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[Some events in my other life aren’t helping either.  But then that’s why my virtual self left home.]

So after lunch, we walked down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace.  There are a lot of interesting places along that short stretch.  Any travel book can tell you about them.  Instead of pictures, I’m just going to put up some links and say a few things.

I would have been happy to have spent much much longer in many of these places.

St Giles Cathedral is amazing.  It’s huge, it’s beautiful.  There’s all this carved stone and elegant proportions and dazzling detail.  At the very top of the building is an ornate crown spire.  It looks like a crown and has gold ornamentation, gilded balls on spikes, and at the very very tippy top is a weathercock.  I  only know that from a picture in a brochure.  A weathercock is a weathervane in the shape of a rooster.

Here’s a link:


St Giles was a cathedral for only a small part of its history.  Its formal name is the High Kirk of Edinburgh. We had a lot of talk about what a real name is, and about “secret names” and nicknames and who is allowed to call you what.  And then we started things like “What?”  “Don’t call me What; my name is Chris.”

The Hub, which is the headquarters for the Edinburgh Festival, is in a former church building.  The church was called Highland Tolbooth St John’s Church, and they used to have services in Gaelic. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear Bible readings in Gaelic?  We had readings at our church once in a multitude of languages, including Russian, Italian, Spanish, Lithuanian, French, and several African tribal languages.  Everyone read the same passage, one at a time, and it was indescribable… But there was no Gaelic and now I wish there had been.

The Hub looks like a church, and has this magnificent spire that they say is the tallest point in central Edinburgh.  From near the building,  you can see it goes up to a point.   The farther away you are, the taller the spire looks in relation to the building.

This is its website: http://www.thehub-edinburgh.com/

Near Holyrood is the Kirk of the Canongate.  It’s web site is: http://www.canongatekirk.org.uk/

When the minister retired a few years ago, an article about him in the Scotsman said “Kirk’s captain goes boldly after 27 years.”  Several of us had been resisting Kirk jokes but after hearing that, some of us (naming no names!) couldn’t help ourselves.  And then “Captain Kirk, I presume?”  So we decided to get a drink somewhere and settle ourselves down.

Then we went to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which everyone calls Holyrood Palace or just Holyrood.

What can I say about Holyrood?  I went into way too much detail about Edinburgh Castle,  and even that didn’t do justice to it.  Holyrood is even more like that.

Okay, so I’ll just say this:  Mary Queen of Scots bedroom.  Reconstructed to look like it did when she lived there.  The bed is so small!  Unlike other beds in other palaces in Europe from the same era, hers was not on a platform to raise it above the drafts on the floor.  And the supper room where she was having a small dinner party when some lords burst in and dragged Rizzio out into the bedroom and killed him…. It was really small.  I think about eight people were in there.  I don’t see how there was room for that many people to sit at a table.

So then I went back to the B&B and soaked my feet, and fell asleep without any dinner.  I woke up later, and Chris was gone.  She’d gone out to Mary King’s Close, the rat!

This is the web address:  http://www.realmarykingsclose.com/


Comments on: "Edinburgh Day 2 Part 2" (1)

  1. Eulalie said:

    I was one of the ones who went to the Real Mary King’s Close. The guides are all based on real people, and the things they tell you are real or based on reality (like this trip!).

    One of the guides is called Isabel de Toledo. She gives tours in Spanish. Isabel is based on a maid who came with Pedro de Ayala, the Spanish ambassador in 1500.

    I like the Spanish version of my name. Eulalia.

    The other guide characters are based on real Scottish people who lived in the Close.

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