day 2 Rosslyn Chapel & Edinburgh Today is essentially a travel day. We are having issues getting the cell phone to data roam (live maps), the GPS in the car is difficult (being polite) voltage converter failed. So, getting a live map and / or using google maps directions are making things challenging. Thankfully we have been here before so we are both referring to land marks. First stop is Rosslyn Chapel was built as the St. Clair family place of worship in the 1400’s. Construction was started and stopped multiple times depending on the health of the head of the family. During this period of time in southern Scotland there were not many places of worship so Rosslyn became very popular and the Catholic Church turned it into a teaching church (kirk in Scot’s). Then ... read more
Rosslyn Chapel
Gargoyle roof drain
Rosslyn Castle Ruins

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh April 10th 2017

A biting chill rides the frozen wind that crosses the esplanade in front of the castle. Visitors tuck closer behind the ancient ramparts hoping to find a protective lee, a moment of relief from the sand-like frozen mist. It proves fruitless as the gusts swirl and twist as though they originate from every direction. The ancient castle is perched high on its volcanic outcrop and looms mightily above the city below. When viewed from the streets of the lower city on stormy days like this, the castle appears to be floating in the clouds, sometimes visible and sometimes not. The sound of a lone bagpipe carries strongly upward from the streets of the New Town far below. Its distinctive sound, so engrained in the culture of this part of the world, can fill the heart with ... read more
Dean Village
Victoria Street
Edinburgh Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh March 28th 2017

We had a bit of time to kill. The appointment at the Palace of Nicola was not until 11 am. The events of the week in London suggested security would be tight, so we decided to give ourselves plenty of time. Check out complete and bags stored at the hotel, we set off for a stroll round the New Town. The city centre of Edinburgh is in two distinct sections, Old and New. The Old Town is dominated by the imposing Castle, perched high on the crag. The Royal Mile runs from the Castle to the Palace of Holyrood lower down the hill. A series of lanes and alleys runs off the main drag in a cluttered, unplanned system. The New Town is the complete opposite - planned on a grid. The masterpiece of town planning ... read more
Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

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