Freckles Abroad: Scotland

July 31, 2016  •  1 Comment

I recently returned from two weeks in Scotland on my honeymoon. With 3,000 photos to go through, I decided to take it city by city--starting with Edinburgh.

We landed in Edinburgh and, after locating our guest house, took naps to bounce back before hitting the city. We wandered the beautiful, historic streets and--after walking down a narrow staircase alleyway, called a 'close'-- we found the TEENY tiny pub I'd had my eye on. Perfect spot to relax and sip whisky. Shoutout to our new friends Murray (pronounced "Molly," as far as we knew) and Welshy, who sponsored our first whiskies. Thanks, guys!

The Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, Scotland The Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, Scotland
With its tiny nooks and crannies, warm, welcoming Scots and great whisky, the Halfway House proved an incredible kickoff to our Scotland trip. The Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, Scotland The Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Halfway House Pub, Edinburgh, Scotland
After two hours of chatting with our new Scottish mates, we wandered the streets, ate dinner and soaked in the history-meets-modern-city vibe.

John Knox House, EdinburghJohn Knox House, Edinburgh
So many intriguing alleyways, stairwells and architecture in Edinburgh. Street scene, EdinburghStreet scene, Edinburgh Street scene, EdinburghStreet scene, Edinburgh

After a great night's sleep, we headed straight for the Royal Mile (the main historic road in town). We found probably THE coolest street performer/artist I have ever seen -- a wizard who appears to be levitating. Moved so slowly we thought he was a statue. This guy was magical.

Wizard street performerWizard street performerEdinburgh, Scotland Wizard street performerWizard street performerEdinburgh, Scotland

Wizard street performerWizard street performerEdinburgh, Scotland
The streets are full of life, gorgeous architecture and so much history. I got snap happy along the way, to say the least.

Street scene, EdinburghStreet scene, Edinburgh Street scene, EdinburghStreet scene, Edinburgh Street Scene, EdinburghStreet Scene, Edinburgh Street Scene, EdinburghStreet Scene, Edinburgh

It was a bluebird weekend for the most part. BUT, knowing we were in Scotland and the weather's unpredictable, we were rain-ready. One of our rain-ready moves? Get out of it by ducking into a building.

We were in luck. St Giles' Cathedral was both open and beautiful. I got a photo permit and snapped away. A young men's choir was practicing, which made for an even more beautiful experience.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland

I was in stained glass window heaven.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland


I loved how the light from this stained glass window cast upon the neighboring green chairs and wall.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland


Tucked in alcoves were two memorial marble tombs. This one caught my eye, thanks to a little note attached to a plaid lanyard. Such a nice saying.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, ScotlandSt. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland

Once the rain stopped, we reentered society, found a pub and enjoyed a late lunch of soup, bread and whisky. Energy back, we hit the 'Mile and made moves.

Street scene, EdinburghStreet scene, Edinburgh

Above: The Governors House is all that remains of Calton Gaol, once the largest prison in Scotland. Those prisoners sure had a nice view.

Since crowds are not our thing, we skipped Edinburgh Castle and instead hiked up to Calton Hill, a beautiful monument that overlooks the city. Great views of just about everything.

Aerial view of EdinburghAerial view of Edinburgh Calton HillCalton HillMonument overlooking the city of Edinburgh Calton HillCalton HillMonument overlooking the city of Edinburgh

Arthur's Seat, the main peak in the mountains of Edinburgh formed by an extinct volcano system roughly 350 million years ago. Another great spot for panoramic city views (should you feel like a hike or climb). Those ants on the summit seemed to enjoy it.

Arthur's SeatArthur's SeatHilltop overlooking the city of Edinburgh

The Scottish National Monument, a memorial tribute to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who perished in the Napoleonic Wars.

The Palace of Holyroodhoose is the Queen's residence while she is in town--which she was during our visit! Holyrood Palace (as it's also referred to) has been a home to the royal family since the 16th century.

Palace of HolyroodPalace of Holyrood

Feeling adventurous, we hiked up Nelson Monument, a commemorative tower built in 1807 to honor Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, his victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar. The views were worth the narrow, tight staircase to climb it.

Nelson Monument, EdinburghNelson Monument, Edinburgh Nelson monumentNelson monumentEdinburgh, Scotland Nelson Monument stepsNelson Monument steps City skyline, EdinburghCity skyline, Edinburgh City skyline, EdinburghCity skyline, Edinburgh View of Edinburgh from the Nelson MonumentView of Edinburgh from the Nelson Monument

After a jam-packed day, we regrouped and met up with friends for dinner. En route to our second pub, we happened upon Greyfriar's Bobby, a famous Skye terrier from the 19th century. His owner, John Gray, was a night watchman, and Bobby kept by his side during his rounds. Upon John's death of tuberculosis in 1858, this little fella spent 14 years faithfully guarding his master's grave. No matter the weather, Bobby stayed put. This statue (and the pub behind it) commemorate man's best friend. It's good luck to rub his nose, which we were sure to do.

Greyfriar's BobbyGreyfriar's Bobby

The next morning, we bid Edinburgh goodbye and hopped a train for the incredibly cute little town of St Andrews, aka "the home of golf." Cheers to the friends we reunited with, the new friends we made and the wonderfully welcoming people altogether. Edinburgh, you're well worth the visit!

To be continued; thanks for reading!
-Laura

Check out my Scotland album to view more photos and purchase a print.
 


Comments

Linda(non-registered)
Laura, your photographs are breathtaking and you do such a superb job of capturing light, shadows and color. Having visited Edinburgh several times myself, I have always done the tourist thing and gone to Edinburgh Castle. Although the views from the castle are very beautiful and majestic, I appreciated a different view of the city from Carlton Hill.. STUNNING pictures from St.Giles Cathedral!!!! Can't wait to go to St. Andrews with your next blog!
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