Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 14 - Edinburgh


John went off to play golf on his own. Karen and Blair decided to have a lazy morning and I headed into town to get my netbook fixed.

I know I’ve said that Edinburgh is hilly but did I have to pick a computer fix-it shop on one of the hilliest streets – Hanover??

They agreed to try and fix it by 5pm today (Friday) and even offered me a laptop to use when I asked where the closest Internet café was.

I then decided to go strolling along Princes St, popping into shops along the way and snapping photos. I went as far as Queensferry where I stopped for lunch in Ryan's, not a bad chicken sandwich but too wet for my liking.
The Castle from Queensberry - You can see it from many vantage points.

Now it was time for me to meet the gang at Costa’s on Waverley Place. We hopped into a cab to visit Edinburgh Castle, a definite highlight of any trip to Edinburgh. None of us wanted to do that steep climb up to the palace on foot.

I just love their official logo:

Edinburgh Castle dominates the city providing majestic views from most vantage spots downtown. We had been admiring its presence since we arrived and checked into our rented house.

Here is a brief history from the Castle’s official website:

In the Middle Ages Edinburgh became Scotland’s chief royal castle - seat of royalty, headquarters of the sheriff of Edinburgh, military garrison and storehouse of the royal gun train, and repository of the nation’s crown jewels and state records.

Impressive buildings were constructed, including the 12th-century St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, David’s Tower, built for David II, Robert the Bruce’s son, in the 1370s, and the monumental great hall of James IV, opened in 1511. But the long and bitter Wars of Independence with the ‘auld enemy’, England, took their toll, and the castle endured siege upon siege; Edward I, Edward III and Henry VIII all did their utmost to batter down the walls.

In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in the royal palace within the castle. The tiny bed-closet still survives, a room that has a special significance for Great Britain, for in 1603 James VI became also James I of England - the ‘Union of the Crowns’. The departure of the Scottish court for London saw much of the royal ‘glitter’ go from the castle. Thereafter the stronghold became little more than a garrison fortress and arsenal. The last sovereign to sleep there was Charles I in 1633, prior to his coronation as king of Scots.

By now you can see that Robert the Bruce played a huge part in Scottish history. It’s time once again to watch Braveheart even though it is considered one of the most historically inaccurate movies of all time.

Upon leaving the Castle we were stunned to find ourselves on the Royal Mile which meant we could have easily walked into the Castle without much hill climbing. The Royal Mile is so called because the street is approximately a mile and runs from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle.
Here is a fun website

John and I walked over to Hanover St (another climb for me) the netbook wasn’t ready so the owner suggested we go for a beer (what a concept) and come back at 6. So we climbed back up and down Hanover again to meet Karen and Blair at the pub on Rose Street. We then left them there and climbed Hanover once more and picked up the netbook.

Back up and down Hanover to Rose St.

We had agreed that we would all meet up at the Rose St Brewery, a former brewery set in the famouse cobbled Rose St.later in the day as we had to pick up the repaired netbook.

We were then on a mission to find The Golf Tavern for dinner. The barmaid kindly drew us a map and off we set.
It was opened in 1456 and considers itself the oldest tavern in the world. Located only a ten minute walk from Princes Street, it overlooks the meadows and the world's oldest short hole golf course - the historic Bruntsfield Links.

Someonedidn't decided we needed dessert...

9:00 PM and it is still light enough to play some golf.

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