Vacation to Scotland, June 2007

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1 roll of vacation photos.

photo View from Royal Mile. A lot of the side streets are quite steep. This is one of the broader intersecting streets. A lot of them are narrow closes. 04870001
photo Ken on Royal Mile. The Royal Mile was the road between the Holyrood palace and the main fortification at Edinburgh Castle. The road rises gently toward the castle, and is built on a glacial moraine at the foot of the hard volcanic cone on which the castle is built. As you can see, the buildings are mostly stone, which is what we found throughout Scotland. 04870002
photo View down a close from Royal Mile. Ken suggests that these narrow streets (a foot path in this case) are called "closes" because the sides are so close together that you feel a bit "closetrophobic" walking on them. A lot of closes have quite high walls, either high stone walls or buildings as in this picture. 04870003
photo On Bridge, towards Calton Hill behind our B&B. The bridge is quite high above the valley below. Ken didn't particularly like looking over the edge, while Brenda, being shorter, suffered less from this sense of vertigo. (Actually Brenda had a hard time seeing over the railing at all.) Calton Hill had various false archaic monuments, including a facade with columns that apparently would have been more than one-dimension if they hadn't run out of money. 04870004
photo On Bridge, looking over glass roof of train station towards Edinburgh Castle. 04870005
photo On Bridge, looking over glass roof of train station towards Princes Street Gardens between the Castle and the New Town. The ornate spire on the right is a monument to Sir Walter Scott. 04870006
photo Ken at the Northbridge, Southbridge intersection (street signs). Try to do _that_ with a digital camera. Ken is eyeballing the gentle rise along the old glacial moraine toward the castle. 04870007
photo View up the Royal Mile - We can see St. Giles Cathedral. Ken and I popped in - there was a choir practicing for a concert later in the evening. ..., which made it feel extra special. 04870008
photo There were lots of place names that I've seen near where my Mom lives (in Ontario, Canada) - Dalkeith, Fass Fern (Fassifern in Ontario) (more names to be put up when I remember). 04870009
photo Edinburgh Castle - They were giving a 21-gun salute for Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh's birthday (June 10) the day we went to visit. 04870010
photo Some students/cadets got to fire the guns. There was a pipe band and a marching band. A couple of musicians wore animal skins - leopard on one and tiger on another. That was over top of their fancy marching uniforms with red jackets and lots of gold braid. 04870011
photo There were 3 guns, so each gun shot 7 times. Each gun had a team of five people to operate it. Ken is sure they were all deaf by the 21st loud bang. 04870012
photo Ken with some weapons (swords and pistols) in a large empty room (the "Great Hall") in Edinburgh Castle (part of the King's apartments). The room had had steam or hot water radiators installed around the perimeter. I guess the large fireplace at the other end wasn't quite enough.
At some point in the visit to the Castle, we went to the coffee shop off the highest square. I had some cranachan and tea, and Ken had some carrot cake. Yummy. Cranachan is a mousse-y raspberry pudding on a base of shortbread. It turns out cranachan has a lot of calories - good thing as that was all we ate for lunch. 04870013
photo The guards outside the War Memorial were ordered to move about a bit every 15 minutes by the guy in the middle of the square. I kept missing that bit - later I saw some more guards marching towards this square and figured there might be a changing of the guard. Here's the changing of the guard. After the new guards took their places, the guy in charge inspected the new guards minutely and adjusted their uniforms himself - must be a power thing.
Inside the War Memorial is a very sad place. All those dead butchered people, remembered for their parts in many many wars.. 04870014
photo View towards Arthur's Seat from Edinburgh Castle. We didn't try to climb up it, although lots of people do that (there's a trail). Brenda thought they were crazy. It's actually a pretty gentle incline (Ken thinks) and I'm sure it would be worth a climb for the great view. 04870015
photo View from highest court into middle court (where the 21-gun salute was done). Princes Street Gardens and the New Town can be seen beyond. 04870016
photo Me, on top of the Castle. This is one of the rare times Brenda let me (Ken) take a shot of her. It turned out well! 04870017
photo A chapel to King David I's mom Margaret. This is the oldest part of the Castle - even the oldest in Edinburgh. She died in the castle in 1093, and was later made a saint.
The castle (and many parts of Edinburgh) are built on old volcanic rock. 04870018
photo Ken, in the middle level in front of the higher level. The stone wall built on the volcanic rock is plainly seen. There's an organic feeling about old stone structures that just extend the natural rock. 04870019

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All photos and text, Copyright 2007 Brenda J. Butler, except where noted.