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palace of holyroodhouse
gothic spire
south queensferry
baby carriages
Edinburgh, Scotland's Gorgeous Capital
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Edinburgh, Scotland\'s Gorgeous Capital

My cruise ship Caribbean Princess docked at South Queensferry. I took the train from Dalmeny Station (about a 15 minute walk from the ship including a lot of steps to climb). The train took 25 minutes to get to Edinburgh. As the train pulled into Waverly Station, I was already impressed with the capital.

I walked up the steep incline of Cockburn St. toward the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is actually four distinct street names: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High St. and Canongate.

I headed toward Edinburgh Castle to start my walking tour down toward Palace of Holyroodhouse. I wanted to explore the castle but the two or so hours needed would cut too much into my already short time.

After a quick look around the entrance of castle I made my way to the Hub, once an assembly hall for the Church of Scotland. Built in 1845, this towering black neo-Gothic spire is home to Edinburgh International Festival.

There was not a cloud in the sky on the cool day which made it perfect to explore. I headed toward Parliament Square to visit Giles Cathedral or known as is High Kirk of Edinburgh . Inside the church have stained glass windows, a gorgeous piped organ, monuments and a richly decorated Thistle Chapel. I paid the 2.00 GBP to take photos.

Behind the church is the Parliament Building. This was the seat of Scottish government until 1707 when it was a united Scotland and England governments.

I continued down the Royal Mile and stopped in Museum of Childhood. It’s free but there is a donation box. Even adults will enjoy the display of different toys, baby carriages, dolls and more from the past.

I passed by Gladstone’s Land, a narrow six-storey building from the 17th century. There is a fee to go in but with limited time, I didn’t see the painted ceilings and 17th century style furnishings.

Another freebie is Museum of Edinburgh showing details of Old Town life. Genealogists like coming here to research family trees.

Palace of Holyroodhouse was closed the day. This is Queen Elizabeth’s official residence of Scotland. This palace has a past including one notorious murder and several major fires. To make a visit worthwhile you need at least two hours.

I made my way toward Princess Street, which was under construction. The two hundred foot high Scott Monument looms over this famous street known for shopping. It was built in 1844 honouring Scotland’s most famous author, Sir Walter Scott. I stopped in a couple of shops and inquired about Internet cafes. Two people directed me to Rose St. This pleasant street has some nice looking historic pubs but did not have any Internet cafes as two shop clerks pointed out.

I was hot, tired and thirsty and not sure what to do next so I headed back to Cockburn St. I sat outside Malt Shovel Pub with my beer and small chips (French fries). I asked the waitress where I could use the Internet. She pointed toward the Royal Mile.

Annoyed at myself for not thinking this in the first place. Most libraries have free Internet. Back on High St. I turned onto George IV Bridge. I walked into the National Library of Scotland. The man behind the desk told me I had to be a member to use the Internet. He pointed to the Central Library across the road.

Built in 1890, I walked into the Central Library headed upstairs to the reference room. Wow, I was impressed. It has lots of natural light, brightly painted walls, wood tables and chairs for people to sit. I applied for a free library card to use the free Internet service. About half an hour later, I explored a bit more of the library. When I walked upstairs to another room I noticed the card catalogue. I haven’t seen one of those in ages. The librarian told me they were in the middle of automation and was working with the old and new.

I made my way back to Waverly Station. I needed more time but my feet had enough. Perhaps I should have taken the hop on and off bus pass. I could have bought a local bus ticket day pass for 3.50 GBP. Well, next time. Edinburgh is definitely worth another visit.


Street Talk

Man, I love castles! Sounds like a wonderful trip!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

it was a wonderful trip. I hope to visit again someday and spend longer in Edinburgh and explore more of Scotland

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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