Thursday, June 28, 2007
I woke up really early this morning to head back to the dorm and finish grading student papers, return student papers, eat breakfast, pack all of my stuff, and say good-bye to my students and colleagues, all before 10:30 AM!
John was still in bed when I got back to Rebecca's flat, but we were soon headed out the door to explore the city. We began by walking up the Royal Mile, to our first stop, Edinburgh Castle (my second trip, but I didn't see it all the first time).
Here is a shot of some of the inner buildings of the castle.
This is the Great Hall, with its huge fireplace and impressive display of weapons and battle armor. We were able to view the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny -- both very impressive and no photos allowed. The Scottish crown jewels have a long history, and were hidden several times to protect them from being destroyed. The self-appointed protectors were quite successful. Read more about the Honours of Scotland here.
Our second stop was a tour of Mary King's Close. This place is billed as a "city beneath the city" and is a bit on the touristy side, but it was a pretty neat experience. You are not allowed to take pictures, and honestly it is not a picturesque kinda' place. One really has to go down into the houses where the lower classes of society lived over 400 years ago to be thankful for indoor plumbing, modern medicine and hygiene, and food preservation.
After this we met up with Rebecca and headed to dinner at her favorite vegetarian restaurant. More on that in the next post.