The forecast: windy, with a chance of bluster and possible sudden gales. Please dress accordingly.
When we originally planned this trip, I was excited for England. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, I find that Scotland resonates with me far more. I love the weather. I love this history. I love the accents. I even love the food – FAR more flavor than anything we had in England. Even the haggis fritters! (If you can get past the fact sheep intestines are involved, they’re pretty tasty.)
So, even though we froze our buns off, we walked all over the city today. The leaves blew, my hair’s in snarls, and Chris can’t feel his ears – but it was great! The views from Edinburgh Castle were spectacular. Walking among the buildings on “the Mound,” I came to understand just why Mary, Queen of Scots, couldn’t be a proper ruler for her people. After living in France for so many years, married to the French prince in compliance with the “Auld Alliance,” there’s no way she would have understood them. The cultured avenues of Versailles and the glittering salons of Paris were a far cry from the cold, desolate and even violent Scotland.
It was awesome to walk through the Castle and then in the Palace of Holyroodhouse. I saw the rooms where Rizzio was murdered; saw the very bed that Mary slept in. All the intrigue and historical mystery came to life today. We ate dinner at a pub first built in the early 1700s. (Interestingly enough, it began life as a mission house!) We walked Princes Street, bought all the classy souvenir stuff that you’d expect and just enjoyed the fresh air.
Again, I was struck by the hardiness of the people. We put our heads down in the wind, they looked up and faced it. They were unconcerned by messy hair or thick, unfashionable coats. I think that this is the biggest reason I love Scotland so much. The people have been so friendly and approachable.
Tomorrow is our last day here, and we’ve nothing planned for it. Probably more wandering among the medieval and Georgian buildings, hats pulled down our our ears and hands safely tucked in pockets.
For all posts in this series, go here.