Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Edinburgh: Great Scot!

After London we traveled north to Edinburgh, Scotland. We heard bagpipes, ate haggis and dressed up in kilts. I'm heavy on pictures, light on words. The pics are probably more interesting than my patter anyway. So here's what we saw...

Edinburgh Castle
Then the sky went black. Rain poured down. We thought Claudia would appreciate her rain cover.Wrong. She went crazy and tried to rip it off. Here she is, after she and the weather calmed down, identifying where she breached the cover. She was proud.
And just like that, the rain stopped.
And the sun came out. And Claudia started smiling again.
The sun cut through the cloudy sky and shone down on Edinburgh Castle. Beautiful.
Claudia ran around Princes Street Garden, dancing, singing.
The next day, we went up to the castle. Claudia pointed the way to the Scottish crown jewels. They're actually older than the English crown jewels because the Scots cleverly hid theirs from Oliver Cromwell, who destroyed the original English jewels. We also saw the Stone of Scone (the Stone of Destiny), that sat under the coronation chair of Westminster Abbey for several hundred years until Queen Elizabeth II returned it to Scotland... on the condition it be returned for all future English coronations.

Claudia riding a canon at Edinburgh castle.
Luckily, she didn't get too close to the real life bagpipers we encountered.
A view of the Royal Mile.
Royal Mile and the Hub
Having fun at the Camera Obscura museum.
This was probably Claudia's favorite place.
Lots of lights and visual effects. And she could run, jump & scamper.
My favorite thing at the Camera Obscura. Russell's under there holding her up.
This is where J.K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter. She came here everyday, with her baby pram, and wrote all day. She was on public welfare, freshly divorced, and driven. She's now the richest woman in the world. Yes, she even beats out Oprah! Naturally we went in there for inspiration.
Claudia sat in the special elephant chair and counted elephants in the glass cases.
Sweet little Greyfriar's Bobby. This is a monument to the little Scottish dog who sat by his owner's grave for six plus years until he passed too. Pretty sweet story.
Daddy + Bop
sunny skies & St. Giles
another double decker bus ride
The Britannia. It's officially decommissioned in Edinburgh, but it once served as the British royal family's personal yacht for several decades and 900 voyages. For Prince William and Prince Harry, it was a childhood playground, for Queen Elizabeth, it was "the only place [she could] truly relax" and for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, it was where they honeymooned.
Claudia received a special call while aboard. She's holding the audio guide. We told her the narrator was the Queen, calling her to give her a special message.
I can't remember what this thing is called, but it was also on the royals' previous yacht, which was owned by Queen Victoria. Claudia hugged, kissed and cuddled it.
Daddy and Bop
The sea air agreed with her.
Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland
ruined abbey of Holyrood, destroyed by the English during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots
the Queen's gardens

Behind Holyrood sits King Arthur's Seat. It's a dormant volcano. This is the big hill they ran up in Chariots of Fire. Here's Claudia getting a head start on Daddy. Daddy is pushing the stroller, looking at me, probably thinking I better go catch Claudia.
Scotland had a nasty practice of executing women as witches. They executed more women, per capita, than any other country in Europe. As a result, Edinburgh is fabled to be haunted. I'm always interested in a good ghost story, so we went on a (family frindly) ghost tour. Here's our guides and Claudia swatting at them. She wasn't scared one bit and mostly laughed the whole time.
The National Museum of Scotland was great... and free! Here's Russell, holding Bop, checking out a dino.
This was the natural history wing featuring the animals.
Daddy and Bop making an important call.
Mommy & Bop on the train ride. All done in Scotland!


  1. these pics are wonderful!! so glad yall are having these fantastic adventures!

    p.s. you are officially in charge of my future child's wardrobe. you have impeccable taste in kiddie couture!!

  2. Fascinating!! Love the history lesson. Thanks for sharing!! And I also love your humor:)!!


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