Edinburgh:

We arrived in Edinburgh for 5 nights – 4 full days.  We really wished we had more time in Scotland, but our trip is rapidly coming to an end, so we are happy to squeeze in our time here.

Back in Paignton (Devon)  R accidently left his shoes on the beach – and they were gone in the morning. In Cardiff, we found the same shoes, but not the right size. The Cardiff store had a pair from London sent to the Edinburgh store.  So, on day 1, we made our way to get R his new kicks.  After getting the shoes (and a pair for me as well!), the shoe salesperson recommended seeing Dean’s Village – a small cobblestone town in a valley.  So, we made our way there.  Dean Village is on a stream called the “Water of Leith”  And it was stunning.  We stopped and had a nice snack alongside the stream.

 

I just want to stay here forever.

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We made it back into town, and wandered a bit, and I got this sunset shot on an evening walk (taking a work phone call)

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On day 2, we made our way to Edinburgh Castle.  This is a Sir Walter Scott Monument. K and the kids went up, I stayed with the sleeping KJ and the buggy below.IMG_20160802_125852

Walking across the green gardens towards the castle. This garden used to be a loch and was flooded.  Now it has the train station, and a great green park.  The Ferris Wheel was under construction for the Festival – that began the day we left. The crowds grew each day as we were in town.. It was fun, butI am really glad that we were not there for the festival. I really like experiencing  a town for itself.. and with all the additional visitors, and street performers – it was harder to get a good read on Edinburgh.

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The Edinbugh Fringe Festival is huge.  There were venues everywhere.. Plays, comedians, bands.  Every square, bar, space had a stage.  AS the week progressed, the town got more and more crowded.  Not really our thing – but we worked with it.IMG_20160802_135331

 

This is where the Military Tattoo takes place. It is a giant Temporary arena right outside the castle – and pipes and drums perform.  This would have been fun to see – but it was sold out months before we arrived 😦  We got to walk through the arena on our way to the castle.IMG_20160802_140056

This is the view form the castle walls – looking down at the garden (and the train station) and the “new” town, built in the 1800s.  The water in the distance is the Forth River.  It is actually an estuary or “firth”  so it is the Firth of Forth.  The Kingdom beyond the Forth is Fife.  so, yes, we are looking at the Firth of Forth and Fife.  So many silly puns. 🙂

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The Scottish Crown Jewels were in this buildingIMG_20160802_150945

Artwork of all teh Scottish Kings.IMG_20160802_151901IMG_20160802_151908IMG_20160802_160520

 

Bagpipe music everywhere.IMG_20160802_162524

 

JK Rowling is from Edinburgh.  She wrote the first Harry Potter books in longhand in the back of the Elephant House tea room.  This is the view from that room.  Hogwarts anyone?  With an adjoining Quiddich field?IMG_20160802_171645

 

The next day from right below the castle:IMG_20160803_151724

 

This is a Stuart castle, across the street from Scottish Parliament.  This is Where the Queen stays in EdinburghIMG_20160803_162330

 

Best gluten free french toast. Ever.  We went twice 🙂IMG_20160804_092851

 

Camera Obscura is a cool sensory museum right outside the castle.  Here is the mirror mazeIMG_20160804_114117

 

We had a GREAT time, but were ready to leave as the crowds began to pour in.  It worked out well that we were leaving (totally by chance) the day that the Fringe Festival officially started.  That morning we woke up, took a couple of trains, a bus, and a ferry to arrive in Belfast NI.

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