About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Scot Rail to Edinburgh

This morning we enjoyed one more Scottish breakfast, check out and headed to the train station.  

Strathness House, our home for the last three nights.

Katrina stops along the way to take more pictures.

Our train ride to Edinburgh took about 3 1/2 hours, through fantastic countryside and scenery.  We even crossed the Firth of Fourth Bridge, which made Brandon very happy.  He's had a favorite bridge book since he was a little boy and this bridge is one of the highlights of the book.  

Once in Edinburgh, we took a taxi to our home for the next two nights, the Gil Dunn Guest House.

Our room, with Brandon already crashed on the his bed.  

View from our room - the guest house is located in a regular Edinburgh neighborhood.  

Edinburgh is the historical and cultural capital of Scotland.  It was once a medieval powerhouse and was the hometown of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.  Edinburgh was once the most crowded city in all of Europe.  In the Age of Enlightenment, a Georgian city was laid out to its north, now todays new town.  The new Georgian area of town celebrated the union of Scotland and England.  For the past several centuries, Scotland was ruled from London.  But in 1998, the Scots voted to gain more autonomy, and brought their Parliament back to Edinburgh.  Today their are many references to the 'nation' of Scotland and there is an upcoming decision on whether or not Scots want total autonomy from England. 

We decided to take a City Sightseeing tour first, to get an idea of the general layout of Edinburgh.  

Edinburgh Castle

Another side of Edinburgh Castle

Brandon listens to the audio commentary through headphones.  

Sir Walter Scott Monument, built in 1840, honors the author.  You can climb its 287 steps for a city view.  

Palace of Holyroodhouse.  This is located at the end of what is known as the Royal Mile, a mile long street from Edinburgh Castle down to the palace.  It is normally open for public tours, but during our visit there were  royal family members in town, so it was closed.  

Arthur's Seat.  You can hike up the 822 foot remains of an extinct volcano.  The trail is famous for a running scene in the movie Chariots of Fire.  

Once we had ridden the entire loop of the City Sightseeing route, we hopped off at the train station and walked up to the Royal Mile, stopping for an early dinner at a fabulous Thai restaurant - one of the best meals of the trip!

The train station.  

St. Giles' Cathedral, Scotland's most important church.  It's ornate spire, the Scottish crown steeple from 1495, is a proud part of Edinburgh.  

The Royal Mile - its actually 200 yards longer than a mile - runs from Edinburgh Castle down to the Royal Palace.  

Looking down the Royal Mile

After wandering this area for awhile, we realized we were tired and ready to head to our room for the night.  

Tomorrow we will visit Dynamic Earth, a museum near the palace, and Edinburgh Castle.  

No comments:

Post a Comment