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Edinburgh Wins by a Royal Mile

by Ben

overcast 10 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Newborn Lambs

Newborn Lambs

We left the higher latitudes (around 58 degrees) to head to the cultural and political capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. As we headed south and traversed the Pass of Killicrankie the temperature dropped to a mere one degree and snow began to fall. It seems spring comes quite late to these parts.

By the time we got within 50 miles (yes we measuring our trip in imperial units during this part of our trip) of Edinburgh the temperature had risen to a more tolerable 10 degrees and the snow and rain had ceased. We took a little detour from the highway to find a nice place to picnic. We stopped amidst some pastureland that hosted a sizeable flock of sheep. The sound emanating from so many sheep was unfamiliar to our ears. The cacophony of deep and high bleats in various staccato rhythms sounded comical. The sight was that of innocent beauty since there were such an abundance of newborn lambs. We also saw quite a few ring-necked pheasants which I was unsuccessful in photographing but at least witnessed firsthand which I can't say for the red squirrels that the residents of the area are so protective of that they have produced signage for the squirrel's safety.

Scots Protecting their Squirrels

Scots Protecting their Squirrels

Our apartment, in the heart of Edinburgh, was easy to find but difficult to get to as many streets are being torn up to install new tramlines. A few passes through the neighbourhood finally revealed an unobstructed route and we were soon carrying our bags up six flights of stairs. Our location couldn't be much better. We are a few blocks from Edinburgh Castle and the beginning (or end) of the Royal Mile.

The kids chose to stay home while Muriel and I walked the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. It is a walk that takes you through some great architecture, notwithstanding the blackened stonework from centuries of coal burning. Edinburgh used to be called "auld Reekie" from all the chimneys in the city burning coal. At the end of the Royal Mile is the Queen's official residence in Scotland, Holyrood Palace. I would be curious to know what the Queen thinks about her new neighbours across the street; the Scottish Parliament. No greater juxtaposition of architectural styles could be imagined. The "modern" architecture of the Scottish Parliament leaves a bit to be desired. I think Elizabeth might be forgiven if she is spending a little less time at her Edinburgh residence these days.

Scot on the Royal Mile

Scot on the Royal Mile

By the time we got to the end of our walk I was thinking that I must be pretty tired from our car ride as the distance seemed much longer than two miles. I found out from Muriel that The Royal Mile is actually one Scot's mile long, which is 1.12 statute miles or 1.81 kilometers. The mile as a unit of measurement was not fully standardized until 1959. I guess you can't say Scots are cheap on distance.

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Posted by KZFamily 12:58 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland edinburgh

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Comments

No wonder you were cold and seeing snow you are as far north as Fort Nelson in B.C.

Sure is a barren land at this time of year,must quite pretty when the heather is in bloom.

George

by George Koning

22:06 pst 05/01/2013
Ah.. I have been a few times and it is always a lovely city to visit.
You are to early though for the fringe festival but one might have to protect the girls eyes as the young university guys walk around in underwear with a wee scarf around the neck entertaining one on the Royal Mile.
The Castle for the Tattoo is an excellent visit for the view of Edmonton and its military history. Then the train station and the shops are brilliant though the process for true Scottish handicraft might be high. When I first went back to visit in my single days, I stayed at a B & B where my key was something out of the iron days. In those days single woman travelling by themselves would stay at the local YWCA but it had a doorman outside and hours when the doors were locked. I was on the castle top and saw a good looking redhead so introduced myself and turned out she was from Toronto of all places. We went to a music festival that night and walking her home was how I found about the rules :) Kind of blew my finding a Scottish woman that day.
The Tattoo is another event you would enjoy in August though. The tiles on the roofs if I remember right were ballast from ships who traded cod and rum and sugar.
Last time I was there was in 2005 with Liz, now being married I am and she being from Barbados ,, well we do change our minds. We walked the Royal Mile, amazed at the ugly Scottish Parliament building , seeing McDonalds on the Mile. Enjoyed Holyrood and the back of it also the shops.
Cheers

by RobBar

prices , not process I meant

by RobBar

Dear family,
It seems to me that Scotland is a very interesting country with a "rich history". I did some research and came to the conclusion that their history was steeped in war. And I think that they are not totally finished yet. I feel a bit bad for all of you, while I am writing this comment it is summer-like weather here. Port Alberni is the warmest spot here on the island 28 degrees C.
On the other hand you see and experience a lot of new things. Why do these Scots wear these skirts in the winter, don't they have any feelings?
One more question. Did you visit the Royal Yatch Britannia? Opa.

by G Koning

Hello dear family,
A special thank you for so often sharing beautiful photos showing the local animals. Yes, also in this part of the world the mother sheep are proudly showing off their playful lambs, all grazing peacefully on our green meadows. Spring has finally sprung, also in our part of the world.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be!
Edith

by Edith Roslee

13:15 pst 05/05/2013
Check this link out for good Scottish History
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/

As to the Kilt it is part of their history and culture and is quite warm, try it.
Here is an informative link
http://www.scottish-history.com/kilt.shtml
You could always contact a local firm who wear kilts to wash windows as to their comfort in weather :) :)
http://www.meninkilts.com/victoria-goes-crazy-for-men-in-kilts/

by RobBar

I"m enjoying your family tour. I think I am hooked by the pictures and the well written narratives. I'm glad to travel along and sense this is a great learning/teaching/family experience!

by Fred

Here at 48.4328° N, the weather has been pretty good for the last couple of weeks. We even had record highs earlier this week.

Edinburgh is a lovely city. Can't say I think much of their new parliament buildings.

by Jane1

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