Our trip to Scotland was planned to celebrate our retirements. We had to wait for the youngest member of our group to retire, but it’s been well worth the wait. Our cute flat in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh was close to everything. It looked ancient on the outside, and it was by Cranbrook standards, but it was modern inside.
Our jet-lagged bodies needed fresh air and exercise, so we chose a walk along the “Water of Leith,” a riverside trail close to our flat.
Sometimes we were close to the water with birds everywhere.
Sometimes we were above, with fantastic views.
We followed the route to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Here’s a photo of Doug standing in front of the gallery. Behind him is a landscape which unlike the traditional landscape actually is a landscape. It’s titled “Landform,” and is the modern art equivalent of an expansive front lawn.
We walked past St. Margaret’s Cathedral on our way to a pub in Haymarket for lunch.
After our lunch of meat pies, we were back to the Water of Leith, past Stockbridge to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Many of the rhododendrons were in bloom.
So were the azaleas.
Joanne has a degree in forestry and was interested in the labels on all the unique trees. This one is a dawn redwood (if we remember correctly.)
The next day, we attacked Edinburgh Castle by taking a taxi up the hill and being there before it opened. We took advantage of our Explorer Pass to avoid the ticket lines. Here are Joanne, Bill and Wendy waiting in line.
Without rushing, we got up to the viewpoint by Meg’s Mon a and had the place to ourselves for a few minutes.
Here’s a view from a view of the city from a few steps away. Notice the dog cemetery (for soldiers’ dogs) in the foreground.
Here’s the square outside the National War Museum Scotland with a statue of the Earl of Haig (that had been moved from the Esplanade) and the hospital behind.
Inside the Royal Apartments
‘Lil Fox’ found a friend.
Outside the castle, we joined the crowds coming up the Royal Mile.
We were pleased to find a garden just down an alley from the main street that provided a calm retreat and beautiful views.
We walked down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but it wasn’t open since there was a Royal visitor staying there. We walked all the way home, making it eleven kilometres by the time we were back at our lodgings. After dinner, we took a short jaunt to the park nearby to look for birds. We saw this grey heron who was not at all upset by our presence.
And this mother coot and her babies.
We’d had a couple of full days in Edinburgh with gorgeous weather but it was time to travel north. Next stop: Speyside.