First days of London

Buckingham Palace Selfie

The 2-hour train ride to Paddington Station was quite comfortable. Once we arrived we jumped in a cab and went to out Notting Hill hotel only 10 minutes away. This has got to be the smallest hotel room in all on London. At 7×10, I can touch the “far” wall when lying in bed. After going down to the corner pub for something to eat and a drink and a stroll around the area, I went down and got a room upgrade after a bit of complaining. You don’t ask, you don’t get.

The area around here is quite nice and we quickly determined expensive just by looking at some of the vehicle in front of the homes. It’s also nice to be a bit away from the city centre.

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Our first full day we stuck pretty close to the hotel for the first part going to Kensington Palace and Gardens. The park is the massive which intern led to a ton of walking. The Italian Water Gardens are multiple fountains and flowers where we entered the park. With paths and walkways going every direction we headed to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain which ended up being a circular shaped fountain the children play in and adults walk though. With the heat we are having, this place was packed. Near the fountain, we had a drink to cool down and a rest before going all the way across the park to Kensington Palace.

We stopped at The Albert Memorial which was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband. This 176-foot monument took 10 years to complete and cost £120,000 in 1872. That would be about 17.5 million Canadian dollars today.

Kensington Palace is another royal residence, at the moment, officially for Will & Kate, Prince Harry, and a few others that we have never heard about. With all the history on the building and the art and architecture, the main feature that most everyone has come to se is Princess Diana’s clothing and fashion.  Ending the tour with at coffee, we went back to the hotel to prepare for our evening out tonight.

We caught the tube to Piccadilly Circus to meet up with my sister Carmen, Joerg, Jakob, & Sasha for dinner and a show…..Les Miserables. Great food, good company, and an amazing show. You couldn’t ask for more. We caught the tube back and went to bed right away as we were wiped.

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London, day 3, we didn’t get rolling until about 10:30 and straight to Buckingham Palace. This area is just loaded with people and there wasn’t even anything going on. Just a look. Not a bad little shack. We sent a bit of time around there taking some pictures then headed to Westminster Abbey for a tour. If ever in London, go see this place. The craftsmanship not only on the building but the tombs as well is amazing. The skill and quality of work is way beyond anything done today, especially in North America.

The Parliament and Big Ben were next, just to see, as you cannot go in. We got a lot of picture though. The London Eye is just across the bridge and is pretty impressive but there is no way I would pay £23 each to go around on it, especially with the line-ups. We finally looped back to Piccadilly Circus where we were last night. Some shopping and a late lunch/dinner; our legs and feet are tired. Back to the hotel, with a stop at the store or a few snacks and a bottle of wine, it will be an early night to prep for another busy day tomorrow.

Sorry no more pictures today…to tired but we will add extras later.

 

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A Short Time in Wales

Cardiff Castle

A 10:30 train time with a 2-hour ride to Cardiff, Wales. Again, we have first class, too bad the power and AC were both broken on the train. This time we prepared for food by not eating breakfast before-hand; guess what – no food either. At least the train ride goes by quick.

We caught a cab to our hotel and were able check in right away then headed out for a stroll. Everything here is so close. We are just off Queen Street, a 5-minute walk to Cardiff Castle.  The sun is shining as we sit down for some cod & chips. Some of the best fish & chips we’ve ever had. Window shopping the streets for the afternoon we find a poppy shop and finally found the poppy umbrella we were looking for, so we bought 2. We spotted these on TV before but they are only available in the UK. We then stopped at The Duke of Wellington to have a drink before heading back to the hotel.

Pamela was going to bed early so I headed off to Fuel Rock Club to see who’s there. Both Brian and Tim from the US showed up there as well as Scott from Edmonton. Good to see them again. Also, had a few beers with Loopy and then Colin, Dave Murray’s guitar tech. After plugging the ‘metal only’ jukebox full of music and some drinks, midnight rolls arounds when I head back to the hotel. Back here tomorrow for Thomas’s ‘Nylon Maiden’ show.

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We took our time getting up and ready this morning watching the terrible news about the attach in Manchester. We have breakfast with the hotel so we went to the restaurant for a whole spread of eggs, sausage, ham, cereals, breads & rolls, fruits, and more. We ate with our morning coffee and then headed to Cardiff Castle. This place is also buzzing with the 2017 UEFA Football Champions League Final starting here next week. (That would-be soccer for those who don’t know.)

