Sunday, November 30, 2008

Travel Journal Days Five and Six: Edinburgh

On Thanksgiving Day, we made our way to King's Cross Station at 6:30am to catch our train to Edinburgh, Scotland. It was a beautiful 4 1/2 hour train ride through England and then up the east coast of Scotland.

We saw some lovely scenery. We are now using my big, heavy camera as we are desperate to get pictures of our great adventures. Here's a shot through the train window of the east coast of Scotland.
After our long train ride, we were pleasantly
surprised to find our hotel located right
outside the train station AND our rooms were
ready at 11:30 in the morning.
Here's a shot of our hotel, The Balmoral,
from the North Bridge at dusk
After freshening up at the hotel, we took a walking
tour called "Secrets of the Royal Mile". The Royal
Mile is the cobblestone road in Edinburgh that leads
from Edinburgh Castle (no longer in use by the Royals),
to Holyrood House (home of the queen and Royal family
while in Edinburgh--they also have a Scottish summer
home called Balmoral--not to be
confused with the hotel of the same name).
We learned a lot about the history of
Edinburgh. What a great city and the tour
was full of great stories, especially the story
of Deacon Brodie, the real character behind
Robert Louis Stevenson's fictional
Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
After our tour, we stopped back at
our hotel for a "spot of tea"

On Friday, we headed straight up the
Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle.
Entrance to the Castle
Joey in his newly purchased Christmas
themed outfit from Uniqlo
You can see our hotel, The Balmoral,
through the Cannon hole in the castle wall
New Edinburgh in the background
"The Boys" standing in front of the oldest
building in Edinburgh, the little St. Margaret's 
Chapel at the top of the Edinburgh Castle grounds
dates back to the early 12th century
Brotherly Love

After the Castle we headed down the Royal Mile
If you get a chance to visit one of these on any of
your travels--do so. This particular Camera Obscura
had about three floors of very cool illusions and then
the top floor had fantastic views and the Camera Obscura
itself, with a telescope lens
and mirrors they projected an image of Edinburgh onto
a white wood table. Lots of fun.
Harnessing the power of electricity

After Camera Obscura Michael wanted to visit
the Scottish History Museum. On the way we
passed the Elephant House coffee shop where J.K.
Rowlings, divorced single mother sat with her infant
daughter drinking coffee and looking
up at Edinburgh Castle for inspiration while
 writing the Harry Potter novels.

We caught the 5:00pm train back to London and
back to our little apartment.

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