Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017 Rest day in Edinburgh

Agnes and I slept in this morning and got kind of a slow start on doing any touring but I think that is what we needed.  The last week has been pretty hectic.  A nice lazy morning was just what we needed.  Although Agnes was busy looking stuff up on the internet and scoping out the best deals on Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tours.  She found a deal which had a 48 hour pass and fast pass entry to the Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannica and Holyrood.  With the number of tourists in town there are 20-35 minute waits just to buy tickets.  So we jumped on the city bus and headed downtown. 
We got our passes to a bus tour and were off.  The bus wound through the narrow streets and the commentary pointed out all sorts of birth places of famous people, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Tony Blair, etc.  There were lots of famous names and places to be sure.  Before long we were at the Edinburgh Castle so we hopped off and went to see the castle.  To say that it is amazing is really an understatement.  To say it was crowded would also be an understatement.  However when I was asking the bus driver a questions he also added that good thing I was here on a day which wasn’t too busy. 
The Edinburgh Castle is built on top of an ancient volcanic plug which goes straight up 430 feet.  People have been using this a defensible position since the earliest bronze age.  The earliest castle works though date back to 1107.  The castle has undergone hundreds of rebuilds as a result of different wars and sieges which have attacked the castle.  Most of the works which are currently in place now were added in the 1700 to 1800 century.  We had a beautiful clear sunny day and you could see the entire city and harbour laid out below.  The castle has played a very important part in Scotland’s military and royal history.   It was great wandering the streets of the castle and soaking up the history. 
After the castle we got back on the bus and rode around marvelling at the different buildings and listening to the audio guide.  We had open air seats on one of the double decker tour buses.  It was so warm and sunny.  It was hard to imagine that we were here on maybe the nicest day Edinburgh has seen in ten years.   After a couple hours the bus was getting close to our condo so we jumped off and walked home.
Tomorrow we plan to be out there early and pick up the Yacht Britannica, Holyrood, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We can see the Firth of Forth Bridge which is a World Heritage site from our balcony and we will ride across the Forth Road bridge on Monday and I will get good pictures then from my bike.
Supper in the condo and a relaxing evening sound like pretty good ending to a great day.

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