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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Scotland - 23 May, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Edinburgh (Craigmore B&B) N5557.135' W00311.579' 74 meters .
Leith - Royal Yacht Britannia . . . .
Edinburgh . . . .
Finish Edinburgh (Craigmore B&B) N5557.135' W00311.579' 74 meters 63 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

3,997 km

Total (other):

1,055 km


5,052 km


Weather: Mostly clear, sunny and warm/hot (around 17-18C).  Cool breezy in the evening.



We have agreed to meet Lars' parents this morning for a day of sightseeing.  Lars' brother, and his son, only arrive tomorrow morning, so we will take in some of the sights today. We have a very nice breakfast at the B&B - our hostess puts out a nice spread and she uses her best china and silver.  Very nice.


We meet up at the airport hotel and it is decided that we shall start off the day with a trip to Leith, where the recently de-commissioned Royal Yacht Britannia has come to rest as a museum.  It takes us about 30 minutes to get to the port, and the drive is worth it.  They have done a good job of turning it into a museum, while at the same time retaining it's dignity.


We spend well over an hour exploring it's many levels, using the audio guide that they have provided us with.  It is very interesting to see how the Yacht was used, the lives of the sailors and crew and the Royal family and their guests.  One of the strongest impressions we went away with was how regal it seemed, but yet how simply it was decorated.  No need for the solid gold faucets or gaudy settees or drapes or furniture that adorn the yachts and planes and houses of the rich. It is a very good experience.


From here, we decide to head back into to Edinburgh and to see if we can find a place to eat on the Royal Mile.  Finding a parking place is not too bad and we have only a short walk up the steep path that leads to this grand old high street.  But then we have to find a place to eat - there are not as many places as we would have expected, but soon we are comfortably seated and holding a pint of ale (or glass of wine, as the case may be).


For the rest of the afternoon, we split up.  We do some sightseeing along the Royal Mile and up to the castle.  As we make our way up to the castle, we stop in at the St. Giles Cathedral for a look around.


The rest of the walk up to the castle is very pleasant.  We think it is great when cities and countries preserve their heritage and despite the commercialisation from all the tourism, they have done a pretty good job here.


We then spend the next couple of hours or so exploring the castle.  We join one of the regular tours that they give - it is always useful as a bit of background information.  We wind our way up the cobbled lane to the very top of the castle with the Great Hall, Palace and War Memorial.


We spend sometime wandering through these buildings, making sure that we get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels.  What a story that surrounds them, being saved from destruction numerous times - stolen away in the night and hidden in lofts, or buried in the fortress walls.  Quite a reflection of the Scottish character - suffering many ills, but enduring nonetheless.


The other interesting place in the castle is the dungeon, where, amongst others, American prisoners of war were kept during the revolutionary war.  Except they were not treated like POWs (with smaller rations and no special privileges), as they were not considered foreign soldiers, but rather rebels.  Interesting in light of current world events.


As we make make our way back down to the castle entrance, we have some great views over the parapets to the city below and the surrounding countryside.


Once leaving the castle, we spend about an hour or so wandering back down the Royal Mile, checking out some of the shops and other sights along the way.  It is then time to head back out towards the airport to meet up again for dinner.  On our drive out there, we stop at the local Tesco to buy some groceries and to give our car a bit of a wash (lots of bugs splattered al over and a it of mud and dust).


For dinner, we decide to stay in the area, and after checking out a few places, select a local Italian place.  It turns out to be a great choice.  The food is good and the service is a lot of fun.  We have a waiter originally from Nepal who would have made a great Italian.  After dinner we drop off Lars' parents and return to our B&B.


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