DAY 6: Edinburgh (and Sterling)

Today I got up expecting little excitement considering our great fortune yesterday in all of our adventures.  We had another buffet breakfast to start the day.  The people in the UK really believe in variety when it comes to breakfast.  Douglas tried blood sausage (black round cake sausage).  I "stuck with the traditionals".  When it comes for Haggis tonight, I'll be looking for something plain!

The weather today was the most severe in the trip.  The wind was fairly stiff at times, and we were caught in a light rain a few times.  The weather seems to pass quickly here, so it was never a huge problem.  For our morning group tour of Edinburgh, we had an interesting local guide with excellent presentation and dressed for the part.  We taped the entire tour of Edinburgh, much the same as we did for London.  The way we're going, we will have several multi-hour videos, with some dedicated to individual (major) cities!

We ended the morning tour with the Edinburgh castle, including the Crown Jewels of Scotland.  Quite honestly, I've enjoyed the Scottish experience more than that of the English.  Even the Crown Jewels have a richer history than the English, and in my eye, are more regal.  It's little wonder the Scots went to such great lengths to hide them from the English!

A picture  of the Scottish Crown Jewels from the Edinburgh Castle

St. Margaret's Chapel at
Edinburgh Castle

As with our Paris excursion, Douglas and I once again spirited off to another city away from the group.  We headed down to Sterling to see the Castle and especially the William Wallace memorial.  The memorial is really quite fitting.  It is an imposing tower which resembles a castle keep.  Inside, you can climb up hundreds of steps to the top.  Along the way they have several high-tech displays.  The highlight inside is the Wallace sword.  It is a huge two-handed broadsword.  It's hard to fathom how a man could wield a  5 to 6 foot sword such as this.

The Wallace Memorial

Our train ticket
To Stirling

The huge (5 to 6 foot) sword of William Wallace.

Our hearts sank as we realized our camera was out of battery power.  Both Douglas and I switched batteries at the hotel so we would have a fresh one for the afternoon -- thus canceling each other out.  Arrrgh!  We did get a few short video shots of the memorial before the battery died  completely, and several still pictures

We rushed back to Edinburgh to meet the group at the hotel in order to go to a local dinner/stage show called "Scottish Night Out".  It was a little too much like a TV variety show for our tastes, but the food was great and we did manage to catch (and tape) several snippets of more traditional bagpipe, fiddle, and dancing.  We're back to the hotel trying to get packed.  This is becoming an increasing challenge as we both collect books, souvenirs, and gifts.  I'm looking out of the corner of my eye at my bag, wondering exactly how I'll get it zipped!

We're off tomorrow for the highlands.  We'll be spending tomorrow night in Strathpeffer.

The entrance to
Prestonfield house where we had our "Scottish Night Out".

Scene's from part of the stage show at our
"Scottish Night Out"

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