A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Jimpat


Edinburgh Day 2

After our morning cappuccino, we headed up to Edinburgh Castle. Despite the massive crowds, we enjoyed the Castle and its sweeping views. Jim was pleased to visit the National War Memorial and to find the name of his great-grandfather, who died in France in World War I, in the register.
We headed to the Scottish National Museum. There we checked out some mysterious carved stone balls that date to the Neolithic era. These balls, found in Northern Scotland, are about the size of baseballs, and are intricately carved. Their function is a complete mystery.
We spent the afternoon relaxing and catching up on our blog.

View from Edinburgh Castle
View from Edinburgh Castle
View from Edinburgh Castle
View of the National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle
Another view from the castle
Name in register
Great Hall
Carved stone balls

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This morning we met our new friends Jayne and Mick (from our Iran trip) for coffee. They then took us on a fabulous 15 km walking tour of Edinburgh.
We checked out the Scott Memorial, and the Floral Clock, before walking the length of the Royal Mile. We took a look at the new Scottish Parliament Building, Holyrood Palace, and Arthur’s Seat. We then walked through the New a Calton Burial Ground, past the Burns Memorial, and up on to Calton Hill, where we enjoyed the panoramic view of Edinburgh, it’s harbour, and the Firth of Forth.
We stopped for lunch at Cafe Royale, an iconic little pub, where we enjoyed a famous Scottish fish soup, Cullen skink, made with Arbroath smokies (smoked halibut).
We stopped at the beautiful Scottish National Portrait Gallery, before continuing through the New Town to the Royal Edinburgh Botanical Gardens.
We walked through Stockbridge, and up the Water of Leith, and proceeded to Edinburgh’s West End. There we caught a bus to Juniper Green, the suburb where Jayne and Mick live. We stopped at their local pub for a drink, before continuing to their home, where they treated us to a wonderful dinner.

Mick, Jayne and Pat during our walking tour
Edinburgh floral clock at Princes Park
Along our tour
Along our tour
Holyrood Palace
Pub we stopped for lunch
Amazing windows in the pub where we had lunch
Inside the Scottish National Portrait Museum
Inside the Scottish National Portrait Museum
Inside the Scottish National Portrait Museum
Inside the Scottish National Portrait Museum
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Along our walking tour

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Off to Edinburgh

This morning we caught the Tube to King’s Cross where we caught the train to Edinburgh. We were not sorry to be escaping London before the arrival of the American Moron.
We had a very comfortable 5 hour ride to Edinburgh. Once in Edinburgh we found our rented apartment. In the evening we went to a well-known pub for dinner. Jim once again enjoyed haggis, neaps and tatties. We strolled around in the evening, taking in the view of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the statue of James Clerk Maxwell (a relative).

Haggis, neaps and tatties

Jim with one of his peps!

James Clerk Maxwell statue
View of Edinburgh Castle
Beautiful old university building

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Today we dedicated to a visit to the British Museum. We were particularly interested in seeing the Iranian exhibit at the museum, to see the artifacts that the British possess. One of the key artifacts is the Cyrus Cylinder, an ancient clay cylinder dating from the 6th century B.C. The cylinder is inscribed with cuneiform writing, and Iran has claimed the writing to represent the first declaration of universal human rights, though this view is disputed. The museum also featured some video showing a depiction of the original buildings at Persepolis. We re-visited some our favourite Greek and Egyptian exhibits.
We spent the afternoon catching up on the internet. While we always had internet at our hotels in Iran, it was frequently slow, and most American and all Canadian news sites were blocked. Apparently the absence of relations between Canada and Iran dates to the government of Stephen Harper, undoubtedly toadying up to American views.
The British Museum
Cyrus Cylinder
A depiction of Persepolis
A cast of a Persepolis relief
Jim in a lovely gold cape!

Posted by Jimpat 10:14 Comments (0)

Back to the UK

Goodbye to Iran

We were up at 4:00 am to catch a taxi to the Tehran airport. Unlike our entry to the country, the passport check on departure took a very long time. For some reason, some foreign nationals were subjected to lengthy scrutiny (we were not), causing considerable delay.
Our flight to Istanbul was uneventful. At Istanbul airport we said goodbye to a couple of members of our travel group. After a 5 hour layover we boarded our flight back to London Heathrow. We caught the Tube to central London, and back to the B&B we have already stayed at 3 times on this trip. In the evening we returned to a favourite Indian restaurant for dinner.

Posted by Jimpat 10:06 Comments (0)

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