Edinburgh, Sterling castle and Rosslyn Chapel
We arrived in Edinburgh around midday, picked up our hire car and headed into the city. We were unable to check in, so I grabbed my camera and headed towards the royal mile.
Couldn't believe my eyes as we rounded the corner and this is what we seen. Can't wait to get a closer look in a few days.
The Royal mile was absolutely packed with people and closed to all traffic. Currently the fringe festival is in full swing and I have to say it's pretty amazing with street performers everywhere. We had a little wander around whilst we waited for our tour.
Our first tour in Scotland was the
Real Mary King's close
Mary King's Close is a historic close ( lane way) located under buildings on the Royal Mile, in the historic area of Edinburgh, Scotland. The close was partially demolished and buried due to the building of the Royal Exchange in the 18th century, and later closed to the public for many years. The area became shrouded in myths and urban legends, including that the streets were sealed up with plague victims inside to protect the city. This was a really good tour, we were guided through various "Houses" (some were really just rooms) and provided with a background of how people lived in those days, it was really interesting. The guide explained that as the buildings were 7 - 8 stories high the people living at ground level ( the poorest) rarely seen sunlight in there homes. Also as cattle were valuable and Edinburgh was a walled city, it was common that cattle were kept in a barn type room at the same level as the poor. It was really interesting. Sadly no photo's were allowed.
The next day we decided to take a have a bit of a rest and we went on a bus tour to see a few places of interest close to Edinburgh.
The first place we visited was
This lovely church is the second largest final resting place for Scottish royalty. We had a really lovely tour, with a very informative guide, he walked us around explaining key aspects of various parts of the abbey.
The most Important resident of the Abbey is King Robert the Bruce. King Robert fought successfully against the British during his reign and succeeded in making Scotland an independent country.
We then headed to
Sterling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. It s buildings date from the 15th and 16 th Century.
It was the home to many members of the Scottish Royal family, with many Kings and Queens, including Mary Queen of Scots being crowned here and several being Born or died here.
It has withstood 8 sieges during it's time with the laser being in 1742 when Bonnie Prince Charle unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.
Today it is owned by historic environment Scotland and has been having major work done to bring the castle back to its former glory.
After Sterling castle we headed to the monument for Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.
The Battle of Bannockburn was a significant Scottish victory in the First War of Scottish Independence, and a landmark in Scottish history, this battle resulted in re establishing of Scotland as an independent country. Robert the Bruce is seen as a national hero. After meeting King Robert we headed to
Rosslyn chapel was founded around the 15th century as a catholic collegiate chapel. After the Scottish reformation in 1560 the chapel could no longer be used for Catholic worship and was closed for public worship until 1861, when it re opened as a Episcopal church.
Whilst the original plans for Rosslyn chapel have never been found, it is believed that the Chapel was not finished as originally planned. Unfortunately I was unable to take photo's inside but it is truely
The carving and detail throughout the chapel is just so intricate and there is so many little things hidden in the carvings that you could visit everyday for months and still never see it all.
As we headed off on our bus trip our driver informed us we should enjoy the rare bit of Scottish sunshine as it won't last throughout the day, but he was wrong we had a beautiful sunny day all day
It was wonderful and topped off by the discovery of a gin bar in downtown Edinburgh
A h-uile la sona dhuibh
‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
(May all your days be happy ones)