Well, it’s been a long journey through the Scotland posts, but this is the last of them! Though, knowing me, I’ll find a reason to post more photos from my month among the kilts.
So, a year ago today I was admiring the koi at Changi airport:
The choice to fly to Manchester instead of direct into Scotland was for kinder departure/arrival times and that was totally worthwhile! I get that not everyone wants to spend 4 hrs on a train after 22 hrs flying, but it worked because it was a) sort of restful and b) there was so much to look at.
We got to our accommodation in the late afternoon. Perfect timing to unpack a bit, see if the beds were comfy and go for a stroll before dinner. A lovely, relaxed way to arrive!
In the itinerary, the next day was a “rest day” because you just never know how you’ll feel after those long haul flights, but we felt like visiting Calton Hill – the home of many monuments.
The walk up Jacob’s Ladder almost killed me (unfit and heights!), but the views were stunning. In fact all the views from Calton Hill were stunning.
The crags and Arthur’s Seat from about half way up Jacob’s Ladder
You really could see the whole Firth of Forth from Calton Hill. Not in this shot but even the bridges were visible through the haze!
From the area above the Dugald monument you can see out to Castle Hill and get a view of all the pointy landmarks in New Town and on the Royal Mile
I could add photos of all the monuments and the Observatory, but they’ve been photographed plenty! Instead, here’s a fantastic info board about how the hills of Edinburgh were formed. I have to say, Scotland does good info boards.
After strolling around Calton Hill for a while and sitting in the sun, we wandered down past the Old Calton Burial Ground – fascinating monuments there too – and into New Town. Because I like maps, I stopped off at the Tourist Info office on that side of Edinburgh Waverly and – to my surprise – found myself a piece of jewellery!
I buy jewellery when I travel (nothing like a practical souvenir!) but I’d thought I’d get something later in the Orkneys or on Lewis. I couldn’t go past the Heather Gems though because they look like stone/enamel but are made from heather! Like a bling with a story to it.
A stop to admire the Scott Monument was the last bit of wandering before lunch, but we were feeling pretty energetic and spent at the rest of the day at the National Museum. I really liked it. Some of the natural history displays were quite inventive…occasionally creepy…
I assume it’s a taxidermied bat… not sure about the foot…
They also had some great, themed, mini displays like this one on superstitions about rocks/fossils…
There was also a special exhibition showing all the finds from one Egyptian tomb. It wasn’t a royal tomb but and “ordinary” wealthy man and his wife. Loved it!
After a good chunk of the ethnographic displays, the Egyptian exhibition was about all our feet could handle for one day – it is a huge museum. On the way out, an attendant told us about the view from the roof which we enjoyed on our second visit.
Walking the Royal mile, we also saw St. Giles for the first time and it’s a firm addition to my list of favourite religious architecture.
What a great first day in Scotland! And the sunshine, long walks and fascinating finds continued throughout the trip really.
Thank you for coming on this blog-journey with me!