As a public service I am proving that it is possible to get sunburnt in any country, even Scotland. I am quite red after my Saturday in Edinburgh, but some of it might be wind burn. I’ll have to see how I look tomorrow.

I began by feeding Cassie…

and Sirius, and let them out for the day. It’s strange how cameras find it difficult to focus on black cats.

I took the bus into town and walked from Princes Street, where my bus drops me off, right up to the top of the Castle Hill, where the Castle is.

Hilly.

Edinburgh Castle.

Things are all set up for the Military Tattoo.

It was just before opening time and the crowd was treated to a lone piper to signal the start of the day. Hundreds of people then pushed their way into the castle and formed a huge queue at the ticket office. I, on the other hand, smugly retrieved my self-printed prepaid ticket from my pocket and was the first to enter the castle.

Having been warned about the crowds in the Royal Palace and Crown Jewel room, I decided to walk right up there first, getting photos along the way, and then spend time listening to my audio guide on the way back down.

I was the only person in the Jewel Vault with Stone of Destiny (Stone of Scone) and the royal jewels. They don’t let you take photos, so here is a pic of two postcards I bought.

A room inside the Royal Palace at Edinburgh Castle.

The Governor’s House.

Nice views. See that tower to the right on the horizon? I’ll be on that hill later today.

The National War Memorial.

Inside the castle’s Great Hall. The most important medieval timber ceiling in Scotland.

St Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest building in Edinburgh, dating to the 12th century.

Inside the tiny chapel.

Looking down.

My first view of Arthur’s Seat.

Inside the Military Prison.

Time for coffee. The view from my table.

I left the castle and went back down the Royal Mile.

Wonderful streetscapes.

Did I say that Edinburgh is hilly?

I took a detour into the Old Town to wander around Greyfriar’s Kirk (that’s a church) and its graveyard.

Here’s the famous statue of the Greyfriar’s Bobby, who, when his owner died, spent 14 more years sleeping on his grave.

St Gile’s Cathedral.

Had to buy some fudge from the Fudge House.

Right down the other end of the Royal Mile is the new Scottish Parliament House…

…and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. There are only a few days in July when the Palace is open, as the Queen will soon be in residence for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Garden Party and other royal engagements. I saw the state rooms, the King’s bedroom, the Gallery, and the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots. I stood on the spot where David Rizzio was murdered.

In the back garden is the ruin of Holyrood Abbey.

Arthur’s Seat rises up in the background.

I then had a late lunch, crossed over to the New Town and climbed Calton Hill.

The view from near the top. It was a little cloudy so I made this picture black and white for atmosphere. See that hill on the horizon in the middle? That’s where I started that morning.

At the top of Calton Hill is Nelson’s Monument and the beginnings of what was planned to be a replica of the Parthenon, making Edinburgh the Athens of the North.

I then went all the way back down and had a look in the department stores Harvey Nichols and Jenners.

Afterwards I visited the Scottish National Gallery.

I had then had enough for one day.