In Which We Spend the Afternoon Shopping (Read: Cath Kidston) and Sight-Seeing in Edinburgh Scotland  

Posted by Heidi

Once we were through with the tour of Edinburgh Castle (see HERE), (I love to do links in my posts, but for the past month or so, I have had some problems with them not working) were free to see Edinburgh on our own.  This charming scene was out on the walkway of a restaurant.  Edinburgh is probably one of the few places where cannon balls and cherubs look at home together.

We were told that when we came across a "close", we were to go down it.  A close is an enclosed courtyard and they are very old.  So, of course, we went in.

Gray rock walls and green moss with windows picked out in white--one of my favorite color combinations!

This rock wall was a bit of a ruin.  I wish I could say that we went up the stairs.

If we had taken the time to do that, I would have fewer photographs to look at. Hmmm.  .

This was our view of the castle from outside of our hotel in the Grassmarket.  We were on a hunt for the Mary's Milk Bar that we had seen online before our trip.  And we found it.  And the ice cream was good.  I am pretty sure it was also lunch.

The Last Drop is a pub named for the vicinity of the last hanging in Edinburgh? Scotland? Planet Earth?  I can't remember.  There is a carving in the street that explains it all, but I didn't seem to get a photograph of that.  Either way, these lads don't seem too concerned about it.

We did run across the Edinburgh Cemetery, scene of the graveyard tour debacle (you can read about that HERE), and, naturally, I took a ton of photos, most of which I have not included here.  The official name of this cemetery is Greyfriar's Kirkyard.

The thing is, I was entirely bowled over by the size of these headstones.

I suppose headstones is not the correct word.  They are tombs, really.  As such, they aren't as big as others I have seen.  As headstones, though, they are pretty bowl-over-y.

This one is a more typical tomb, I suppose.  And so cheerful with that skull and crossbones up on the wall.

Cemeteries and graveyards are full of such beauty.

This is the final resting place of Lord Provost William Little and his brother, Clement.

People live in the homes/apartments that these tombstones back up onto.  I imagine they have quiet neighbors.

I used the Palette Knife app on this one . . .

 .  . and the Water Color app on this one.  Not sure which I like better.  Any thoughts?

The tombstone on the left is the one in the photos above.  Note the cheerful red geraniums in the window between tombstones two and three.

A view of the city from down in the cemetery.

More traditionally-sized headstones.

 I was really taken with these ironwork railings on this building as I hadn't/haven't seen anything like them in either England or Ireland.  I'm pretty sure the young man with the black hat is none other than one of our favorite Scottish actors, Iain De Caestecker.  

You see the resemblance, don't you?  I am good at spotting celebrities.  I saw Clint Eastwood in Carmel, Ca (where he lives and was, at the time, mayor) in a limo, though it was hard to tell with the dark glasses and the tinted window . . .But I'm *sure* it was him (tongue firmly planted in cheek).  At any rate, it COULD be Iain De Caestecker.  He is Scottish, after all.

Here we are, heading down into The Royal Mile.  At the other end of this is Holyroodhouse Palace, a gorgeous not-to-be-missed place that I missed due to sickness.  Le sigh . . .

We thought this was a fairly witty establishment.  We probably should have gone inside.  There are some images of it online HERE. 

A few doors down one finds The Elephant House, the pub where J.K. Rowling wrote much of her early Harry Potter books whilst gazing at the castle, inspiration for Hogwarts.  (We did not go inside, but I'm sure it's a lovely establishment.)

Love this view of the Central Library.  I was very tempted to go inside to see if any of my books were on those shelves.  (We did not.) (Bummer!  When am I ever going to be in Edinburgh again?) (Actually, I was back three days later, but I still didn't go in.) (Bummer!)

The sign that says "Central Library" was my only clue as to what this building houses.

I always wonder how people get photos with the out of focus background with just a point and shoot camera.  I still don't know how it's done.  I was so tickled to see this.

Behold, on the left, is one of the few kilted men we saw in Edinburgh.

What really strikes one whilst walking around Edinburgh is just how very old it is.  It smells old.  It feels old.  It makes one wonder if it tastes old, as well.  (Not sure what "old" tastes like, but I think I would know it if I tasted it.)

This statue depicts philosopher David Hume.  The church in the background is The High Kirk of Edinburgh St. Giles Cathedral.

The bank of Scotland.  Naturally.  It's the only gold statue we saw in Edinburgh.

Detail of the previous photo:  I love the Scottish thistles depicted here.

