Thursday - November 10, 2011 - Edinburgh


Although I hate to admit it, we did an open top bus tour in Edinburgh. It was actually quite enjoyable. It gave a nice overview of the city and helped us confirm the things we wanted to do in our short stay in the city. It's also kind of nice to be up that high when driving around, it gives you a whole different perspective. It was of course not warm being November and all, but that freezing wind on your face sometimes feels good.

We got off at the castle and spent most of the rest of the day there. Part way through the visit the sun started to come out and the day transformed from good into wonderful. The views from the castle were stunning. We just about every part of the castle and even witnessed the daily firing of the canon. Everyone in the crowd jumped a mile even though they were waiting for it. It gave me a nice giggle. The prisoner of war area at the castle really gave me the creeps and I couldn't wait to get out of there, but every other part of the castle I enjoyed. I couldn't get over the views from up there. Besides Holyrood Park where Arthur's Seat is located, it has to be the best place to see the city. Wait that's a lie, there are also wonderful views from the road across the river with the old jail which is now a  government building, and the roman-esque structures. We had the pleasure of walking on it during sunset.

After some significant time at the castle we took a break to do some work emails at the hotel. I went off and did some touristy shopping and walking. During this time I was asked for directions and after less than 24 hours in the city I was able to give this poor confused person directions. Hilarious! Might as well continue the trend of getting asked for directions in every foreign city I have ever been in. It never ceases to surprise me. I must have looked like I knew where I was going.

We took the sunset stroll I mentioned above, that evening and had more amazing views. The sunset and moonrise that night really blew me away. I do love a good natural light show.  We walked across the river over one of the main bridges then up a hill and basically back across town towards Holyrood Park but on the other side of the River Leith, then we crossed back over and walked up the Royal Mile from the Scottish Parliament building up to our hotel. We ended the walk with dinner at Thai Orchid, right next door to the Hanem where we at the previous night. It felt a little silly doing that but it was just so convenient and Thai always has good vegetarian options for me. It was quite tasty. It was a good end to an enjoyable day.

Moonrise sans tripod. I should really have brought it. Woops.