Edinburgh, Scotland

Some time back in July, Chelsea and I took a trip to Scotland to visit her motherland and watch some golf.  Although we are waiting until her family comes across the pond to go up to MacLaine Castle, we did take a long weekend in Edinburgh.  It was only about a five hour ride by train from Oxford, and we got the bonus of seeing the countryside along the way.  As an aside, I have to say that I prefer traveling by train, they are almost always on time, and you don’t have to get to the station hours ahead of time.

Anyway, on to Edinburgh.  I have actually already put together a gallery complete with comments over with all my other Picasa albums, you can check that out here.  I encourage you to check out that album, because here I’ll just post a few highlights.

This is probably my favorite pictures from the trip, and possibly one of the best pictures I have ever taken.  It was just the right time of day and we were in the right spot to bring out the large range of colors you see above.  In the touristy part of Edinburgh is an area called the Royal Mile that stretches between the Castle and the Palace.  Our hotel was just off this street – which is a street basically built on top of the old city – so we were within walking distance of many popular destination.  The first place we visited was the peak of some hills in the area called Arthur’s Seat.  It was a relatively short walk up, but boy was it windy.  Anyway, the climb up was well worth it, it produced some spectacular panoramic views of the city.  As always, click on them to get a higher resolution image (highly recommended).

We then ventured along the Royal Mile for some food and drink. Here we discovered what is now Chelsea’s favorite beer (picture #1) and that I have an appreciation for Scotch Whisky (picture #2).

Along with trying some Scotch, we also made a point to order Haggis at one of the restaurants.  To our delight, it was actually quite good, not at all what we were afraid of.  There is a lot of touristy stuff to do in Edinburgh, and we packed in plenty of it during the few days that we were there.  We did some shopping in the famous shopping districts, visited some of the historical landmarks, and even took a bus out of town to visit nearby Roslin.

Roslin is home to the famous Rossyln Chapel, which was popularized by the Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code.  We actually really enjoyed our trip to the Chapel, and would recommend it as a quick side trip for anyone that has an afternoon to explore when in Edinburgh.

Above is one of the walls of the Chapel, that was currently being restored.  The detail in the masonry was absolutely amazing, no wonder it has been part of religious lore for hundreds of years.  We even managed to find an angel playing the bagpipes inside.

We were told that it wouldn’t really be a complete trip to Edinburgh without a trip to the Castle.  So we went.

Edinburgh Castle is really more of a complex than a castle.  There were plenty of buildings around up there, but I think everyone can certainly appreciate the vantage point it has from any intruders.  There are more pictures of our experience in my album.  I’m glad we took a tour of it, but I’m good on castles for a while.

In conclusion, we had a fantastic time in the city of Edinburgh, and would recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting.  Plenty of good food and drinks, along with some fun sights to see.

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