Our final two days in Scotland were spent in Edinburgh. Really only one full day, so we stayed in the city centre at an excellent and reasonably-priced hotel called Motel One, in Market St. We did the touristy things, starting at Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile and making our way to Edinburgh Castle at the top end.
So first, Holyrood Palace, the principal residence of the monarch since the 16th century. We were able to tour through the apartment of Mary Queen of Scots, still with many artefacts from that time, and also the State Apartments where the current Queen stays for one week every year.
On the way up we passed the pub where Greyfriars Bobby sat mourning for his master, supposedly for 14 years after the man died.
Then, the Castle. You do get some good views over the city from this vantage point, including the wedding cake decoration that is the Sir Walter Scott memorial. You can, if you wish, climb the 287 steps to the top of this monument. We didn’t. It’s a curious edifice, containing within it carvings of 93 people, 2 dogs and a pig, all of them referencing characters in Scott’s novels. Inevitably Robert the Bruce was one, although we couldn’t see him from the ground.
There are many buildings within the castle grounds. We found the most interesting one to be St Margaret’s Chapel, built in the 12th century and the oldest building still standing in Edinburgh. When the castle was captured by Robert the Bruce in 1314, he had all buildings destroyed except for this chapel (don’t know why). We were surprised to find out later that the five stained glass windows date only from 1922. They are rather beautiful. Here are William Wallace and St Andrew.
Back down the hill and we popped into the “High Kirk of Edinburgh”, St Giles, notable for its most famous minister, John Knox, and its carvings of angels playing bagpipes (could that be an oxymoron)? We had seen those on our original trip to Edinburgh in 1974 but unfortunately couldn’t find them this time.
One of the things that fascinates about Edinburgh is the skyline with its many different roof styles.