Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 22 - A Tour about the City

We arose leisurely and watched the passing of the baton created for the XX Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, Scotland in June of 2014, to the Queen at Buckingham Palace.  The Queen inserted her message into the baton, and now assigned volunteers will carry it 119,000 KM over the next 288 days through all 70 countries and their territories in the Commonwealth.

XX Commonwealth Games Baton
After watching the ceremony, we left the flat for the buses.  We were able to purchase a 48 hour pass that will let us on any of the five bus routes for as long or as little as we want.  Very helpful, since not all the buses cover the same area and those that do still provide different information.

So, on our tour we saw....

Holyrood Palace
Holyrood is the official residence of the royal family in Edinburgh.  Last night, Princess Anne stayed there since today she met with J.K. Rowling to officially open a MS clinic named after J.K. Rowling's mother.

Arthur's Seat on the Salisbury Crag
Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park in the Salisbury Crags. The hill rises above the city to a height of 251 metres (823 ft), provides excellent views.  It is the result of a volcano in the area that along with the glaciers that formed the area known as Edinburgh today.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is an historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock (a volcanic plug estimated to have risen some 350 million years ago during the lower Carboniferous period). Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age (2nd century AD), although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Duke of Wellington Statue in front of Register House
This magnificent bronze statue of The Duke of Wellington mounted on a rearing horse was sculpted by Sir John Steel (1804 - 1891) and erected outside Register House in 1852 among much celebration.  The Duke himself was so pleased that he commissioned two further versions of the sculpture, one for his home, Apsley House and the other for Eton London.  In Edinburgh, the statue is better known as  "The Iron Duke (Duke of Wellington) in bronze by Steele".

We have many more pictures and stories to share, but I'll need to go through all the photos to pick the ones we want to use and make sure I get my information correctly before I share them with you.  However, one more story I'd like to share concerns the spot where we had dinner.  The Elephant House.

Opened in 1995, The Elephant House has established itself as one of the best tea and coffee houses in Edinburgh. Made famous as the place of inspiration to writers such as J.K. Rowling, who sat writing much of her early novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle.  Now, it is listed as the "Birthplace of Harry Potter."  I was hoping that maybe some of her talent and inspiration might rub off on me.  Now, however, I need to say good-night, so I'll check in again tomorrow.


  1. What a wonderful journey you're having! And your descriptions are excellent. I feel like I'm with you there. (And wouldn't I like to be?!)

    1. If our place was a little larger, I'd invite you to join us. You'd have free lodging at least. Unfortunately, hubby and I are tripping over our own feet in our attempts to keep out of each other's way. If we do this again, I hope we opt for a larger place with two bedrooms and a separate sitting room. Convertible beds are okay for a week or two, but sleeping in one for two months is a bit hard on the back.