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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Edinburgh on the Quick

Flags of Scotland, UK & for now, the E.U.
Arriving in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon, we had adventures locating and checking into our hotel. Did we stay at the High Haggis Hilton, or the Wee Willie Waldorf? Naw, we stayed at the Holiday Inn. Ach! Now shut yer haggis hole, yee judgmental Jacobite, beggars can't be choosers. We hadn't planned for the better part of 2 days to be in Edinburgh, but every place we went on this trip we were told we HAD to see Edinburgh. How to see a large city in scant 2 days? Well, the 'jump on or off' tour bus of course.
Yay! Red line Tour Bus

Day one we used the bus to get to Princes Street, where all the fashion & electronics shops are. The story of how I got a duplicate of my broken camera is a long one, so I won't tell it. Consider yourself spared.

Below are all bits of the city I mostly shot from atop tour buses.

Can't even say you've been to Scotland if you don't see a bloke piping
Of course you can buy your own bagpipe here, if you like
Love this, but no idea what it is
I love unicorns wherever I find them
Balmoral Hotel
V. adorable wee church. 
Monument to Dr Livingstone, one presumes?
Monument to Sir Walter Scott
We passed by the 12th century Edinburgh Castle which sits on an extinct volcano called Castle Rock. Loads of history happened on top of that hill.
Edinburgh Castle
X marks the spot where rabble rousers historically stand and fuss
Lovely cobbled street... I adore cobbles
A popular shopping street with honest to God red booth thingies!
Scottish Parliament Building
Another view of the Scottish Parliament Building
National Museum of Scotland
My initial impressions. Edinburgh is grand, but twixt you and me - a bit grimy. Really, I wanted to ought to grab a bucket of hot soapy water and a bristly brush and make somebody else scrub the heck out of the entire city. That said, it is a grand old city.
Soot from 18th century coal? Not sure...
The buildings are so old, many have electrical wiring trailing about on their outsides. Really! There are pipes the wires trail through, entering the buildings through windows and such. I'm not totally sure if the wiring is just left over from the turn of the 20th century, or if those wire are still carrying currents. Amazing.

And on the dinginess of the buildings... Didn't notice this sort of thing in Prague, Budapest or Vienna. Buildings there are just as old, but why so much cleaner? Didn't those old cities use coal in past centuries too?

Tour buses are a nice, quick way of getting one's footing in new city. As we didn't really get on and off much, we didn't really experience much of Edinburgh, so I hope in future to visit the city again, and actually walk the castles, sip coffee in the wee shoppe where J.K. Rowling penned her books (!) and pat the wee nose on Grayfriar's Bobby where thousands of his fans patted his wee nose. So there is no choice, I must return Edinburgh! I shall return. I'm looking at you Ms. Judy S.!
Tribute to Greyfriar's Bobby - the little dog that loyally stood guard over his master's grave
For meals, Ila and I ate a lunch in downtown Edinburgh in a cool lounge, and had our dinners at the mall where we caught the tour buses.

Obligatory birdie photo time!
Lovely little Blue Tit

Fat Wood Pigeon
The now becoming 'common' to me, Pied or White Wagtail
Common Ravens, sharing some fast food trash
And tomorrow we're headed home, but not before a stopover -  in Iceland. Whooo hooooo!

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