Norway (Day 16, Part 2)

July 3

Edinburgh, Scotland

Leaving the yacht, heading for the castle – can it get any more royal than that?

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[So, just hop on the bus, Gus . . . ]

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[Grab a taste of Poland . . . ]

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[Pilrig St. Paul’s Church of Scotland . . . ]

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[I don’t know where Muirhouse 14 goes . . . ]

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[And for lovers of under the sea seafood . . . ]

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[St. Paul’s and St. George’s Church . . . ]

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[We saw this place already outbound . . . ]

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[David Livingstone, as in “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” (from Henry Morgan Stanley, November 10, 1871) . . . ]

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[Scott Monument (for author Sir Walter Scott) . . . ]

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[Cityscape . . . ]

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[Balmoral Hotel . . . ]

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[ . . . with ties to Harry Potter . . . ]

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[A very Edinburgh-looking street . . . ]

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[Calton Hill in the background (where the headquarters of the Scottish government is located) with The Nelson Monument (commemorative tower in honour of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson) . . . ]

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[Lunched here . . . ]

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[And looking back at whence we came, the Balmoral clocktower in the background . . . ]

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[Let’s eat . . . ]

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[And we thought a surprisingly good, pre-arranged hotel lunch for our group . . . ]

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[On the road again, overseen by the Calton Hill monuments . . . ]

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[Edinburgh City Chambers fronted by Alexander & Buceophalus by John Steel, modelled 1832, cast in bronze 1883 . . . ]

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[Classic building with a white thing on top . . . ]

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[The Scott Monument in its entirety . . . ]

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[Edinburgh City Centre featuring the Bank of Scotland . . . ]

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[We began the long climb up Castle Hill to Edinburgh Castle . . . ]

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[A pointy-topped building not discovered under that description . . . ]

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[A gourmet tea and coffee house . . . ]

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[But I didn’t see a single elephant . . . ]

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[A pub of spooky origins . . . ]

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[Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar is located in the heart of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh in Candlemaker Row.  As one of the most photographed pubs in Scotland, you’ll find us within a short stroll of Chambers Street, Grassmarket and George IV Bridge.  Our pub is inspired by the tale of Edinburgh’s most famous dog, Greyfriars Bobby, so it’s no surprise that we love dogs and we’re proud to be a dog-friendly pub (www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/) . . .

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[Street scenes along the way . . . ]

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[Again . . . ]

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[Ditto . . . ]

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[And there’s our destination . . . ]

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[Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of Edinburgh from its position on the Castle Rock.  Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age (2nd century AD), although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of  David I in the 12th century, and the site continued at times to be a royal residence until 1633.  From the 15th century the castle’s residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison.  Its importance as a part of Scotland’s national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars  of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite rising of 1745.  Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been “the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world” (Wikipedia) . . . 

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[Hiking up the Royal Mile to the Edinburgh Castle entry . . . ]

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[Welcome . . . ]

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[A look back down the street . . . ]

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[Heading to the main gate, on each side the Edinburgh Military Tattoo grandstand . . . ]

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[Gathering along the grandstand . . . ]

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[For final game plans from our guide . . . ]

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[I had a hard time keeping up with her on the march up the hill . . . ]

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[And we’re in, looking back down on great views of the city . . . ]

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[The Super dials in . . . ]

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[Then continued our trudge up the hill . . . ]

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[Tourists and more tourists.  Because we were among the afternoon tours, buses were parked everywhere and we had to park well down the hill making our trip up that much longer . . . ]

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[Direction signs within the castle . . . ]

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[Typical tourist here, body flushed with cameras . . . ]

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[Oh, that’s me . . . ]

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[Next, follow the signs . . . ]

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[We’re off to the museum . . . ]

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[Scottish National War Memorial . . . ]

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[A lovely place to sit to review place maps . . . ]

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[They’re everywhere; they’re everywhere; and going in all directions . . . ]

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[Clock tower and Crown Jewels Museum . . . ]

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[Our guide offered options here . . . ]

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[Crown Jewels first . . . ]

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[No photos allowed so you’ll just have to believe they were there . . . ]

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[So, next . . . ]

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[Photo ops were available here . . . ]

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[Early rugby uniforms . . . ]

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[Possibly models for the rugby uniforms?]

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[This is the Super’s, but I’m not sure what it is – a waiting room?]

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[Back out in Crown Square . . . ]

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[Looking out a cannon sight, the Military Tattoo grandstand below right . . . ]

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[High caliber tourist and cannon . . . ]

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[An early weapon of mass destruction . . . ]

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[I wonder if there were ever any treaties to limit the spread of Mons Megs?]

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[Edinburgh, O’, Edinburgh . . . ]

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[Self-explanatory . . . ]

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[Panoramic shots ahead . . . ]

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[I think that’s our ship, but it’s moved in closer from where we tendered . . . ]

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[See!  That’s Edinburgh!]

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[A lovely day for panoramas . . . ]

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[A heavy influx of cranes that appears to be a single project . . . ]

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[Calton Hill in mid-photo, the Balmoral in left-center . . . ]

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[The Super ducks (right) out of an artsy photo attempt . . . ]

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[Again, the Scottish National War Memorial . . . ]

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[Ditto . . . ]

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[I found one more set of stairs to climb . . . ]

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[Where I discovered the Military Tattoo grandstand and the Spire of the Hub . . . ]

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[Leaving the Castle, we’ll finish events in Edinburgh in Part 3 . . . ]

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Kilt, n. – a costume sometimes worn by Scotsmen in America and Americans in Scotland.  ~  Ambrose Bierce

Up Next:  Finish Edinburgh

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