When he got back, I was ready for dinner! We went to a restaurant and I finally tried Haggis! They were in the form of bonbons, but still as salty and savory as ever. They actually are not bad at all as long as you don't really think too hard about what you are eating.
Right across the street from our restaurant was the Elephant House, which is the tea shop where JK Rowling wrote the first draft of the first Harry Potter book!
And that was really all we did on our first day in Edinburgh Scotland!
The next day was a full day in Edinburgh exploring! When I was last in Scotland, I only was able to spend about 3 hours in Edinburgh and so didn't get to see very much aside from the royal mile and Calton Hill. Luckily Edinburgh is pretty easy to do in a few days, and if you are very meager with your itinerary, there is enough to see in a day, like we did.
So our first stop of the was the Royal Mile and making our way up toward the Castle. We stopped into St Gile's Cathedral and walked around taking in all the windows and architecture.
We took our time making our way down the Royal Mile, stopping in souvenir shops and boutiques and enjoying all the traditions of Edinburgh, including spitting on the Heart of Midlothian. The heart laid in the sidewalk outside St Gile's Cathedral marks the spot where a form prison entrance stood and was where executions took place. The spitting tradition began as a way to mark the people's hatred of the prison, but is now done for good luck.
|mingling with the locals|
|This use to be a church of course, but now is a coffee house and visitors centre|
|awesome pub name!|
|a view of Calton Hill|
|manning the canons|
|recreated soldiers barracks|
|We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne. Tasting Scotch|
|a cemetery for soldiers dogs!|
|View of Edinburgh below and what use to be a festering moat|
|a grand old flag|
|the line to get into the crown jewels|
After Edinburgh Castle we kept meandering down the Royal Mile exploring random streets and stopped into a local pub that Aaron had heard great things about and had a pint (for Aaron, not me).
We then came upon Greyfriars kirkyard (cemetery) and a most adorable store of a dog names Greyfriars Bobby! Apparently this dog stood guard over his owners grave for nearly 14 years until his own death. He was well known in the area and has since had books and TV shows based on him and his mythical adventures in the kirkyard.
As you can see in the pictures, it had started to rain while we were exploring, so we decided it was a good time for lunch. Sadly pregnancy downer struck again and as we check the menus of local pubs, everything sounded disgusting! I am usually easy going as far at picking food, but I was not having any of the local cuisine. We passed a Subway, and Aaron made a joke about going for lunch there, but as I laughed and looked at the sign, I suddenly realized that Subway sounded delicious... and then I instantly felt shame. haha! Aaron laughed so hard at me and then we raced into the Subway to a very satisfying lunch.
|me and my American food shame|
The catacombs tour was really awesome! We did the historical version, that mainly just tells creepy legends and true historical facts about the area, with a little bit of ghost folklore thrown in, but no special affects or costumed corpses to jump out and scare you. The historical stories are way better anyway, because you are left to your imagination to bring the creepiness to life. So, basically the catacombs use to act as storage cellars and rooms behind the local shops of the area... but during the plague it started to be where all the rejects of society and sick people would go to live and eventually die. Then there were witch covens and paranormal nerd who took up residence and brought all sorts of further creepiness to the vaults. There were stories of prostitutes that were murdered and now haunt the halls and spirits that tortured the people who would walk around back there. I was thoroughly entertained by it all the whole time.
|the haunted ring of stones|
|this pub stands where the wall around Edinburgh use to be and therefore was where the city ended|
|the newly build Parliament building... which in my opinion is a complete eyesore!|
|Such a beautiful royal home|
|A view of Arthur's Seat from Hollyrood House|
Instead we headed over to Calton Hill, which climbs up out of the center of the city and offers some great views itself!
|the top of Calton Hill|
|standing above Edinburgh|
|another view of Arthur's Seat from the top of Calton Hill|
|We walked through a cemetery to get down the hill|