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Friday, 1 July 2016

Around Edinburgh

While in Edinburgh, Jean and I separated from Neil and Carolyn and went off to explore the city at our own pace.  We walked to our heart's content around the city's 'old' and 'new' parts.  The old parts of Edinburgh were built centuries ago, whereas the new were constructed downhill from the old from about the 1730s.  Over a period of about 30 years, most of the buildings and houses constructed in the new town that we see today had been built.  The economy must have been booming.
During the few days in Edinburgh, we inspected the Royal Yacht Britannia, took a walking tour of the city, sat briefly in the Scottish Parliament, visited St Giles Cathedral, and otherwise walked and walked and walked.  I'd considered going inside Edinburgh Castle, but I'd been many years ago, and Jean visited it in 2009, so we decided against it.  We wanted to go inside Holyrood Palace, but couldn't because the Queen is in residence until 10 July.  In the vicinity of Holyrood and the Parliament, for something different, we climbed the series of hills that dominates Edinburgh's skyline there, and overlooked the city.
Looking down Princes Street to St Giles Cathedral
This needs no explanation:  Scotland is renowned for its kilts.
We'd been told that 'Oink' was a very good restaurant.
At Oink, they cook the pig whole.
This is the monument to Sir Walter Scott, famous Scottish playwright and poet.  It reminded me of London's Albert Memorial, but this was less ostentatious.
One of the peaks overlooking Edinburgh is Arthur's Seat which is an extinct volcano from about 350 million years ago.  In fact, Edinburgh Castle sits on part of the old volcano.  We didn't climb Arthur's Seat, but a nearby peak closer to the path that leads down to Holyrood Palace.

Climbing the hills reminded us of walking the Camino in Spain, which, although only about seven weeks ago, now feels like some holiday in the distant past.

Holyrood Palace, which we walked past as we came down from the hill.  The Royal Standard is flying, indicating the Queen is in residence.

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