Sunday, July 01, 2012

Scotland day 2–Edinburgh

IMG_0670On Sunday we went to morning church in Edinburg (which was lovely) and then set out to see the city.  Jeff declared it his favorite city ever.  It was surely one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to.  Old and stark and worn and beautiful.  We lucked out to find a huge parking space (for our huge van) just steps from the Royal Mile.  The minute we opened the car doors the ambiance of that city swirled around us as the bagpipers music filled the air.  IMG_0667We walked around Edinburg Castle (above) and up and down the streets and alleys connecting into the Royal Mile.  The city feels old and familiar and wise.IMG_0655IMG_0611IMG_0615The kids loved running up and down exploring all the little side streets off the main pedestrian walk way. IMG_0616IMG_0618IMG_0625IMG_0633IMG_0637IMG_0643Jeff was psyched to see this sculpture of Adam Smith, the founder of Economics.  I think this is the first time he’s ever asked me to take a picture of him.IMG_0647IMG_0654I loved all the tartan in the windows and shops selling cashmere and kilts. IMG_0657IMG_0658IMG_0669IMG_0672IMG_0689We decided to spend some of our time visiting the Camera Obscura Museum which got really good reviews on Trip Advisor.  Peter zonked out in the buggy so Jeff and I took turns taking the kids through this museum of optical illusions and magic.  They had an old Victorian Camera Obscura which is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen (I got that from Wikipedia).  It’s just like periscope on a submarine, only not underwater.  The kids and I got to watch a little presentation and see how it works.  We used it to spy on people walking up and down the Royal Mile.  The kids were captivated by it.  Afterwards we walked out onto the roof for spectacular views of the city.  IMG_0679IMG_0683IMG_0684IMG_0686IMG_0687IMG_0691IMG_0692This is Emmeline’s “I have to go wee” face. IMG_0693IMG_0694IMG_0705After admiring the view we went through 4 floors of crazy magic, holograms and optical illusions.  It was very entertaining for all of us.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. IMG_0708IMG_0710IMG_0711IMG_0714IMG_0715IMG_0724IMG_0729IMG_0734This is the mirror maze (above).  I wish I’d have taken a picture in the Vortex Tunnel because it was freaking awesome.  All of us laughed our heads off as we tried to walk through without falling over.  It’s crazy how you can feel like you’re moving when you’re really not at all.  Even little Peter walked through once he woke up from his nap. IMG_0659And then we had a barrel of laughs looking at ourselves in the funny mirrors.  Seriously, these pictures will make you chuckle. IMG_0660IMG_0664Especially this one of Charlie.  It’s my favorite. IMG_0762Peter really liked them too.  He was dumbfounded and delighted by all those moving images of that sweet little baby. IMG_0765IMG_0768

While Jeff was in the museum with the kids I got to walk around and explore the “new” part of the city.  It was so peaceful walking up and down those steep hills with a baby sleeping in the buggy and no one trailing behind me whining.  IMG_0756

IMG_0735IMG_0740This is the monument built for Sir Walter Scott.  There were a few of them around the city.  I guess I should read something by him one day. IMG_0752


Bill Bryson calls Edinburg “beautiful and beguiling” and “glorious” and “captivating.”  I whole heartedly agree.  It captured us.

(by the way, we are loving listening to Bryson's Notes from a Small Island.   Thanks Tal for the audiobook. )


  1. Edinburgh is also my favourite city! I love the mix of the old and the new and the seamless way that it all fits together. I could never have said it better than Bill Bryson.

  2. well photographed. cam loved the photo of 3 petes and the wide chuck. i am going to call you and hope that you are back in the usa. or call me.

  3. How wonderful to see you all having such a great time. LOL!

  4. the mirror pics are awesome. i want hazel's outfit. real bad. good thing we have matching shoes. also. i'm sorry sayds. but you spelled edinburgh wrong.

  5. My dad took me to Edinburgh for my 8th birthday. I felt so special to be going on a trip to such a spectacular place and I have never forgotten it. Years later I think I did all my Duke of Edinburgh awards, simply because of the name! Now I take each of my kids on a special trip when they are 8 - that place holds a special place in my heart. So glad you went, even amidst the crazy, your kids will never forget it.

  6. I love Edinburgh! I lived there for seven months on my mission! So beautiful!!!




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