edinburgh, scotland

edinburgh, scotland

Picking up where we left off in London

We left early on Wednesday morning for King’s Cross Station to catch a train to Edinburgh (and where we of course had to stop by and see Platform 9 3/4).  The train took about 4 hours and was a lovely scenic route and we arrived in Edinburgh to a definite temperature drop and drearier weather.

Our Air BnB was in an area of Edinburgh called Bruntsfield, which is a 10-15 minute walk from the central area of Edinburgh.  So with all our luggage, we took a taxi.  Bruntsfield was a cute area with lots of small little stores and some good restaurants (we really enjoyed our meal at Three Birds and all the chocolate we got at The Chocolate Tree).

edinburgh, scotland

After getting settled in, we walked through a few parks (there were some lovely parks) and went to the National Museum of Scotland.  There is a lot there, from natural history to art; but since we were in Scotland, we decide we wanted to focus on the Scottish history section.  We thought it was a fine museum, but nothing spectacular.  Bonus: this is a free museum.  And they have a rooftop terrace with wonderful views of the city.  Those views might have been worth the visit alone.

edinburgh, scotland

Another place we ended up loving was the Golf Tavern.  We watched two Euro Cup games there (a requirement for Gerrit on the trip) and right out front there is a small golf course.

edinburgh, scotland

edinburgh castle

edinburgh, scotland

Thursday morning we were up early and off to Edinburgh Castle.  It sits up high on a hill in the center of Edinburgh, and there is a lot of uphill walking and stair climbing in order to get it.  We also found it to be a bit more crowded than most of the attractions in London, perhaps because it is THE major thing to do in Edinburgh tourist-wise (and Holyroodhouse was closed because the royal family was there).

But it is a cool castle to see and of course has some stunning views from the top.

edinburgh, scotland

Speaking of the royal family…

After we left the castle we started walking down the Royal Mile, which connects the castle to the palace and is lined with all kinds of shops and restaurants (it is a major tourist area).  When we got down to St. Giles Cathedral (an important church in Scottish history and one where John Knox preached), everything was blocked off and there were police standing around everywhere.  We asked what was going on and found out that Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Princess Anne had just left the church 30 minutes ago.  They had been there for the Order of the Thistle, and we were majorly bummed that we had just missed them and kicking ourselves for the fact that we had slowed down our pace that morning.

scottish parliament building

After lunch and trying to get over our disappointment, we walked the rest of the way down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s official residence when she is in Scotland).  Like I said, it was closed, but we wanted to take a look at it.  When we got there, we could tell something was going on (cars parked there, police on the streets, etc.) so we decided to stick around to see if anything exciting would happen.

Turns out the Queen must have been giving a lunch after the service, because people started leaving in their cars and then after a bit, we saw Prince William come out (from a very far distance) and get in his car to leave.  Excitement.  And I felt a little bit better about having missed them earlier in the day.

{We weren’t able to go in to the palace together while we were there, but a few days later when we returned to Edinburgh and Gerrit started his business meetings, I had a free day and went to the Palace.  I loved it and thought it was worth the visit.  They also have an exhibit going on right now about the Queen’s fashion which I thought was really good.}

arthur's seat

After our excitement at the palace, we walked up Calton Hill (more beautiful views, but again a lot of uphill walking and I was getting tired at this point).  Then we had another Euro Cup game and then next day we were off for our driving adventure…so one more post to come about the Scottish Highlands!

edinburgh, scotland

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