Now that the heat wave here in London town is over, let me tell you something more about our Scotland trip, dear friends. As promised, this time I’ll share lots of photos with you from one of Britain’s most beautiful and important medieval castles: Edinburgh Castle!
When we reached the top of the hill the proud old fortress is situated on, I saw quite a familiar sight: outside the entrance gate, there are stands like in a football stadium – and I’d seen them on TV many times when clips from the Edinburgh Hogmanay, the great New Year’s Eve party, are shown, with Rod Stewart always singing “Auld Lang Syne”!
We took a few selfies and then entered the castle grounds; the tickets are a bit pricey, but they’d prove well worth the money! Just walking around the grounds with all its old buildings, like a city in itself, was simply fascinating.
You get a fabulous view over the gorgeous cityscape, too:
Edinburgh Castle is well equipped with a host of impressive cannons that for centuries protected it from English conquering ambitions; the biggest one is Mons Meg which was made in 1449 and given to James II as a present by the Duke of Burgundy. It could shoot cannonballs weighing 175 kilos (385 lbs)!
The building that impressed me most of all is David’s Tower – one of the oldest remaining parts of Edinburgh Castle. Building was started in 1367 by king David II, son of the great liberator of Scotland, Robert the Bruce; two storeys of the tower survive today, surrounded by newer buildings. It’s in David’s Tower, though, that you can get a real feel of what it must have been like to live in a medieval castle, even for a king – the thick walls, small rooms and even smaller windows make the place quite claustrophobic!
The Great Hall, on the contrary, though only about 130 years more recent, shows a very much different picture: the grandeur of a royal palace, high walls with big windows, elaborate carvings and huge paintings. You can imagine the luxurious banquets that must have been held here during the Renaissance!
We went into all the different buildings with their very interesting exhibitions – except for the Crown Room with the Scottish crown jewels and the Stone of Scone, because the ‘expected waiting time’ to get in would have been almost an hour… Still, we learned a great lot about Scottish history that day at Edinburgh Castle!
The next morning, before leaving for Glasgow, we treated ourselves to a real Scottish breakfast – complete with haggis, that famous Scottish national dish of minced and flavoured lamb offal! That certainly topped even a Full English…
Then we took the train to our next destination: Glasgow! More about that next time, friends…