Friday, February 6, 2009

Edinburgh, Scotland (Pronounced: Edinburrah)

After a week of power failures and Internet problems, I'm finally posting some Scotland pictures. It was really hard to choose just a few. I took over 1,300 pictures this time. This set is all in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a great city to visit. Almost everything you'd want to see, you can see without ever getting in a car. When we are in Edinburgh, we walk everywhere. About the only exception would be if we take a trip to see the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith Harbor.

Edinburgh Castle sits on an extinct volcano.
The earliest historical accounts of a fortress here date to the 600's C.E.,
but the site was likely occupied at least since 1500 B.C.E.

Houses like these that sit at the edge of the Esplanade
outside Edinburgh Castle and dating to the 1500's,
once lined both sides of the "Royal Mile" in the old town.

The One O'Clock Gun.
Needing a way for the ships in the harbor in Leith to set their clocks,
the merchants in Edinburgh decided upon using a gun fired
from the Castle at 1PM each day.
Standing on the docks in Leith when you hear the gun,
it is six seconds past 1PM.

St. Margaret's Chapel.
Built in 1124 by David I in honor of his mother St. Margaret,
the chapel is the oldest existing structure in Edinburgh Castle.
One of the best preserved early Norman buildings anywhere in Britain.
The gun in the left foreground is known as Mons Meg.

Mons Meg.
One of the largest bore cannon ever built (bore is twenty inches),
it was a gift from Philip III, Duke of Burgundy to James II in 1457.
Mons Meg could hurl a 150kg projectile 2.5 miles.
It was last fired in a celebration in 1680, when the barrel exploded.

The Scottish War Memorial.
Also within the Castle, this memorial is dedicated to the 150,000 Scots,
out of 4.8 million, who were killed in WWI.
At just over 3% of the total national population,
Scotland had the highest casualty rate of any nation during WWI.

Edinburgh Castle at night as seen from Prince's Street.

Edinburgh Castle as seen from Arthur's Seat,
another extinct volcano on the other end of town.

Arthur's Seat. Extinct volcano on south end of town.
We climbed this on what became a very windy, cold and rainy day.
The sun came back out after we reached the bottom.

The Scottish Parliament.
I rarely hear a kind word about the choice of design.
Most consider it a monstrosity thrust in the midst of historic buildings.
Calton Hill and Nelson's Monument is in the background.
Calton Hill is another extinct volcano.

Another view as we ascended Arthur's Seat.
The white building the foreground is Dynamic Earth.
Dynamic Earth is a learning center teaching Earth's
geological evolution through the use of dynamic interactive displays.
To the right of the picture is Holyrood Palace.
This is the Queen's residence when she's in Edinburgh.
The water in the background is the estuary known as the Firth of Forth.
The harbor of Leith is located there.

The two oldest houses in Edinburgh.
The white house was home to John Knox, Protestant reformer.
The house immediately to the left is the oldest house in Edinburgh,
built around 1470.
John Knox' house was built around 1490.

The Heart of Midlothian.
It gets its name from the book by Sir Walter Scott.
Only visitor's who don't know the history step in it.
Residents spit in it as they pass. It's bad luck to step in it.
This was the location of the cell wherein prisoners awaited execution.

St. Giles Cathedral at night.
This was John Knox' parish church.
The church graveyard was paved over and
headstones removed in the 1800's.
John Knox is buried under parking slot 24
on the other side of the building.

Day or night, Edinburgh provides some great spooky shots.

House at the end of the Dean Bridge.
Dean Bridge was built in 1832 by Thomas Telford, linking
Queensferry Road and Queensferry Street over the Water of Leith.
The house is located to the northwest corner of the city center.


momcat said...

Absolutely eerie photos. Like stepping back a couple of hundred years in time. With only the modern accessories like cars to give away the time.

Sunny said...

Scotland, the land of my dreams.

Joanie said...


Charles Gramlich said...

That castle at the top, on the extinct volcano, is just a perfect fit for my imagination. Had I grown up in the middle ages I would have wanted to live there, even if I were a servant or man-at-arms.

Scott said...

I really enjoy your pictures. It makes me want to visit Scotland
Anyway, I have been reading your blog for awhile and I enjoy your writing a lot. I wanted to post a link to your blog on my site, would you be interested in a link exchange?
Check it out: Http://

Clare2e said...

These pictures are spectacular! I love the little snippets about each one, too. Might be crazy with all the tropical beaches in the world, but Edinburgh is a place I've wanted to visit for years. Your pictures are as cool as my imagination. Thanks for the vicarious thrills.

Simplicity said...

I would probably spend most of my time at Dynamic Earth!

These photos are absolutely fabulous!

Jenn Jilks said...

Thank you for sharing your photos. I find vicarious travel fits into my budget!

The pronunciation guide is helpful, too. My actor-son specializes in UK & Canadian accents. They are tricky. My French Canadian son-in-law helps me with my French!

preTzel said...

I am so jealous! That places looks fabulous. I would love to be able to go there. :) Thank you for sharing it with me.

Barbara Martin said...

Edinburgh looks pretty much the same as when I last saw it in 1970. Overcast with rain showers. But the shops are divine and the pub food wonderful chased down with a pint.

The Muse said...

Awesome! Brings back many a memory from a trip I took there with my mother. I would so love to return.

Vodka Mom said...

Those were so incredible! I love the spooky shots in particular- but really enjoyed this little field trip!!!

Travis Erwin said...

Great shots. I would look at all 1300 if you had the time to post them which I know you do not.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow. These are just gorgeous! I love the variety. I visited Edinburgh when I was in college, and I adored it. Looking at these pictures makes me long to go back again, and for longer than the two or three days that we had there.

Ello said...

1300 pics? How is that even possible? I'm lucky if I take 10! Yeah I'm not good with the camera.

Love these pictures. My favorite is the one of the castle at night. How beautiful and unusual!

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