Edinburgh – Highlands and Islands of Scotland

Tonight is our third and last night in Edinburgh.   We’ve loved exploring parts of a very beautiful city and are a bit sad that we won’t see anything more of it.

We’ve always known that Dunedin was established as the “Edinburgh of the South” and that its name is the old name for Edinburgh, but what has struck us is that so many street and suburb names are replicated in Dunedin!

Our hotel in the main street (Princes St, of course) is very convenient.   Full Scottish breakfasts are on offer, including haggis, which I quite enjoyed this morning.

Yesterday’s main activity was a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the landscape and is clearly visible from our hotel. Absolutely throbbing with tourists but we had an excellent guide and left feeling much more knowledgeable about Scotland’s history.   That was followed by a fairly brief visit to St Giles’s Cathedral, which isn’t really a cathedral at all because it was taken over by the Presbyterians at the time of the Reformation.

Today we were taken to where the Royal Yacht Britannia is now permanently moored following its decommissioning.   That was a lot more interesting than I’d anticipated – a very detailed commentary available as we explored the ship from top to bottom.

Then after lunch courtesy Marks & Spencer we visited a restored Georgian mansion just walking distance from the hotel.   One way or another, we’ve had two days’ exposure to the class system of the United Kingdom down the centuries!

On the way back to the hotel we made a slight detour to enjoy a wee dram on the Oxford Bar, which features in all the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, and were warmly welcomed.   The visit was recorded by a couple of photos – and we also took one outside the residence of Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister, which is right next door to the Georgian mansion.

We have a very congenial group and have already discovered links, as always seems to be the case – the partner of one woman was at Arana Hall with me almost 60 years ago.

By Gerald Bailey