Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Edinburgh

Tuesday 12 August
The day began with a bus tour of Edinburgh followed by a visit to Edinburgh Castle. When driving to a lookout for views of the city we passed a family of swans and other birds.
The weather was once again cold and very windy so the photo opportunity was very short.
After the tour of the sites including the Old Town we were taken to the castle. By now it was raining which made exploring the Edinburgh Castle a challenge. As can be seen from the following images taking photos was also a challenge.
In two niches on either side of the entrance stand statues of William Wallace on the right and Robert the Bruce on the left.
Once inside the castle the first place that we visited was the Scottish National War Memorial
which was opened in 1927. Although built to honour those who were killed during the First World War it commemorates all Scottish soldiers who have been involved in later wars and conflicts.
The next site that we visited was Saint Margaret's Chapel, a very small building built by King David in the twelfth century for the use of the royal family.
The chapel was dedicated to the memory of his mother, Queen Margaret, who had died at the castle in 1093. She was made a saint in 1250.
Despite the rain there were some good views of the castle complex and of the city.


Despite the rain there were long queues to visit the royal apartments including the honours of Scotland so we we decided to avoid these.
Needless to say venues such as the Great Hall were packed with people sheltering from the weather so having a good look at the building was difficult.
Consequently our visit to the castle was restricted and in our efforts to try and keep relatively dry we missed some areas that we would normally have visited such as the National War Museum of Scotland. On a fine day, however, this would be a great site to visit.

Back in the town the Fringe Festival continued in the rain.
We took refuge in the Scottish National Gallery where we had lunch and then spent some time looking at the artworks.
On the way back to the hotel we passed a number of statues including one of David Livingstone, with seagull on his head, and also the Sir Walter Scott Monument.

In the evening we attended a Scottish dinner and cabaret - A Taste of Scotland - which was an entertaining evening of Scottish music. We also got to sample the Scots delicacy, haggis.

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