Tag Archives: St. Giles Cathedral

A Sunny Day in Edinburgh

July 26 – Boy, did we sleep last night! Still a bit groggy this morning, but feeling human again. Today is a recovery day, with no itinerary planned. After a breakfast of oatmeal (Scots call it porridge and prefer it salted, not sweet), coffee and hot crossed buns, we’re feeling almost energetic! As the weather promises to be lovely – mid 60s with no precipitation – we put on our boots and set out to see some Edinburgh.

Our place is not far from The Royal Mile, home to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and a mile of shops, restaurants and tourist madness in between.

As we walked toward the city, I spotted a colorful giraffe, and stopped to grab a photo. A local mom explained that there were 70 uniquely painted giraffes all around Edinburgh, and if I found every one, I’d get a free ice cream! A nice person of Scotland, stopping to share with strangers. Here’s all I found today:

(Remember that you can click or touch any photo to make it larger)

For some reason, there were also a couple of cows. Do you think I can count them toward my prize?

Lovely architecture:

Tolbooth

Churches and buildings that used to be churches:

St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral
The Hub, formerly Tolbooth Kirk

We went into St. Giles Cathedral:

Entrance to St. Giles Cathedral
Thistles on the ceiling of the Thistle Chapel

We and many others stood outside and gazed at Edinburgh Castle, but tickets for the entire week were sold out. It is built on an old volcano called Castle Rock, and served as a royal residence from the reign of King David in the 1100s to the 1600s. It is one of the most often attacked castles in the world. We’ll just have to imagine what the Scottish Crown Jewels inside must look like.

Edinburgh Castle
The Castle Rock

The national flower of Scotland is the thistle. This tourist shop captures the spirit:

Lots of statues, of course:

Who’s that handsome statue? It’s Jim!

Below is the statue commemorating Wojtek, a brown bear that served with the Polish troops who fought alongside the Brits in WWII, carrying 100 pound boxes of ammunition. After the war he was brought to Scotland, where he lived the rest of his life at the Edinburgh Zoo.

Corporal Wojtek

At the end of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the Queen’s official residence when she visits Scotland. It’s most famous inhabitant was Mary, Queen of Scots.

Holyrood Palace

A little history, and lots of walking. A great day. More tomorrow!