We again picked up a city-pass for the hop-on hop-off tours. We did a loop stopping at the Doctor Who Experience for find it is closed on Tuesdays. We will come back here in the morning. We walked around the docks area before jumping back on the bus and finished the tour loop.

Our late lunch was an incredible cheese board we spotted at Madame Formage yesterday on our walk. If you ever come to Cardiff you must come here for the board and a glass of wine. Back to the hotel with the leftovers, yes there was that much, we are taking a break before Nylon Maiden at Fuel tonight.

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Early to rise before heading to the Doctor Who Experience again. Pamela didn’t go in as she knows nothing of the Doctor. It was good to see as it is being shutdown for good within a month, but to be honest the ‘experience’ part was a little lame. There was some pretty cool stuff there though.

We jumped on the bus back to the hotel and split off. Pamela went shopping and out with Pauls’ wife Viv, and I head to the Motorpoint Arena to get set for the next Maiden gig. I met up with Paul there. The security was a little higher after the Manchester incident which was fine, but the door security messed up FTTB.

I got my spot in front of Dave & Adrian and rocked out pretty good. Got Dave’s wristband and pick plus what Pamela calls ‘The Holy Grail Set List!” Paul and I headed to Fuel afterward to a Trooper, the Burger King for a double cheeseburger. Great time with all my Blood Brothers (you know who you are) at another great show.

Wales is a beautiful place and we really like Cardiff, partly because we had next to nothing for rain again and a lot of hot, sunny days. Back to the hotel for some sleep. London is calling.

Cardiff Castle – Apartments

Happy Duck at the castle.

The Tall Ship

Who?

At the docks.

Cardiff tour.

Wine & cheese please!

Janick Gers – Iron Maiden

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A time for Family

The van der Woning family

A Family Affair….

4 hours on the train. It went by quick and they fed us a lot. I guess that’s the advantages of first class. The scenery along the way was fantastic…just ask Pamela to see one of her ‘post’ or ‘hedge’ pictures. We arrived at the Birmingham New Street Station just after 4:00. Rushing to find our way out there were Anneke & Bill. For those who don’t know, Anneke is my cousin on my dads’ side…one of many I will meet for the first time on this trip.

Due to the time and rush hour, we decided to walk around the Grand Central mall and stopped for a coffee. I could see Pamela’s eyes light up when she saw Selfridges. We found a place to sit and have our drink and catch-up….46 years worth. When we headed to their home in Stourbridge we stopped for dinner and The Bell and Cross Pub in Clent. More catching-up. We got to the house afterwards, unpacked a few things, talked more, and got a good night’s sleep.

After a full English Breakfast, outside on the sunny patio we were off to explore the Stourbridge area and had two of the best guides ever. We explored The Original Manor House of Sir William de Whittington built in 1310. It is a pub now with door openings that are only 5’ 10” tall.  I do think people have become taller in the past couple of hundred years. We went for a walk along the canal in Kinver and enjoyed the warm weather and the chirping birds. A quick stop at Hadley Hall in Clent. The home of Lord and Lady Cobham. A beautiful large estate that is full of deer.  That evening we had a delicious home made meal of Faggots, Mushy Peas and Mash…. (look it up). After dinner, we were broken in slowly with a visit from extended family. A very nice evening and wonderful to finally meet some more of the UK family.

The next adventure was to The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. www.ironbridge.org.uk  The Ironbridge itself has a very special meaning to the UK family as it was a favorite site for their father and grandfather Bernard van der Woning to paint his pictures and where his ashes were spread. We have one of his lovely works at home of the bridge from many years ago. We met some additional family, Wendy & Mel, at the bridge and spent the day walking around the beautiful park and checking out the pubs and café’s. I have sort of gotten myself hooked on the cream scones, so of course I had another one there.

Our last day in Stourbridge we went to see the Holy Austin Rock Houses in Kinver. Up until 1964 these houses in the side of a rock hillside were still inhabited by the cave dwellers in their own self sufficient village. Very cool place that is under the National Trust and restored for visitors to enjoy. Then we were off to see the family….very excited but also a little nervous. There were approx. 50 family members waiting to meet us. No pressure at all. It was a little overwhelming at first but soon it was very comfortable and a lot of fun. Talk, talk, talk and lots of pictures. Everyone is so fun and it felt like we already knew everyone because of our Facebook connections. What a great reunion!

