April 29, 2017
From Holyrood we traveled to the other end of the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. Some of us walked up the hill, but I decided to share a taxi. We had to wait a few minutes at the stop near the palace, and the traffic was congested. The driver finally did a detour around the traffic on to the next street. But we still got to the castle ahead of the rest of the group, and the fare split five ways was negligible. We arrived at the esplanade on the east side of the castle. It is the only reasonable access, the castle being built on the rock of an extinct volcano. In its current form it was built as a parade ground, and obviously a gathering place for tourists. As you continue to the east you go down to the Royal Mile itself.
The gate house, which serves as the visitor entrance
Looking east from the castle entrance
Here are three views from the castle wall, looking north toward New Town. Princes Street is the street just beyond the park. Our hotel is on the right end of the first two pictures, across the street and just to the left of the Scott Memorial. Beyond the city is the Firth of Forth, a fjord formed during the last glacial period.
Just this side of the Scott Memorial is the train station.
St. Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in Edinburgh, from the twelfth century. St. Margaret was the mother of King David I.
The fireplace at one end of the Great Hall
There is a small room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James, later King James VI of Scotland. After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, he became, as the inscription below says, James the First, King of Britain, France, and Ireland. This was the King James who ordered that a new translation of the Bible in English to settle the fights that were going on between proponents of earlier translations.
After touring the castle, we headed back halfway down the Royal Mile to return to St. Giles’ Cathedral to have our tour, as included in pictures on the previous page.