Edinburgh. Beautiful Edinburgh! Started the day before hubby, I left him in bed to grab a coffee and a pastry. While still chilly, and fiercely windy, there was that faint hint of spring on the air. Even the shadow of rain did nothing to take away from any excitement. After he woke up, we traipsed through the West End, immersing ourselves in the beautiful buildings, overshadowed by Edinburgh castle where it overlooked the city. Edinburgh’s pubs seemed to compete for style and wit, the war of the chalkboards leading us through the cobblestone streets and up through Old town and the Royal Mile. Bracketed by Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood house, the mile is a press of every Scottish Stereotype I could think of. Tartan decorates every window you pass in one fashion or another. I made it my mission to find a Drummond tartan blanket but was told by one
sympathetic shop owner that all the tartan shops are owned by only two businesses, so if I didn’t find it in the first few shops we went into, chances were we wouldn’t find it. I did find the obligatory scarf and settled for festooning my neck in clan loyalty instead.
At the Edinburgh castle end of the mile, there is a tartan factory that has two floors of clan history, Harry Potter, Lord of the rings and Game of Thrones. It was here I found that Scots may have unrealistic expectations of those that enter their doors. Hung between the life-size, replicas on the wall beside the stairs was a rule I don’t believe anyone has adhered to since Gandalf’s sword was mounted within touching distance. I touched.
The queue to get into Edinburgh Castle was surprisingly long. I think we spent easily half an hour in it. It did, however, give us a chance to appreciate the view from the wall. Even before entering, you get an idea of how impressive everything is. Edinburgh castle is a city on its own. there is so much to look through it’s better to plan to spend a full day up there. The displays, the history, the art and sculptures are so well laid out that you aren’t likely to miss anything, and if there is one part of history that you are more interested in, you aren’t forced to endure the parts that don’t hold your attention. Up at this height, the wind held a bite, but we only had to brace between buildings. I think one of the highlights for me was finding proof that somewhere way back in history, I had royal roots. If you ignore the makeup-less face (not wearing slap when hubby says I don’t need it) I think I see the resemblance, now where do I get my crown?
The rest of the day was spent taking in the Royal mile and having a quick peek at Holyrood house, before heading back towards our Edinburgh Home.
We paused on the way to enjoy the beautifully kept park, with its breathtaking statues, monuments and sculptures dotted throughout. Keeping with the stair theme, we had somehow started, we found our way into the Scott monument. 297 incredibly tight stairs later, we were enjoying the chilly viewpoints afforded by the spires. Hubby suffers more from the tightness. His shoulders take up most of the space on offer.
Hubby surprised me with a ghost tour after dinner. Sadly, we didn’t see anything, though that didn’t stop two of our party screaming at every bump, scrape or footstep they heard. The guides did well in building the scene around each stop we went to, explaining the history behind the ‘hauntings’ instead of relying on cheap jump scares. I would have preferred a little more history and less empty rooms, but it was still enjoyable, even if it wasn’t all that scary.