31 December 2010

Dan & Kath Visit Edinburgh, Day 1

It's been a while, hasn't it? In case you missed the memo, Nana and I have moved to a new blog (not to mention a new continent!) over at The Senseitions. But just a few days before we left Edinburgh at the end of July, my parents, Dan & Kathy, came for a visit. 

While the Senseitions drifts into its Christmas-break lull, I thought I'd try to put up a post or two about our distinguished guest and their whirlwind tour of Scotland.


We spent the morning of our first day in Edinburgh proper, taking in the sights, such as the Castle, viewed from outside the parental unit's hotel in the Grassmarket.

 Then, after a hot drink at the Elephant House and a stroll through Greyfriar's Kirkyard, a stop at the observation deck of the National Museum.
 After which we toured the Castle itself for a bit.
 On the way down the Royal Mile, we stopped for a photo of St. Giles from Parliament Square West.

 With the Fringe Festival less than a week away, the Royal Mile was already seeing a smattering of street performers.
Scottish Borders

We spent the afternoon tootling around the Scottish Borders, taking a rural route recommended by my dissertation advisor. The photo below was taken roughly at the southern border of Midlothian, looking north. If you look closely, you can see Arthur's Seat (between our heads) and Castle Hill (to the left of my head) in the distance.
Typical upland scenery in Scotland: high, grassy hills that defy any sense of scale. (For reference, those tiny white dots in the foreground are sheep.)
The road we took wound through a municipal golf course and several working pastures, so we got pretty up close and personal with some of the sheep.
 Our first stop in the Borders was St. Ronan's Well in Innetleithen. (Innerleithen is also home to Robert Smail's Printing Works, which we posted about a while ago.)

 A pretty spot, for sure.

From Innetleithen, we continued on to Abbotsford, the palatial country home of one Sir Walter Scott.

I did my dissertation on a topic related to Sir Walter Scott, and had joined some colleagues for a tour a few weeks before, so this time I found myself playing the tour guide. A little practice for getting back in the classroom!

After Abbotsford, we stopped at nearby Melrose Abbey, one of several famous medieval abbeys in the Scottish Borders. Melrose Abbey is built in the Gothic style (check out those pointed arches). Of course, old red sandstone abounds.

We also made a brief stop at Rosslyn Chapel on the way back, but it's a hard place to take photos, so if you want to see the place I'll have to direct you to the Rosslyn Chapel Trust.

We ended the day back in Edinburgh with a hearty Scottish meal at Greyfriar's Bobby's Bar (background)--and, of course, the obligatory photo with Bobby out front.

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