This blog is about my travels. At home in New Zealand, in other parts of Oceania, North, Central and South America and in Europe.
It was a short flight from Iceland to Edinburgh. I arrived in the evening and woke up to a beautiful day and a great view across the city. I had recently watched the documentary series 'A History of Scotland' by Neil Oliver (it is fantastic, highly recommended), so I was looking forward to seeing some of the sights that were mentioned.
My first visit was to Edinburgh castle. It was all the more interesting because Edinburgh castle had been the scene of all sorts of interesting historical events.
It is located on the site of an ancient Volcano which provides a natural fortress and has been occupied since the iron age. The castle has withstood many sieges and attacks over the centuries.
Walking up to the Castle there are masses of daffodils on the slopes beneath it. Spring had well and truly sprung! In the courtyard just down from the castle there was a plaque commemorating women burned as 'witches' in the middle ages. Widows, single women and traditional healers were scapegoated for anything that went wrong, such as outbreaks of the plague and accused of being witches.
I signed up for a guided tour (which was awesome) and we wandered up to the top of the castle - it was quite a clear day from the top of the castle and you could see right across the harbour.
We visited the tower of the palace that the Scottish crown jewels are kept in (taking photos is not permitted). In the rooms of the palace that the Kings and Queens slept in were paintings commemorating the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, however, the marriage soon soured, Mary depicted him as a 'social climbing turtle' in her embroidery. Ouch! The relationship did last long enough to produce an heir (Prince Charles) in 1566. In one corner of the building there is a tiny wee room that Mary queen of Scots gave birth in. It is about the size of a largish wardrobe. As well as becoming King of Scotland, he went on to inherit the rule of England and Ireland from Queen Elizabeth (as you do), making it the United Kingdom and inventing a fancy new flag.
One of the prettiest buildings in the castle (and the oldest - nearly 1000 years old) is a beautiful little chapel dedicated to St. Margaret, who was once a queen of Scotland but was also a compassionate person who helped the poor and needy.
Another interesting room of the castle is the 'great hall'. After Oliver Cromwell arrived in 1650 it was used as an armory, so there are plenty of suits of armor and swords on display.
After the tour of Edinburgh Castle I decided to take a walk up to the top of Arthur's seat.
Some historical accounts claim that this is where the legendary King Arthur ruled from, but it is kind of lost in the mists of time. It is very popular with walkers and has a great view over Edinburgh.
I am a traveller from New Zealand. My blog is to inform friends and family about my adventures. I hope you enjoy it!