Edinburgh, Scotland (April 28th – 29th, 2018)

Up and about, preparing to catch my train to Edinburgh. I was up and packed before any of the guys in my room were conscious. Hopped on my train and headed out of London.

Kings Cross station – love the architecture.

Part of the way up to Edinburgh, I was working on my scrapbook; gluing little bits and remnants into it. It was a sunny afternoon when we arrived at the Edinburgh Waverly train station. Off the train, I headed for my hostel that night so that I could lose my packs. As I was walking by an open square area near the Scottish National Gallery, I heard bagpipes playing and so I wanted to see what was going on. I came to find out that the band was called the Spinning Blowfish and consisted of a Scottish guy who played the bagpipes, and to Italian men from Milan who played the guitar and drums. They were really fun to listen to. They said they would be playing more over the course of the afternoon and so I hustled to the hostel so that I could drop of my stuff and then head back out to town to find dinner and listen to the band a little more.

Documenting Cinque Terre

Rolling along the coastline.

I love that bridge!!

 

Wait for it….. (in the video below).

 

This band is called the Spinning Blowfish.

 

 

After more wandering about, some chips and a sugar and lemon crepe, I headed back to the hostel for the evening.

April 29th

I really didn’t know what the weather was going to be like but I packed my day pack and headed out for long walk. I was planning to walk around Holyrood Park, generally in the southeast quadrant of Edinburgh. It’s right adjacent to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament building.

Scottish Parliament house.  Couldn’t decide which photo I liked better so I left both this one and the one below in. You decide which and let me know!  🙂

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I was starting my hike up the ascent of the hill and started chatting with a middle-aged Scottish guy. He was an engineer through an apprenticeship, then later went back to university for law and education as well as psychology/psychiatry. He’s done a little bit of everything apparently. Nice guy; told me about some of the history of Edinburgh and it’s buildings; how some of the architecture of the churches is more gothic/catholic rather than original Scottish, protestant, or Presbyterian. He has traveled quite a bit. Not sure how we got on the subject, but he was talking about his weight and it was too Scottish not to note: “I was 8 stones back then, my normal fighting weight is 11!!” Good to know, thanks for the info. 😀 He recommended I check out a bird sanctuary somewhere in the area of Forth Bridge, and that I visit Fort William and Perth.

Hiking up in Holyrood Park.

At about that time, we parted ways. He wanted to walk the low-road and of course I wanted to get to the top of things and so I was going the high road. I must say it was a relief to continue walking on my own; he was walking so slow. He was one of those people who can’t very well walk and talk at the same time… and so every couple of steps was a pause and a piece of conversation..etc, etc. 😀

It was a really nice hike…. here’s some pictures.

Would you choose the stairs or…

…up the rocks?

I did stairs about halfway and then rocks halfway.

Looking back to where I had been a short time earlier.

I love altitude!

Looking east from the highpoint in Holyrood park.

Looking generally west towards Edinburgh city centre.

One of the high-point markers.

On my way down from the top, I was walking on next to the road and started smelling something; I couldn’t tell if it was garlic or onion. But in the forest next to the road I saw this groundcover greenery that had a nice little white flower which was quite pretty. So I was trying to take some photos and this lady with a stroller starts gathering this plant and putting it into a fabric bag to bring home with her. She went on to tell me that this was fresh wild garlic and that you could take it home and it was very good sautéed in some oil. So I decided I would buy some other vegetables and have a stir fry for dinner. And she was right, it was quite tasty. 🙂

One of the pretty ponds on the way down back to town.

A really pretty pond.

Blossoms.

Fresh wild garlic…

Picked and ready to take home and cook.

Back in town, I decided to go up the Scott Monument. It’s a very tall narrow monument where the stairs get increasingly narrower as you get higher. The narrowest stairs are up at the very top where my shoulders and backpack were basically rubbing on the walls. 😀

The view fasting west on the “Royal Mile”

The Scott Monument.

Then, I decided I was running out of time and if I wanted to see the castle on the hill, I should probably head there right now and walk around. So that’s what I did. I didn’t see too much of the castle, but that’s ok. The day had already been amazing, the sun was shining, I had bought a new hat which I LOVE, and yea… I didn’t really need anything else to make the day a good one.

Just one of many views from the Edinburgh Castle.

Prisoner of War barracks.

One military prison cell that was open to the public.

On my way back to the hostel, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few things for dinner and also for breakfast and lunch the next few days that I would be in the highlands, with tiny villages and no real idea on where the nearest supermarket would be.

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Dinner (not yet sautéed)…. that stove took FOREVER to heat up.  

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