Almost as soon as we got off the bus in Edinburgh, we found a street market and got piping hot, crispy macaroons.
Our happy gang, Hannah, Jak and Ruthiey. We were all super psyched to be in a new city and to have time to explore.
Ancient green graveyard nearby the castle.
Before we explored the castle, we fulfilled one of Hannah's life-long dreams and climbed a nearby hill called Arthur's Seat that gave us a terrific view of the Edinburgh skyline and the sea to our right.
I think the moodiness of the weather in the United Kingdom helps accent the history and grandeur. Some youthful place like California can afford to be sunny all the time, but when you're surrounded by an ever changing sky, it leaves room for more emotions. Edinburgh has stories, man, and not all of them are best told in blinding sunlight.
Someone else summed up our response to the incredible view and city. (Or maybe, they were dedicating something to their mother, but interpretation is an individual thing, right?)
Then, we headed up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. I was skeptical about how amazing it would really be. C'mon, you guys, what is travel without a bit of skepticism?
But it was excellent. Just the outside got me really excited.
Oh my gosh, a big castle that has been around for a long time and is still standing and could even be feasible defended in this day and age! (Discounting aerial or nuclear warfare, of course.) Seriously, though, the castle is built on top of a steep hill that would be very hard to attack.
I didn't take a lot of pictures, but the interior was basically a city inside itself, winding up and around. There was a chapel, prisons, military barracks and strategy centers, a war memorial and a great hall.
Some American prisoners that were imprisoned here scratched a picture of a ship with the american flag on it.
Makes you feel powerful, right? You could blow up the world!
The stonework was awesome.
There's Jak, as we leave the gates. We were hungry so bye, bye castle.
We all got a Doner Kebab from a backstreet restaurant.
And it was delicious. It had an awesome garlicky cream sauce, lots of strips of lamb and some red cabbage slaw. We decided that food tastes 66% better when you're hungry.
I went to an art gallery by myself and found Mr. Darcy. Hi there.
Here was a painting of the Isle of Skye in Scotland which we wanted to visit but ran out of time.
Trying out a new lipstick color.
This cracked me up. After taking in tours and plaques and explanations, humor is a relief.
Also, I found the world's largest crab and heaviest beetle (on left). Just in case you were wondering.
And a snack! Er- a snake, rather. I'm not that adventurous in my eating.
One retro artist had a technique to make paint look like dew.
Also, Sir Percival Blakeney's cuff links! Tiny Englishmen galloping away. :)
Also, a claymore! This was a sword that even a huge Scot would have to use two hands to wield and though they look clumsy, they were terrifying and effective on the battlefield. (Andrew, I keep wishing you could be here to see things like this!)
Edinburgh, you were a marvelous section of our trip. Cheers!