The Hard-Knock Tourist Life

It’s been a wee while, I know. To be fair, my classes are actually expecting me to do work now. A bummer, to say the least (and completely unexpected!). And my parents have come to visit. So instead of spending my time on my classes, I’ve been spending time with them! My priorities have never been straighter.

View from Edinburgh Castle

With them here, I’ve been able to do all the touristy (and by touristy I mean costs-money) things around Edinburgh that I never got to do! I also get to show off all the new-found knowledge that Tom and his endless Scottish facts have instilled in me. Gives me a bit of a confidence boost, until they start asking questions that I can’t answer…

Bracing from the wind at the top of Arthur's Seat   Cow Cows!

We spent a few beautiful days last weekend exploring Edinburgh – my parents seem to have brought the good weather with them from California! Every day when we would look at the weather, the next couple days would have rain predicted, but when we actually got to those days it was sunny yet again! I don’t think my parents believe me about this Scotland wind/rain thing. Until I took them up on Arthur’s Seat that is – getting blown off was more than just a passing thought.

On our way up to the Seat!  Up to the Seat  Obligatory jumping picture

After a visit to Holyrood Palace and the Edinburgh Castle, my dad was already a little castle-d out. But there were so many more to see! The palace wasn’t all that amazing on the inside (understated baroque), but abbey ruins were great. Legend has it… in 1127, King David I was hunting in the forests east of Edinburgh and was thrown from his horse, only to be saved from it trampling him by the shock of seeing a glowing cross floating between the antlers of a stag. So, naturally. . . he decided to build an abbey on that spot. In the 1500s, the palace was built on the same spot, as the cathedral slowly fell to ruins. And here we are today (I’ll never let you get out of those wee history lessons).

Church steeple on the Royal Mile  Acting guard at Holyrood Palace  The palace courtyard

The ruined Holyrood Abbey  The gardens behind the palace

It was cool to finally be able to see first-hand the castle that has been looming over me for the past month. It was big up there – and it’s still in use! We saw the crown jewels, climbed some nice stairways, and appreciated the gorgeous view of the city.

The castle walls!  With the Dadster at the Castle  Looking out Argyl's Tower

View of New Town from the Castle  Looking down the cannon barrel  It's the dining hall from Brave!

The Royal Palace at the castle  The view of a cannon

That’s enough for today. I’ll continue my (delayed) retelling in time…

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