Edinburgh- Yeah Scotland!!!

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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Shonagh and Erika in the kitchen

Yeah Scotland, we're finally here!  It was cool and raining when we arrived, but no problems thus far.  We hopped a bus to take us downtown to Prince's Street.  Our friend, Shonagh, lives here and offered her place to us, but she was working until 1630 so we had to entertain ourselves a bit.  We walked up and down Prince's Street with our heavy bags, looking at all the stores and people.  Prince Street runs in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, which sits on top of an extinct volcano.  August is a time of festivals in Edinburgh, so the streets are alive with performers and artists from the Fringe.  Living statues, street performers, comedy acts, you name it it can be found on the streets.

Our first look at Edinburgh Castle
 

Met up with Shonagh who took us home and let us take over her tiny condo.  It reminds me of all those houses that you see on BBC America.  Small and compact.  We went out to eat last night and then came home and collasped for about 12 hours.  So nice to sleep flat again. 

Anyhoo, got up and headed out the door around 11.  We took the bus into town to see the Castle.  We were there in time to see the One O'clock gun fire, which is a left over from their naval days.  We took the tour and saw the Scottish crown jewels, The place where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to King James IV of Scotland and the I of England, the Scottish War Memorial and the Prisons of War exhibit, where pow's from the american revolution and other wars were kept for prisoner exchanges.

In the gardens at Edinburgh Castle
  The castle is very lovely and a mix of old and new.  The oldest building on site, St. Margaret's Cathedral, was built around 1250, but there's evidence of people living in the area dating back to 800 BC.  It is still a working military barreks, but most is open to the public.  We got our exercise climbing up and down the steep hills.

Spent the rest of the afternoon dodging raindrops and shopping.  The Military Tattoo is going on this month and is supposed to be a real treat to see, so we stopped by the Tattoo office to see if there were any tickets available.  We were in luck, we got the last two tickets from a tour group that had extras!!!  We were going to see the Tattoo tonight! 

So skip ahead 4 hours, we had made our way back to Shonagh's to relax and dry out a bit before heading back into town.

Massed Pipes and Drums- the Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle
  Erika and I were gonna try the bus system on our own this time.  Getting there was no problem.  We got our seats, which were really good, we were close to the front and on one of the sides.  The Tattoo is done outside the castle grounds and they light the castle, very pretty.  The theme was colonial armies, so just about every past or present british colony was represented by their country.  America started off the show with a college marching band, followed by military bands from Australlia, Singapore, South Africa, India, Norway, etc.  The number of pipes and drums was awesome!  Over 200 bagpipers!  The only bad part was that it rained the entire time!  Oh well, it was worth being soaked to the bone.  I'm not even sure how else to describe the Tattoo, it was awesome and everyone needs to go and see it at least once. 

Only got a wee bit lost coming home, the #2 bus didn't run that late and we had to find the #22 bus, which took some trekking, but we made it back to Shonagh's safe and sound, if not a littly soggy.

joolsdoc says:
Jen, I'm glad that you had fun in Edinburgh and I hope that you pronounced it correctly! The Tattoo is always good fun, I remember being there about 23 years ago!! Did they have fireworks afterwards in the gardens? I doubt that you are still there but if you are you need to take one of the ghost tours that take you to underground Edinburgh. Have fun,safe travels and I will check in often on your adventures - Julie D
Posted on: Aug 20, 2008
vances says:
Dang, I would have loved to witness the tattoo...sounded awesome, if a bit soggy!
Posted on: Aug 20, 2008
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Shonagh and Erika in the kitchen
Shonagh and Erika in the kitchen
Our first look at Edinburgh Castle
Our first look at Edinburgh Castle
In the gardens at Edinburgh Castle
In the gardens at Edinburgh Castle
Massed Pipes and Drums- the Milita…
Massed Pipes and Drums- the Milit…
Drummers
Drummers
More Tattoo
More Tattoo
Erika finding out what Haggis is
Erika finding out what Haggis is
Edinburgh
photo by: vances