On the way home after a 6 hour reunion we want to stop for a quick dinner and stopped at the Crooked House Pub. YES……crooked it was. It was on the site of an old coal mine and the ground has given way and the house is now extremely crooked. The house has been propped up on one side with bricks so it will stay up. It is completely safe and is a popular dinner spot for the locals. It was so busy that we couldn’t stay to eat as it was completely booked up. I must say that just walking up to the house was a challenge because without realizing what gravity does; you start to walk sideways. When we went inside you already felt like you had a few too many drinks. It was such a weird feeling that I don’t think I could have eaten there.

 

The following day….Birmingham

A quick 40-minute car ride and we were in Birmingham for the 3rd Maiden Show for Ray. We had to say goodbye to Anneke and Bill and our great time with them. Until we meet again.

Ray left me at the hotel as soon as we checked in and I went shopping…😊 Ray did a great job getting the hotels right downtown and right by the great shopping areas. Good man! Next is a new suitcase to get the goods home. So much diversity….street performers, shops, café’s and a completely walkable street with no cars allowed.

An early train again in the morning so a good sleep is in order.

The Selfridge Selfie

Canals at Kinver

Hadley Hall

Family

Iron Bridge

Uncle Bernard’s Spot

Rock Houses

Rock Houses – The view

The Crooked House – Yes, the picture is straight.

Birmingham

Mr. Harris – Iron Maiden

 

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Glasgow

Heads – Kelvingrove Museum

As we arrive late and tired in Glasgow, we just relaxed at the hotel for the evening. The next morning we bought a 2 day hop-on; hop-off tour pass. We did a loop and hit a few museums along the way. The first was more all about transportation, all sorts of vehicles from all eras….some nice motorcycles too. There were a number of trolley cars as well. Personally, it got a bit long. You see one train you don’t need to see the rest. I’m no Sheldon Cooper.

The second museum was the Kelvingrove. This is a beautiful, must see museum if you are ever here. When we arrived, there was a pipe organ recital that filled the main entry hall. What a beautiful sound. We wandered the halls and galleries looking at treasured from Ancient Egypt, amazing marble carvings, and painting from various artists. Part of a featured exhibition was the art of comic books. I had to check that out. They even had Christopher Reeves cape from Superman 3 there. That was the highlight from me. After a number of hours, we continued on with the bus tour.

We finished the loop and head out for a very late lunch around 4:30 at the Royal Scotsman. Reasonable priced pints and food. Perfect. We headed back to the room as the little sleep was catching up to Pamela. We rested for a while together before I headed out for a few Troopers at The Brass Monkey. After all, I have another Iron Maiden gig coming up. Not being too late I headed back before midnight to be rested for the show.

The next day was the same routing. Again, I don’t really know what Pamela did as I headed of early to the SSE Hydro to meet up with Iron Maiden and friends. Yes, it’s a full day event. New and old friends from Canada, US, Australia, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Scotland, and even Indonesia. Good time by all. I stocked up on a few more shirts and other tour merch as well. Gig time was again opened with Shinedown. I must say I enjoyed them much better this time around.

Iron Maiden, What can I say, “First to the Barrier” again, right in front of Dave & Adrian. Excellent show and we all had a blast. Show number 2 is now complete and I’m back at the hotel at midnight.

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Today we are headed for Birmingham to finally meet some family on my dad’s side I only know on Facebook. I am writing todays post as we speak on the 4+ hour “first class” train from Glasgow. We just don’t have time to do it every day, or we are just too tired.

We slept in a bit this morning, especially after the gig. Pamela was lucky to have “First to the Bed” so got more sleep than me. We repacked all our stuff as we acquire more to hall back with us then check out of our hotel. Lucky for us, this hotel is part of the central train station so we don’t even have to go outside to catch the train. With an hour to kill after getting our tickets, we sit and have a morning coffee. Our train left at noon and we are headed south.

Kelvingrove Museum

Superman 3 Cape

Ancient Egypt – Kelvingrove

Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum

Glasgow Central Station

Adrian Smith – Iron Maiden

Heading to Birmingham by train

 

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Stewarts to Stalker to Glasgow

Castle Stalker

For the amount of driving we did today, this will be a short post. Once we got up and had breakfast we headed out to check out a few cemeteries that we know have some of Pamela’s family in them. Determining the family did not come from Campbeltown itself, we concentrated on these areas.

