Monday/ Edinburgh, Scotland

We arrived in EdinburghIMG_7559 sm on Monday morning, but (somewhat shockingly) there was no dockside to moor at.  Part of the problem is that the 18 storey tall cruise ship could not pass under the Fourth River Bridge, an engineering marvel of stone pillars and steel trusses that was constructed in the 1890s.    So the tender boats got us to shore for our excursion to Edinburgh castle, the city of Edinburgh and the royal Brittania yacht (Queen Elizabeth’s yacht for state visits, commissioned in 1954 and only retired in 1997).

It was a gorgeous sunny day, the best so far this year, said the locals, and the Edinburgh castle was crowded.  We filed into the castle’s museum to see the Scottish crown jewels : not as impressive as the ones in the Tower of London!  a crown with gold and pearls and some diamonds (I think), and a big square stone called the Stone of Destiny. (It played a central role in the crowning of several Scottish kings and at times, have been lost for many decades in the mists of time and legend).

I would have loved to see more of the city.   The city has lots of grreenerry (imitating our guide’s Scottish accent), and the very modern building housing the Museum of Scotland that was designed by a Spaniard was not on our list to do.

Monday night we set sail for Le Havre on the French coast, but we will need a day of sea in the North Sea to get us there.

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Here a view of the Royal Brittania yacht, Queen Elizabeth II’s vessel used for state visits during 1954 until 1997 when the ship was decommissioned.
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This gorgeous building is on the Royal Mile, the street that runs down from the Edinburgh castle to downtown Edinburgh.
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Here’s the Fourth Bridge that carries traffic and rail over the estuary of the Fourth river.


Jenner Dept Store 1
This is the upscale Jenner department store on Princes Street. We made a dash for it right before we were due back on the bus, Wait! I said on the third floor : I have to buy a piece of china. Is this Scottish? I asked the saleslady, of a Royal Dalton coffee mug. ‘No, but you can say it is’ came the reply. Good enough, I had just about £6 left, and it was well spent on a ‘Scottish’ porcelain mug.   And of course that is a Scotsman with a kilt, lifting up a shortbread cookie.
Edinburgh Castle Collage 1
An inside view of the Edinburgh castle. The tourists are all lining up to go into the castle’s museum.   The figures in the inset pictures are from the museum store.  The axe-man is the scariest, no doubt.
Edinburgh Castle 2
Upper : We’re on our way back to the ship, with a game of cricket at a school in the foreground and the Edinburgh skyline in the background. Look for the imposing Edinburgh castle on a hilltop overlooking the city. There are several private ‘colleges’ (high schools) in Edinburgh. Enrollment typically runs at £22.000 per year.
Lower : The main entrance to Edinbugh castle.

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