Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scotland - The Borders and Edinburgh

Our second day tour from Edinburgh was "Rosslyn and the Roman Border" which took us through the border country of Scotland and just across the border of Scotland into England to see Hadrian's Wall.

Rosslyn Chapel - built in the 15th century and widely known now because of the Da Vinci Code. ("Rose line"). Part of the movie was filmed here as well. Really beautiful and ornate (and old!).

The border of Scotland and England. A big rock with Scotland written on one side and England on the other. Scotland does have more markings and flags up as well. There was also a bagpiper here!

Town of Melrose, Scottish borders. Very typical Scottish town - stunningly beautiful and neat as a pin.

Hadrian's Wall. A 73 mile long, 8 foot wide, 10 foot tall wall spanning the width of the country, built by the Romans in AD 122. It took them just SIX years to build this! Stones have been removed from the wall over time. We climbed (and it was a CLIMB) up to the wall at the site of Houseteads fort. Bless our guide who walked up there with us. I would only ever do it once!

The view from the top of the wall.

The HUGE organ just inside the entrance to the museum in Glasgow. We didn't take too many pictures in Glasgow - because there really isn't much to see there. We were so very glad St. Andrews is closer to Edinburgh, which was key to our decision to base ourselves in Edinburgh and so spend a lot of time there. At the end of our stay in Scotland we went on a four day tour that started in Glasgow. We were only in Glasgow one afternoon and night. It's skipable! All museums and art galleries in Scotland (Ireland too for that matter) are FREE so we did take advantage of that. What a great idea to make them free to the public. People really do use them, they were all busy. We were lucky to visit the Glasgow museum when this organ was being played - spectacular!

Ah, Edinburgh. We both agreed that it's our favourite city in the world so far. So much history, so beautiful, so much to do and see. This is Edinburgh Castle - right in the middle of everything (but WAY up), you can see it from everywhere. We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the castle and this was the view from my seat at our table.

The view over the city from inside the castle grounds. You can easily spend more than one day at the castle.

This is the present day boy's school in Edinburgh that was the inspiration for J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Royal Mile, which runs between the Palace of Holyroodhouse at one end to Edinburgh Castle at the other.

Typical shops, etc. on the Royal Mile, this was close to the church where the Royal Wedding took place on July 30, 2011.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's offical residence in Scotland. We didn't have a chance to see inside it as the Queen was there for the Royal Wedding. The Royal Yacht Britannia is also docked in Edinburgh and is also normally open to the public but was unavailable due to the wedding. We'll have to see them both on our next visit!

The view over Edinburgh from Holyrood Park. Edinburgh Castle is in the centre.

St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile.

Inside St. Giles Cathedral.