First was Kilkenzie, then Putechan, and lastly Killean. Killean is where we found her 3rd & 4th grand-fathers and others. We have a lot of pictures t go through to match up with the family history. No fence hopping was required today. The biggest obstacle we had were “coo’s”. We stopped along the coast at some point for the view and to enjoy yet another sunny Scottish day.

After the graveyard we headed north, along the west coast, towards Castle Stalker about 3 hours away. Yes, another Stewart castle, but more importantly this is the castle seen at the end of Monty Python & the Holy Grail. I was actually sent here by God himself on a sacred quest find the Holy Grail. FYI…I didn’t find it. I blame the French.

Once we determined I wouldn’t find the cup we headed east to the highland and then south through the mountain and headed to Glasgow, our home for the next three night. Again…a lot of driving, but some fantastic scenery. We returned the car at the Glasgow airport and took a cab to the hotel. A late night snack and night cap and we are off to bed.

And finally –  Happy Mothers Day Mom!!!

Putechan Cemetery

Pamela’s 4th great grandfather.

Killean Cemetery

The Scottish West Coastline

A loan ‘coo’

Castle Stalker

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To….and at Campbeltown

Stirling

Yesterday we left Edinburgh early. We checked out the hotel and caught a taxi to the car rental outfit in New Town. They at least gave us something with leg room. This is my first time driving on the opposite side of the road. It didn’t take too long to get used to it, I just had to watch the habits of driving at home.

Our first stop was Linlithgow Palace. Really, not much left of this place, but was quite interesting. It was one of the monarchs residence during the 15th & 16th centuries. One thing to note there, be prepared to climb a lot of stairs. As we have a lot of ground to cover, we didn’t stay here too long.

‘The Kelpies’ is a small stop we made on the way to Stirling Castle. The 2 massive 30-meter high steel/stainless steel sculptures are one heck of a thing to see. We’ve seen pictures, but it’s not the same as seeing them in real life. They are to represent the horse-powered heritage of Scotland.

Stirling Castle was way more than we anticipated. One of the largest Scottish castles, and with the town of Stirling on the hill with it, they together bring you into the time of kings & queens. Along with many other monarchs, Mary Queen of Scots was also crowned here, who is part of Pamela lineage. Again, feeling a little rushed, we made our way though the Castle and a bit of the town before hitting the road.

Campbeltown bound, the plan was to go a little north, over Glasgow, and then down to the Kintyre area. Instead, the GPS brought us right through Glasgow before heading north and around the inlets down to our days’ destination. The narrow, windy, Scottish roads are fantastic. There are several places to stop at on the way back. We arrived in Campbeltown around 8pm. The hotel, more like a B&B, is fantastic and was still serving dinner so we checked in and went downstairs, ordered a bottle of wine and had dinner. The food here is tops. We went back to our room for a good sleep after a very busy day.

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Today we got up refreshed and ready to go again. A full Scottish breakfast (less the black pudding) & coffee, and we were on our way. The first place to go was the local cemetery to see if we can find some Stewarts. Unfortunately, the oldest part of the graveyard is only open when the caretaker is around for safety reasons as they don’t want any of the headstones falling on people. We looked around a bit and found a few before I figured ‘We came here from Canada’, so I jumped the wall as Pamela kept guard. SHHHHH….only for a bit though as there are too many to see so back over I went. A bit more looking and we just as we were going to leave, the caretaker showed up. We asked if we could take a look and he was like, “Not a problem, here is where the key is hidden.” (Or something, I honestly couldn’t understand most of what he said). We spent a while browsing the ones you could see, reach, and/or read before locking up and heading back to town.

We had a shared lunch at The Black Sheep Pub before going separate ways for a while. Pamela tried to go to the museum and heritage centre but both were closed. Most everything seems to be Monday to Friday here. Too bad. Other than that, I have no clue what she did as I was doing some distillery tours. Campbeltown used to be the heart of distilleries in Scotland. The Springbank Distillery is the only in left in Scotland that still make Scotch the old way. I met up with two Dutch guys there on a Scotch tour. At the end of the tour Pamela met me back at the store where the sampling took place. She walked in on all these tall guys and had a laugh. See guess they were Dutch right off the bat. I picked up a few bottles for home before leaving. By this time it was close to 5pm.

We drove around a while taking in some scenes and taking picture. Ya…there are a lot of sheep here. After getting back to the hotel, we just relaxed for an hour before heading down to another fantastic dinner. Fish & venison on the menu for us tonight. We met a group of 6 men from Norway who travel around for different beers and scotches. They are a part of a whiskey club. We also happened to see them in the pub earlier in the day too.