The Black Watch monument.  The words below read:  AM FREICEADAN DUBH which, in a convulated way, means The Black Watch.  He stands close to the junction between the old town (grassmarket) and the new town, (haymarket).

The other side of the Bank of Scotland. . . so pretty!

The Scott Monument wherein you can find a huge marble statue of Sir Walter Scott. We *did* see that later . . .

The Festival Wheel (the third ferris wheel in 6 days that Mary did not get to ride), the Scott Monument and the Balmoral Hotel in the distance.

I believe the Greek looking building with the doric columns is the Royal Scottish Academy.  The square towers with the red banners is College University:  Edinburgh University College of Science.

A few of oldtown through the trees.

Don't quote me, but I believe this is Princes Street with a different view of the ferris wheel, Scott Monument and the Balmoral.

King George the IV was, once upon a time, the Prince Regent, he who gave the Regency time period it's name.  We love him.  He wasn't a stellar person or king, but we love him anyway.

And then we found it:  Cath Kidston!  Now, I can't really afford to buy much of anything at CK, but when we were in Ireland, I went into my first CK store, and I was hooked.  I bought two melamine/plastic plates in the Spray Flowers pattern because they were delectable and they were on clearance.  After a year of eating my meals off of those plates, I truly, madly, deeply, wanted more.  So, going into every CK store I could find was high on my list.

Not only was there a chance of finding more plates (I never did) (because they were on clearance a year prior and had been discontinued) (sad) but CK stores are housed in scrumptious buildings and are decorated with scrumptious CK style.

Yes, please.  I'll take it.  The whole kit and kaboodle.

I mean, really--who wouldn't want to shop here?  Or just walk about, aimlessly, taking in all of this gorgeous country English style?

I don't know what I would do with this fabric, but I would find something to cover it with.

And the ceilings!  (Let it be said:  the ceilings!)

I love the robin egg blue and red--it's so pretty and chipper.

After failing to find anything inexpensive or justifiable enough to purchase, we found the Laura Ashley store.  I did not have time to take photos in this store though it is also very lovely.  However, we do have LA in the US so it's not quite as special.  But, like I said, I would have taken plenty, except that I was spending all of my time in the wallpaper/fabric room trying to get a hold of a roll of wallpaper with which I fell head-over-heels in love.

 There was only one roll left.  In fact, it was just a partial roll, because someone had used it to wrap the boxes that contained all of the wallpaper that was on sale.  For 2.99 pounds.  Per roll.  Instead of, like, 37.99.  There was a huge roll of fabric of this pattern that I would have mortgaged my house to purchase and get home, but it was spoken for.  I swore that I would come back to this store when I returned to Edinburgh in three days to see if the fabric had been miraculously abandoned, but I was too sick.  However, I did receive the almost full roll of opened wallpaper as a gift because there was no more to be found in the back.  I swore that I would go into every LA store that I could find between then and when we went home to buy more, but I only saw one more, in Inverness, too far away for us to make it to on foot.  Happily, this roll covered this area in my front hall and I. Am. In. Love.  (Thank you, Laura Ashley!)

A sweet little restaurant of some kind with a very darling door.

It looks a bit off-kilter, but I would not care, either.

After a bit, it started to rain and we ducked into this establishment to sip the best looking hot chocolate I have ever sipped.  How did I keep my Laura Ashley wallpaper dry?  Now I remember that this is the same day that I bought THIS foldaway carrier bag--waterproof!  I remember sitting on a high stool in the window watching shoppers walking in the rain (clearly, all sturdier souls than we) thinking:  I'm in Edinburgh!  Scotland!  Drinking hot chocolate!  So cool.

Shades of Dublin.  We didn't see many painted doors in Scotland--this really stood out.

Spotted on the way back up the stairs to the Grassmarket, headed back to the hotel and dinner.

Dinner was a "Scottish Show" in a different part of town.  We boarded the coach to get there--this was one of the last photos I took before I was struck down by the fever that would keep me in bed for the next two days.

The show was fantastic.  Everyone was very talented and it all looked so much better than these photos imply.  The lighting did not lend itself to good photos.

The kilted table is where the haggis sat before they served it to us.  Eeeep!

It was a beautiful evening, in spite of the growing fever that had me rocking back and forth towards the end.

These two were very talented.  They are also the ones who served up the haggis.  One can only wonder if there was some kind of special make up they wore that rendered their faces undetectable, in case of vengeful tourists.  Since there is gluten in haggis, I was able to gracefully decline.  Next time:  Back to England!  Hadrian's Wall!  York!  (I think!)

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at Thursday, January 14, 2016 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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