Because of Edinburgh’s annual Fringe festival and the crowds that come with it, we opted for a taxi ride into the city. Our driver brought us up the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Royal Mile, right to the castle gate. For only £25…just like royalty.
Guys, I hardly know where to begin. Passing through the gates of Edinburgh Castle felt like traveling back in time, or like being in a Disney castle…only Edinburgh Castle is real. And real people walked those halls, century after century. And for a few short hours, we walked in their footsteps.
I’ll get the bad stuff over with: the worst part was the crowds. So so so many people in tight hallways and poorly organized lines, which felt worse than the crowds at Disney World on New Year’s Eve. Also, the tattoo stadium seating covers a significant portion of the castle esplanade so that we couldn’t see the entrance as it stands the other 11 months of the year. But we had so much to do and see that neither the crowds nor the obstructed view of the esplanade could squelch our excitement.
I could talk about this all day, so I will leave you with my favorite experiences instead:
- Visiting the chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, standing since the 1100’s
- Seeing the Scottish crown jewels which had been sought for centuries by Scotland’s enemies who wished to destroy them, and the Stone of Destiny. No photography allowed 😦
- Standing in the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only son.
- The prisons where POW’s from the American revolution were held captive.
- Finding our ancestors name and title “William Crichton, Chancellor” and crest in the stained glass windows of the Great Hall.
- The views
The Royal Mile
A mile-long cobblestone street connecting the low-lying Holyrood Palace to the towering castle of Edinburgh, the Royal Mile is lined with shops, restaurants, museums and, in August, street performers, artists, revelers, tourists…pretty much everyone.