On a side note…..this was our first day of rain.

Our short stay here is over. We leave in the morning for more site seeing and our stay in Glasgow. Iron Maiden is calling and I have some more friends to meet up with there.

Linlithgow Palace

The Kelpie’s

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Campbeltown Cross

Kilkerren Cemetery

Looking for Stewarts – Kilkerran Cemetery

Springbank Distillery

Glengyle Distillery

A view of Campbeltown

Sheep

 

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Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

Today was all about Rosslyn Chapel. We woke up a little earlier to get ready and head out to catch the bus. With breakfast in our room finished we caught the number 37 bus to the Chapel. Its about a half hour to 45 min ride. Once in the town of Roslin, Pamela already spotted where we would have our afternoon tea afterwards.

A quick little walk, we headed in to the visitor center, paid for our tickets, and walked the grounds around the old church. There will be a brief history at 11:00am. There are so many architectural aspects to take pictures of and impossible to get them all….inside even more but no cameras are allowed in there.  I could literally spend hours and hours there if we had the time and Pamela would let me.

The history of this building is amazing, be them true or not. Obviously, ” The Da Vinci Code” book & movie put this Chapel on the big map with visitors skyrocketing after each came out. They thank the Vatican for “stirring the pot” on these as the revenue generated from visitors continues to fund to help restorations and preservation of the building. As for the movie, they did make some slight modifications from what is actually there.

Other storied include the Knights Templar & The Freemasons but these are not proven and most likely added after some time…mostly in the 1980’s and after The Da Vinci Code. These of course are another good “selling feature” that brings in more visitors. As for the carvings, there are too many storied to tell, and the history of what they symbolize. The carving of the ‘trillium’ the provincial flower of Ontario, is a mystery of why it is there as it is only found in North America and the Chapel was completed years before recorded history of North America and it’s ‘discovery.

There is a lot more, but you’ll just have to look it up or come here yourself. We browsed the gift shop then went back to town to Dolly’s Tea House. Lunch, a grilled ham & cheese we just right and we had grand plans for dinner. We jumped on the #37 and headed back to Edinburgh.

Dinner was at The Witchery by the Castle, just down from Edinburgh Castle. We were told of this restaurant by a woman in Dublin and told us about ‘the secret garden.’ It sounded expensive….and it was….but sometime you have to spoil yourselves. It was a fantastic dinner with drinks in a gorgeous spot. Just the two of us. Our starter was ‘haggis’, yes we finally did it. It was fantastic and I’m looking forward to having more while we are here. Pamela had halibut and myself the ribeye for mains. Wrapping up with a cappuccino and shortbread, we sat and relaxed and just enjoyed a nice, quite evening.

Back to the hotel for a good sleep as we leave Edinburgh in the morning and I get to try my hand at driving on the opposite side of the road. Campbeltown is calling.

At the entry.

St. Clair Memorial

Rosslyn Chapel

Buttresses & Spires

The Chapel lock

The grounds at Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

As promised from yesterday.

 

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Walkin’ The Mile

St. Giles’ Cathedral

The Royal Mile: Today we worked our way down, and part way back up, the Royal Mile. The Road basically goes to Holyrood House to Edinburgh Castle, filled with shops, tourist traps, restaurants, pubs, scotch, a close almost every 20 feet, and a lot of people. We started by ‘playing dress-up’ for a photo shoot we booked yesterday. Me in Stewart garb…hmmm, but I did get Pamela into Dutch costume when in the Netherlands. (Pictures to come later.) The shop was also a tartan weaver so there was a bunch of that there as well as shortbread, swords, bagpipes, books, blah blah blah. Heading down the road we checked out some more stores and scotch shops.

Not far down we stopped for a light lunch at a place called The Jolly Judge, a small pub down a close we spotted earlier. Soup and a sandwich is just what we needed. Defiantly a place to hit if you get a chance but they don’t open until noon.

We continued on taking pictures, visiting a church, a market, and more shops. There is only so much we can say about shopping. Did I mention we it another pub near the end? Ah-ha…we had coffee. Afterwards we went next-door because Pamela wanted a few scones to go from the tea house there. They were pretty damn good. Being so close to Holyrood House again, we knew exactly where to catch the tour bus, but as we stood waiting, Pamela spotted some kind of half-glove thingys (that’s the technical term) a woman had on and ask where to get them. So back up the road we walked to find these “wrist socks”. Next….the hat shop.

