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Day Tour Edinburgh Scotland

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Today, Saturday, proved successful.

We first travelled about 8 miles from centre of Edinburgh down to the famous Rosslyn chapel where we joined the 10.00 am tour. This was of high quality and lasted about 30 mins. Rosslyn Chapel has been vaulted to one of Scotland's top tourist attractions following success of both book and film versions of the Da Vinci Code. Rosslyn Chapel has been connected with the Sinclair family for about 600 years. The Chapel dates from the 15th century, took 40 years to complete and is full of intricate and high quality stone carvings containing symbols and meanings which are not fully understood today. Because of long-term repair work there is the added bonus of access to the roof which also features extensive and decorative carvings plus grand views over the local countryside. Overall, Rosslyn was a good experience. Refer also video clip no 1 below.

Image immediately below is that of the Rosslyn Chapel undergoing repairs.

After Rosslyn we headed back to Edinburgh.

Next stop was Palace of Holyroodhouse which is the British Monarch's official residence in Scotland with origins dating back to founding of an Augustinian abbey in 1128 the ruins of which still exist, adjacent to the Palace. In fact the Palace evolved out of a guest house used by the Abbey. James IV (1488-1513) made the decision to convert the lodgings into a palace. A self-guided audio tour navigates visitors around the magnificent rooms and apartments occupied by the Stuart kings, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie. The architecture of the present building dates from the late 17th century and is impressive. The designs were drawn up by architect, Sir William Bruce. Refer video clips 2 and 3 below for images of the Palace. Fixed image immediately below shows the interior courtyard of the Palace.

This is the ruined Augustinian Abbey adjacent to the Palace.

Next we popped across the road to visit the new Scottish Parliament which is now 10 years old. Controversial external architecture was offset by the well designed debating chamber inside. Being a Saturday no debates were in process. Fixed image below shows the exterior of the new Parliament building.

This is the interior of the Scottish Parliament. Refer also video clip no 4 below.

Final stop of the day was Calton Hill, also known as the 'Athens of the North'. There are two old observatories, a Grecian style National Monument (incomplete) and a tower in form of an inverted telescope as memorial to Lord Nelson, a British naval hero. Moreover, visibility was exceptionally good for the time of year affording us views of the Forth Bridge and Fife Coast as per image below.

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posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:15 AM 


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