A Castle Built into a Rock

On a soggy morn, we made the trek up the Royal Mile from our hotel for a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Rich in history and centuries of remodeling and rebuilding makes this accessible and interesting. Besides the shops and tearoom, there are people who work here in the government offices and museums.

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We opted to purchase the audio guide, and we’re glad we did (although if we hadn’t, we would have taken advantage of the free tours that are offered). Once you’re through the main gate and have your ticket, it’s up and up and up.

Besides the main attractions here—David’s Tower, St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Great Hall, the Royal Palace, the Prisons of War, the Mone Meg, Half-Moon Battery, and the scepter, sword, and crown, and the Stone of Destiny—there are museums for the Royal Dragoons and the Regimentals, the National War Museum, a pet cementary, and the Scottish National War Memorial. And although there isn’t much in the way of gardens, there are some scattered amongst the grounds.

The most impressive and best explained are those for the scepter, sword and crown, and, of course, the Stone of Destiny. They’ve had a storied past as important relics tend to have, and have gone missing and been rediscovered. We weren’t allowed to photograph them, but they are brilliant under a glass display case.

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In the palace, you can go into the small room in which Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI (later King James I in England), see her bedchamber, and visit the hall James used for official visits.

We spent more than three hours on site—there is that much to do and see.

After a quick trip to the Apple Store to get a new iPad keyboard (we’ve worn out the last one), we visited some of the cashmere and lambs wool shops and paid a visit to a pub for a quick lunch.

Tonight we’ll be attending a dinner and show at The Stables at Presonfield. Ta-ta for now.

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