This is a shop we went to the second day we were here. Pamela got her hat and I got myself another flat cap. Being right in the middle of Harry Potter land, we made a few stops to take a look even though I know nothing about it. The grave of Tom Riddell Greyfriar’s Cemetery then The Elephant House after dinner. Dinner was at The Frankenstein Pub which was a catchy place that seems to fill up quick when the pub games are on. This is not your small pub mind you, three floors here. Pamela went with something light and myself with the Monster Burger. This thing is huge! Bacon, chicken, pork, cheese, onion rings, and more on a bun, with a side of fries. I washed it down with an Edinburgh Castle Ale before we head to the room for the night.

A short trip planned for tomorrow but you’ll find out about that later.

Scotch anyone?

The Jolly Judge Pub

On the Royal Mile

One of many Closes’

The White Horse Close

Greyfriars’ Cemetery

The grave of Tom Riddell – Harry Potter

Fertilizer

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A Royal Day Out

Holyrood House – Home of the Queen

We started out with our City Pass Hop On – Hop Off Tour. We had two places we wanted to see today. First stop Holyrood House. Home of the Queen in July and August each year. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so we have just a few hundred of the outside and the gardens. We saw where she dines and most of the rooms. It’s very well kept for with such history and most things are original.  After the tour, we went for tea and scones in the Queens Garden Café. We also got a free shortbread cookie in the shape of a crown…. 🙂 Met a couple of ladies to sit with and we had a great conversation and yummy desserts. The Queen didn’t show, but we had Sister Josephine instead.

We then jumped on the bus and headed to Edinburgh Castle which was about a 15 min ride away. On the way to the castles walking on the Royal Mile we came upon a man with an owl. Beautiful and for 4 pounds we could have him sit on your arm. The money goes to helping more than 70 different birds. Her name was Hazel……the colour of her eyes. We headed the short distance into the castle grounds and the walking really began. So many areas to see….we spent the next 3 hours exploring. Paintings, art, tapestry, dungeons and even The Royal Jewels. (No photos allowed here). The view from the castle is also spectacular.

Time for a bite to eat and a much needed drink at a pub. We walked a shot distance heading towards our hotel an stopped in at The Castle Arms Pub. Ray had the most amazing looking Yorkshire Pudding dinner. So far, we have not had the nerve to try the haggis. Maybe soon. As the distance was so far from our hotel yet….5 minutes…..we decided to hit The Last Drop Pub on the way to the room for another pint. Stewart Brewery Holyrood Ale; might as well keep the theme going for my ‘Stewart’ wife. We meet 4 ladies from Spain who were on their annual group trip and of course Pamela ask them for a picture with Gordon, our travelling KIA mascot. There is always a strange look when asked.

Back to the room & a decaf coffee. I think you need a few week in this city as we are just scratching the surface.

Holyrood House

Holyrood Abbey

The Queen’s garden

The Royal Mile

Ray with Hazel the owl.

The entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

On guard at the castle.

Edinburgh Castle – Harry Potter anyone?

A view of Edinburgh City

 

 

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Scotland

Edinburgh Castle – Just outside our hotel.

With a quick night in Belfast, we got up, had breakfast, and headed right to the airport to head to Edinburgh, Scotland. A fast 35-minute flight and we were here. We caught a bus to a location close to the hotel and figured we would walk the rest. Hills and stairs….lots of them. Once we arrived, we checked in and headed out for lunch. Surprise, a pub!

We ended up buying a city pass for a few days just to help cover some ground quicker. There is so much to see here and it won’t all happen in this trip. Hop-on hop-off is perfect. We did a loop just to get our bearings and pick our top spots to go to. Hopefully we can get some better shots tomorrow instead of quick pics off a tour bus; the architecture is amazing. We jump out at our last stop and went to see where Greyfriars Bobby is buried. If you don’t know the story of this pup, look it up. It’s a little long for this blog.

We are keeping it a short night tonight to catch-up on some needed sleep. After hitting a local grocery store to pick up water for a few days and food for breakfasts and snacks (it’s a lot cheaper than trying to eat out all the time), we headed back to the hotel. A bit of TV & relaxing, then bed before a sure to be busy day tomorrow.

A quick bus tour.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Some Edinburgh architecture.

Cemetery with Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby

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