Saturday, 15 September 2012


Edinburgh Castle
A full day in Edinburgh was broken down into a city tour, a visit to the Edinburgh Castle, some roamin' in the gloamin' and then home for the afternoon.

The city tour was conducted by a local guide, Davie McRae.

What can I say about Davie? The man loves Eric Bogle, is a font of small and large facts about the city and is a non-stop Scottish version of Quirky. For those who don't know my mate Quirky, just imagine a collection of the world's worst Dad jokes replayed on a never ending loop and you'll be getting close. Actually, Davie had us in stitches, despite being a doctor of philosophy. He showed us the places where famous Scots lived (Alexander Graham Bell ... a real phoney) and writers of great note. After seeing both the new town and the old town, he took us up to Edinburgh Castle at the opening which allowed us to avoid the crowds and not have to fight for the views. Its an interesting place. I snapped photos in between gusts of wind which tried very hard to blow us off the castle. As you walk in, the forecourt area before the main gate is the area in which they hold the famous Military Tattoo. It looks nothing like the images you see on TV. For starters, the surface is slopped quite markedly, so they cover it with a false floor.

Arthur's Seat
We finished the tour with a turn around Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat, a 260 hectare green space less than two kilometres from the city centre, with some beautiful views back across the city and the castle.

After we finished, we were dropped in the city and wandered across to the Royal Mile and back up toward the castle. We had our lunch in an Italian place and really chilled out, realising just how tired we were feeling. After lunch we visited the National Galleries of Scotland. Lots of portraits and some nice landscapes but generally disappointing. Mind you, our feet were complaining.

At that stage, we packed it in and caught the train back to the hotel. Both of us made use of the hotel pool and used the remainder of the afternoon for rest.

Moving on tomorrow.

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