Sunday was a lovely day, perfect for a wander around Edinburgh.
Scotland, as you may have heard, has a certain reputation for unpredictable weather, so when it’s fair you’d best take advantage. A very good thing we did, as today it’s been spitting rain off and on. One minute the sun’s out and glorious, the next it’s time to break out the umbrella. While you can see the sites between showers, brilliant sun makes for much more beautiful photos. We were very fortunate with yesterday’s weather.
Arriving in the city, we parked near the western approach to the castle. It’s a natural starting point, located at the top of the main thoroughfare known popularly as the Royal Mile, a central part of Old Town Edinburgh. Being a Sunday, parking was free – another bonus. During the week it can be a bit pricey, as in any other city.
Climbing the hill past the castle, this is the view looking back. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is no bad view of Edinburgh castle. Admittedly prejudiced, there’s no view I love more.
Walking down the Royal Mile from the castle, it’s a short, easy stroll to St. Giles Cathedral. From the castle it’s all downhill. That’s the good news. Just keep in mind what goes down must come back up. It’s no mean feat traipsing around Edinburgh, a hilly capital city. If you’re like me, used to most of your exercise consisting of getting up off the couch to find the remote, you may want to pace yourself. On the way back, I recommend stopping at the pubs conveniently dotting both sides of the street, throwing back a pint or two at each. It’ll still be a long way back, but the closer you get to the top the less of a damn you’ll give.
If whisky’s more your thing, feel free to substitute. Any old port in a storm.
In front of St. Giles.
At the bottom of the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace. This building, pictured, is just outside the gate. We’ll leave roaming the palace and grounds for another day. There’s a lot to see in and around Holyrood, and we still had quite a way to go getting back to where we’d parked.
Facing Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament.
A very modern building, it’s a bit jarring, architecturally speaking. It’s designed so that from a distance it appears like an upturned boat. One day, when I’m brave enough to climb the path to Arthur’s Seat, I can look down and see it for myself. It may not be so bad from that angle. I’m just not a fan of modern buildings plopped down in the middle of lovely old cities.
Arthur’s Seat itself. There are two paths up, one challenging and one for lazy wimps like myself. I’m told the views from the top are breathtaking. Yeah, so is the trek up. One day.