This morning we were greeted by our local guide, Ross, who was wearing the traditional Scottish kilt and spoken (a small leather pouch for personal belongings since kilts have no pockets). Ross took us on a bus tour of Edinburgh. We stopped at Calton Hill, where we climbed to the top for some spectacular morning views of the city. Edinburgh is built around 7 dormant volcanoes, with Edinburgh Castle built directly on top of one.
Scotland has its claims to fame. Penicillin and logarithms were discovered in Scotland. Alexander Graham Bell is a Scotsman, and JK Rowling calls Edinburgh home. Our guide told us that it is one of the safest countries. We drove past the prime ministers residence and parked out front, there were no guards unlike other places where you can’t get near a public figure’s home.
We stopped in at the palace at Holyrood House, where Mary Queen of Scott’s resided at one point. It is also the location where Queen Elizabeth stays when she visits Scotland every August.
We toured Edinburgh Castle, an amazing fortress. Virtually impenetrable, it was attacked many times, but only defeated once. The castle is still used by the Royal Military. Every day at 1 p.m. they fire a cannon to mark the time of day.
Next was Scottish dance lessons! We learned several dances and had a very fun time! Some of us might go pro and others might need a few hundred or so more lessons.
We visited the Scottish Museum, highlights included the evolution of the airplane and a stuffed Dolly the sheep (the one used in cloning). Dinner and early bed tonight, as tomorrow we leave for Dublin!