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Sorry 'bout all the history on the previous page ye olde travellers - but I think I got a wee bit excited and needed to get it off my chest. Anyways it was back to the road again after our short stop on the border and it was off for two nights in Edinburgh - the best city in the world. In fact I think ill go live there.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, 17.01.00

Edinburgh Castle towers over this huge city as it is located on a huge hill (and is a steep climb up!). The castle is fantastic - though compared to other one's on tour it was a little bit too modern, and I hate being prevented from going places - especially seeing as how I wanted to climb the flag tower. The smaller zoom picture is of the two statues guarding the gatehouse - being two of Scotland's popular heroes - Sir William Wallace of Elderslie, and King Robert I of Scotland (Robert the Bruce).

Edinburgh Castle War Memorial, Edinburgh, 17.01.00

Inside the castle confines is a huge buidling dedicated to those who died in battle. Within are huge boards with names, as well as several great tomes you can read.

Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, 17.01.00

A significant landmark of Prince's Street, with close up.

Scottish Evening - Edinburgh, 17.01.00

One activity which we could go to was a Scottish Evening, presented by Ian Grant. Ian went through the adornments of the Scot, their fighting styles as well as playing the bagpipe. We were then treated to some highland dancing, in particular, "The Highland Fling". For dinner, we also were given the option of trying Haggis...and I did...I didn't overly enjoy it - the thing is though it is more the psychological effect of eating it rather than the taste itself which was just like Shepard's Pie.

Arthur's Seat from Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, 17.01.00

Taken from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle giving a good view of Arthur's Sear - an extinct volcano.

Edinburgh and Edinburgh Port, 17.01.00

Taken yet again from the Castle and showing the city and port.

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, 17.01.00

I was too stuffed to climb the seat by this stage so I settled for a picture of it from the base. Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano and a part of the Salisbury Crags.

Edinburgh, 17.01.00

The castle with sunset behind it - also showing much of the city.

Edinburgh, 17.01.00

The Hill line of Edinburgh, showing an Obelisk as well as many other historical buildings.

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The History of Edinburgh

Like most of Scotland Edinburgh was originally a Celtic settlement, and there is proof that there was a lot of trade between Celt and Roman alike helping the region flourish, it isnt until much later though that the city blooms.

King Malcolm III built his castle at Edinburgh in the 11th Century, which was to be the anchor point of the city. As well as this, his wife Saint Margaret built the chapel within its walls (the oldest building in the city) and her son David I built the Abbey at Hollyrood Palace.

The Castle was a strongpoint for the English in the Wars of Independence (see previous page), and was eventually captured by the Scots and granted a royal charter in 1329 by King Robert I. By the end of the 16th Century it had been established as the capital of Scotland.

Georgian Edinburgh was to bring a Renaissance to this city to which many of the structures still exist today. However the Victorian era brought about slums within the royal mile making the city one of decay. It wasn't until the later half of the 20th Century that the town was restored to all its vibrance.

Edinburgh is like all these towns a tourist destination. It has plenty to see and do - blended with a rich culture. It is to note that this is also where Trainspotting is set - I just had to mention that seeing as how it's one of my favourite movies.

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Into the Scottish Highlands and the city of Inverness...

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