Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Palace Of Holyroodhouse......

When Her Majesty The Queen comes to Scotland for either business or pleasure she stays at her official residence, The Palace Of Holyroodhouse. Another must-see visitor attraction in Edinburgh is where we spent a few hours today. This impressive royal residence is best known for being the home of Mary, Queen of Scots during her short reign. Today the state apartments are used regularly by the Queen for state ceremonies and official entertaining.

Entrance To Palace

The Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Once inside we were self guided through 14 magnificent and historic state apartments, but unfortunately no photos were allowed. Outside stands the remains of the majestic 12th century Holyrood Abbey and gardens and nearby is the Queens art gallery.

Ruined Hollyrood Abbey

The vibrant city of Edinburgh is alive with people today since the sun is shining and temperatures are in the 60's. Locals and tourists alike are out enjoying the sunshine and sights of the city. While we were on the bus to the palace we spotted hundreds of police officers lined up ready go into action. Nearby were hoards of protestors chanting and carry flags and signs. Similar demonstrations could be seen all around the House Of Parliament which was nearby the palace.  I asked some of the locals what it was all about? Some thought it had something to do with the issue of Scotland leaving the European Union. Some are opposed while others are in favor of the decision creating a big mess. But no one was really sure what the protests were all about but whatever the cause it was surely keeping police, firefighters and paramedics on guard and ready to take action.

Arthur's Peak, The Highest Point In Edinburgh At 823 Feet
See All The Tiny People Up There

A Demonstration Is Over And Breaking Up

Sights Around The City Of Edinburgh

Mounties Going By

Tomorrow in the UK is Mother's Day and also when daylight savings time begins. While we are not sure yet where the day may take us we know it'll be special as we enjoy more of Scotland.....along the gringo trail.

Some photos of the palace inside included with this link:

Underground Vaults, Whiskey, Hidden Cameras And More....

The past few days in Edinburgh, Scotland were filled with highs and lows. From the towers of a castle to deep underground vaults that hide beneath the city. Then into a world of illusion with a hidden camera before we were immersed in a world of Scottish whiskey. While it might sound a bit bizarre it's just the norm for us in our life of  house sitting abroad.

Just a mile outside the old city walls of Edinburgh sits the  castle ruins of Craigmillar. It served as an oasis for Mary Queen of Scots in 1566 when she needed to escape the city life. The castle is full of nooks and crannies and mysterious hidden chambers that made it fun to explore.

Craigmillar Castle

Later that evening we set on foot to meet up with our tour guide for an underground tour. Beneath the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh's old town lies the damp, dark world unchanged since the 18th century. The Blair Street underground vaults are the largest system of underground caverns in the city that were built under South Bridge. Originally they were the arches under the bridge that were used by shop owners for storage until water began seeping in from above making them unusable. Later the poorer residents of the city moved into the creepy, dark, spaces until the city found out and evicted them, later filling in the vaults with rubble. An interesting tour filled with tales, terror and history of what life was like way back when.

Mercat Cross Is Our Meeting Place For The Tour

Then yesterday since the city saw a rare day of sunshine we set out again. Since our temporary home is on a main street it's an easy bus ride to the city center. From there we walked the famous Royal Mile until we spotted our first stop of the day.

Clyde's New Look
He Was Too Cheap To Buy The Hat Though

A Floating Witch

A Street Performer

Camera Obscura And The World Of Illusion is a fascinating, fun-filled place where seeing isn't always believing. With six floors of family fun this major tourist attraction of Edinburgh has been entertaining families since 1835. In the dome roofed of the building is the camera obscura, or darkened room. Through a hole in the roof, a telescope and mirrors a "live action" image appears on a domed table of what is actually happening outside. From inside this dark rooftop chamber we could see moving images of Edinburgh projected onto a viewing table through a giant telescope. Though this unique technology our guide could pick up ant sized LIVE people in our hands, make cars jump over bridges and so much more cool stuff. Amazing how a simple array of mirrors, lenses and daylight can produce this incredible panorama.   We were also able to view Edinburgh from the sixth floor observation deck.

The rest of the building was full of fun illusions, strange mirrors, a turning vortex to walk through, a mirror maze, and many more informative and fun things to do. There were features that allowed us to swap heads, see ourselves change race, lose body parts and other weird and wonderful stuff.

I'm Shrinking...

Tall And Thin, I Like This Look For Me

Double Trouble

Back in the streets it was still early enough to take in one more attraction. Since we ARE in Scotland where they say whiskey is the national drink, we had to take in The Scotch Whiskey Experience. Designed purely as a tourist attraction we were seated in a whiskey barrel and taken on a ride through the process of making whiskey. Next was a movie about the five areas in Scotland where whiskey is made along with an explanation of each type. And finally we were in the tasting room where we had our choice of whiskey's to sample.

Scotland's National Drink

One night while having dinner in town we watched as a dozen or more large, white trucks pulled into the street. The street was then closed off the public traffic and we wondered what they were doing? Was it vendors stocking up their stores or what? Turns out the new Avengers movie is being filmed right here. It's called "Infinity War," and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. So cool to think there might be celebs walking the streets nearby.

Another day of fun, frolic and a wee sip of some nip in Scotland.......along the gringo trail.