I was recently reminded (thanks Eddie) of a trip to Scotland Phil and I took during the holiday bit of my audiology training. One of the ladies I trained with had a rental flat (appartment) on the Royal Mile and let us use it for a weekend. I was a point and shoot photographer back then, knew nothing about photography and didn’t have a great camera nor any editing software overmuch so the photos are not up to my usual standard, but it doesn’t really matter to me, good memories are enough.
a glimpse of the flat
The flat fronted on to the Royal Mile, but the back of it overlooked a cemetery.
We spent a day wandering about the Mile, and other bits of Edinburgh.
We also decided to climb Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is a mahoosive ancient volcano, now a big hill, and is named so because of the legends about King Arthur (although King Arthur was mostly Welsh but born in Cornwall by the looks of things, all of which is moot as he wasn’t a real person anyway). Anyhoo I presume in one of the legends he sat on top of this hillock and that was that. You can just about make me out in the first slide, then some views above the city.
Also in 2006, a movie came out based on the controversial novel of the same name by Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, and though we hadn’t seen the movie, we had read the book and decided to visit Rosslyn Chapel, which became quite famous because of both the book and the movie. At the time we went the movie had only just been released, so whilst there were a few others there, it was nice to wander around, take photographs and enjoy our time. Unfortunately they were in the middle of renovations so the roof was under polythene, not making the outside of the building very photogenic. Fortunately, the influx of a gazillion
idiots movie~tourists meant the chapel could then afford to pay off and finish the restoration. Unfortunately now you have a to book tickets prior to going, currently £9.50 per adult, and can only have a 90 minute time slot, and no photos allowed. Boo hoo. Of course they have a gift shop so you can by postcards of the chapel, and the Dan Brown book, they certainly did not look a gift horse in the mouth!
Here are some reasonably terrible photos of the inside of the chapel, including a couple of the Green Men carvings, of which there are said to be over a 100 at Rosslyn.
Phil wanted to visit the battlefield at Culloden. This was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart was decisively defeated by a British government force under Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a ruthless chap who was known as the ‘butcher’, on Drummossie Moor near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. It was the last pitched battle fought on British soil and, in less than an hour, around 1,600 men were slain – 1,500 of them Jacobites. I am not going to expound on the huge history of it all, you can watch Outlander to get the gist. It started out as a row over who would be King and ended with a terrible aftermath and persecution of anyone with Jacobite leanings.
When we visited we were the only ones there, parked up on a windy rainy day and wandered the battlefield, Phil told me the awful history as we walked round looking at all the commemorative rocks where clan members were buried. It was bleak. They were not so easy to see or find.
One year later the National Trust for Scotland took it over and from the website HERE you can see they’ve done a lot to the place, including an award winning visitor shop (there always has to be a shop) a visitors centre/museum with a roof garden, and a café. They’ve recarved the buriel stones and put up flags to show which clan was where and paths to show you around the field. Of course it would set you back £14 to get in now but I never mind paying when it goes to the upkeep of history. Might get to revisit one day, who knows?
On our way from Edinburgh to Culloden we stopped at some places, firstly we pulled off to see a rainbow over Loch Lubhair
then drove on to Glencoe, where the Glencoe massacre took place in Glen Coe in the Highlands of Scotland on 13 February 1692. An estimated 30 members and associates of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by Scottish government forces, allegedly for failing to pledge allegiance to the new monarchs, William III and Mary II.
Our next stop before reaching Culloden, was at Urquhart Castle, on the edge of Loch Ness. We didn’t have time to explore as this journey was all done in a day, but I did call in to one of the shops and picked up a Nessie.
Then we headed back to Edinburgh, a long old day we had, and then home the next day. We packed a lot in 2 days! I would love to re-do this little holiday, with my Big Girl cameras so it’s on my bucket list!
Stay tooned in case I do somewhere else for next week!