This stark yet beautiful vista is one of the first you see in Edinburgh. It is right next door to Holyrood House Palace and the new Scottish Parliament Building. This awe inspiring part of nature is like having a piece of the highlands plopped down in the middle of the capital city. It is actually part of the largest park area in Europe. Here people hike, picnic, contemplate, meditate and enjoy nature.
Below are the gates to Holyrood House Palace, the home of Mary Queen of Scots as well as the current queen. One one side is a unicorn symbolizing Scotland and on the other a lion symbolizing England.
Elizabeth II visits Scotland for two weeks each July and gives two large tea parties for the "locals" including not just the aristocracy and rich but also middle class residents on the guest list.
This is a panoramic view of Holyrood House. It is built in the style of a French chateau and is much more human in style and size than other palaces, in my opinion.
The land that Holyrood House stands on once had a large monastery on the site. Now, only the ruins remain. However, the beginnings of Holyrood House was actually the guest house of the monastery, expanded into a royal residence after the religious reformation. The palace kept the name of the guest house: Holyrood House or Holy Cross House.
Scotland has a Parliament separate from the one in London. (They will be voting on the issue of independence from Great Britain this September.) Below are some pictures of their very modern parliament building which is open to the public.
The parliament building is just across the street from the Holyrood House Palace.
The old and the new next to each other.
The architect included small thinking pods for each member of parliament so that they could go there and be alone and undisturbed to think about the issues they were being asked to deal with.
A lovely concept. Thought and consideration of issues.
These pictures are of the church where Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family worship when in Edinburgh. It was also the scene of Zara Phillips' wedding a few years ago. Zara is Princess Anne's daughter and the Queen's granddaughter.
A much smaller and simpler do than Kate and William's.
St. Giles is the patron saint of Edinburgh.
St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.
St. David is the patron saint of Wales.
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.
St. George is the patron saint of England.
Just in case you were interested. :-)
Greyfriar's Bobby was a terrior dog that lived in Edinburgh over 100 years ago with his master who was a local constable. When the constable died and was buried, Bobby took it upon himself to guard his master's grave for 14 years! He was a local celebrity at the time. He personified loyalty and love.
I used to have a miniature of the above statue but one of the times we were robbed in Erie the thief took it with them. But my heart still loves that dog.
That is making lemonade out of lemons.
We found Edinburgh to be a lovely city . Now we are hoping to go back some day and visit the highlads.
PS: This post took FOREVER! Downloading photos and finding a working connection has been a challenge.
Sorry it took so long.