We had about 4 hours to spend in Edinburgh before catching the train down to England. We did nothing but walk those four hours, with a brief break for lunch. First on our list was Edinburgh Castle.
The entrance to the castle was about as far as we went--we had the whole of Old Town Edinburgh to see! We didn't even get to see the impressive side of the castle, perched on top of a hill overlooking Edinburgh. Go to the website to see what I'm talking about.
I thought this guy looked like the twin of the knight in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie: "You have chosen...wisely."
The castle is built on top of an extinct volcano and incorporates volcanic rock into its walls.
We walked past the National Library of Scotland with its motto "Let there be light" emblazoned above the entrance. Below, a man gets ready to light his cigarette. I thought this was funny.
We ate lunch at the Elephant House...
birthplace of Harry Potter! I geeked out.
I geeked even further when I visited the ladies' restroom and saw this graffiti on the door: "RIP Severus Snape" "Dumbledore's girl through and through" "Peeves was here," and more.
I had to go back back to the table to get the camera to take a picture, even though the entrance to the loo was in full sight of everyone seated in the back of the cafe.
We toured the John Knox House, reputedly a home of the famous Protestant who led the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century. The house itself dates back to 1470.
The rooms were foreign to us 21st century folk, all low ceilings and creaky floors and spare furnishings. This room had an intriguing, intricately patterned ceiling. In the corner rested an example of what the ceiling may have looked like back in the day, lively colors and all.
We took a peek at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Queen of England while in Scotland. Mary, Queen of Scots, lived here.
My goodness, the history keeps piling up.
A moment of cheer to balance the weight of history: Dr. Who's TARDIS! Otherwise known as a typical police information box.
Falling in love with Edinburgh even more: everywhichway streets! On the right is the George IV Bridge going up and on the left is Candlemaker's Row going down. The Elephant House is just up the ways on George IV Bridge.
Walking along Candlemaker's Row. It was nice to get away from the crowds on the Royal Mile, like sharing in a secret only the locals know about.
A touch of whimsy to end the 4 hour whirlwind tour: a jaunty stag on a fountain.
And with that we caught the train and headed down to our next stop on the trip: Hadrian's Wall.