We came back to Edinburgh after our few days at Dalhousie Castle and moved into a really cool hotel called Ten Hill Place Hotel. It's really reasonable but also stylish - so if you're looking for good lodgings in Edinburgh, I recommend it. Also - the hotel uses a line of soaps and shampoos that smell SO good, called Scottish Fine Soaps. I grabbed all the freebies that I could from the hotel but I plan to order some stuff online as well. We even had a decent view from our hotel room:
That is "Arthur's Seat" behind the houses there. It's the main peak of a group of hills that form Holyrood park and it (as well as the rock that Edinburgh Castle sits on) was also formed by an extinct volcano system approximately 350 million years old. It's a great place for hiking although, we skipped the hike and just walked around town instead. Here's a better shot of Arthur's Seat with a pretty churchyard I photographed near Calton Hill:
This is a photo of the Nelson Monument. It sits at the top of Calton Hill and was built to commemorate Admiral Lord Nelson after his death in the Battle of Trafalgar. It looks like an upside down spy glass. You can go up to the top of the monument for a great view, but we were trying to fit a lot of sight seeing in so we just enjoyed it from the ground:
Here are a couple of additional photos I took from Calton Hill, which offers a great view of Edinburgh. The first is of the Firth of Forth, which is the estuary of the River Forth where it flows into the North Sea:
This second photo is looking down on Holyroodhouse Palace. Yeah, I was a little obsessed with the Palace. As you can see, the flag is up meaning that the Royals are still in residence and messing up my chance to tour the spot where Mary, Queen of Scot's secretary David Rizzio was murdered in 1566 and where the current Queen Elizabeh takes her tea. Dang it!
We took a stroll down Prince's Street and visited the Prince's Street Gardens which are beautiful and green and provide a great view of Edinburgh castle:
This is a photo of the Scott monument located in the Prince's Street Gardens. It was built to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, the writer of Ivanhoe and Rob Roy (among other books) who died in 1832. The monument was completed in 1846. It's another location that you can climb up for great views although again, we were on the move so we just snapped some photos at the base.
We had lunch on the "Forth" floor of Harvey Nichols. ("Harvey Nicks" if you're in the know - or if you watch too much "Absolutely Fabulous" like myself) It's called the "Forth" floor because you can see the River Forth from the windows of the cafe. It was pretty good food and a nice view. They also had a jazz duet which was relaxing after so much walking.
We hit the National Gallery of Scotland after lunch - they have a great collection that includes Reubens, Titian, Monet and Van Gogh as well as the largest collection of Scottish artists. It's a beautiful building as well and - Free!
After a quick nap at the hotel and a dinner of AWESOME Indian food, we took the 10 pm ghost tour with Mercat Tours. It was lots of fun. We learned quite a bit about Edinburgh history through our tour of the graveyard (spooky!) which culminated inside a tomb and almost made me pee my pants with fright. I guess that's what you want out of ghost tour though, right?
That pretty much wrapped up our visit to Edinburgh - but we will be going back to Scotland and back to Edinburgh soon. It's a great city filled with beautiful sights, great people and good food!