Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 24, 2013 through June 26, 2013 – Days 84 – 86 Homeward bound a week from yesterday! But a lovely stay in Edinburgh it has been!

June 24, 2013 through June 26, 2013 – Days 84 – 86  Homeward bound a week from yesterday! But a lovely stay in Edinburgh it has been! 

Finally, we are ready to come home, although the temperatures we’re seeing in Indiana are giving us pause.  We are pretty tired and not up to doing all the things we did at the beginning of this amazing Grand Tour!  We may do absolutely nothing for a solid week when we get home.  But first, we have loved Edinburgh, Scotland, and are looking forward to a few days in Dublin, Ireland.  This will probably be our last post until I can catch up when we get home.  I want to turn all my attention to Dublin.  I promise to finish the blog when I get home. There is still so much to say. 

On Sunday, we bought a Royal Edinburgh Tour which meant that we could hop on and hop off each of five bus lines, get on the HMS Britannia, and take a tour through the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace for 48 hours for 40 pounds each.  With the entrance fees to the three attractions, it ended up being only around 5 pounds for the hop-on, hop-off feature, and since the HMS Brittania is 15 minutes out of town, it really has paid for itself.  We took a live guided tour around town and then headed out to the Britannia.  The most enjoyable things that we have done on this entire vacation have been the cruises – short or long – or something to do with boats. 

By the way, would you believe it if we told you the HMS Britannia was our new boat?  Didn’t think so!  Bill wanted me to say that. We got to tour the ship and then had lunch in the tea room on board.  It was an absolutely lovely lunch:  red pepper and tomato soup and roasted potatoes, a roast beef sandwich for Bill and a cheddar and chutney sandwich for me.  We had a lovely day!

On Monday, we saw Edinburgh castle – shades of Braveheart even though neither William Wallace or Robert the Bruce ever set foot inside it, they are immortalized for all time at either side of the gate. 

On Tuesday, we headed out for a bus tour of the Scottish Highlands – fabulous scenery.  The trip culminated in a trip on Loch Ness (yep – Nessie the Loch Ness Monster).  It really was an enjoyable tour.  Our driver was amazingly well-versed in Scottish history – he was the best guide we’ve had the whole trip. 

Today our plan was to see Holyrood Palace – Queen Elizabeth’s official Scottish residence, but since she is coming for a stay next week – July 2 – the day we fly home – the palace was closed. It’s amazing how Great Britain is run by the monarchy. So we walked the Royal Mile and did a little shopping.  We’ve just missed several things to do with royalty – we left Amsterdam the day before the Dutch Queen turned over the throne to her son – turning Queen’s Day into King’s Day. We’re all packed and ready for our flight to Dublin tomorrow.  See you all next week in the good ole’ USA!

With our new Brittania Runabout

Bill's new fashion statement.

Bagpiper in the Highlands

Highland Cows

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle

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