Sunday, November 14, 2010

Edinburgh Castle

Friday a couple of us decided that we wanted to get out of Dodge, so tossing a dart at the stack of bus schedules gives us the wonderful destination of Edinburgh. (Which would've been even better had we picked the right bus and hadn't had to stop at every. single. corner and old folks home on our way there -- what should've been 2 hrs took over 3).

We ended up at the Scottish National Gallery (yay, art) before heading back into the cold and realizing that I was the only one of us who'd dressed for the wind and the chill and the drizzle. It's cold, windy, and rainy in Scotlad? Gadzooks! Who'd have thought it?

But after searching for a Boots and finally finding my travel companion something warm, we make our way to my main point of the trip -- Edinburgh Castle. Because lord knows I love me a castle.

You can see the castle looming over the city from most anywhere, which I think is lovely. And I think I frustrated my friend because I refused to pull out a map -- you can see the bloody thing from anywhere. To get there, just walk up the hill and you'll get there. There's only so many places that it can be.

Which, of course, I was right. Walk up the hill and you get to the Royal Mile and then to the castle.

Inside the castle, in the square between the Great Hall and facing the tower housing the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone.

We ended up jumping into one of the little 20 minute guided tours to introduce us to the castle before being set off to explore ourselves. The tour guide was fantastic and funny -- he gave tours like I used to when I gave them, which means facts interspersed with jokes and exaggerations. Loved it. And he had a fantastic accent to boot, which just made it all the better. I'm assuming Glasgow since a good handful of his jokes involved Rangers and Celtic.

And once we left him, it was time to explore. I'm a sucker for pretty things, so of course I want to check out jewels. I kept trying to take a picture in the 'no pictures allowed' area but the docent wouldn't turn her back. Ever. Which... yeah, way to do your job, but still. It's not like I was planning on using flash!

And the view overlooking Edinburgh was breathtaking. Especially the hill in the distance, known as Arthur's Seat. Some people say it's in reference to King Arthur, but it's more than likely just a bastardization of the Gaelic name. Either way, on a pretty day I want to walk to the top of it.

Which would be the point where I say what's next and my friend goes 'um, I know I didn't tell you before, but I need to head back into town early...'

Thanks, man.

At least on the way back we got the correct bus.

Regardless, I can't wait to go back. Next on the list for Edinburgh, the Christmas Market and more roaming around.

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