A must see is Edinburgh Castle at the top of the city and can be seen from many parts of the city. It was very "castley" with the requisite towers, turrets and stone walls.
After the tour we were on our own for lunch. We ate at a cafe on the castle grounds and had a table by the window with this fabulous view. We opted to get back to the hotel on our own.
We walked down the "royal mile" visiting many little shops in the way. I did buy two scrumptious cashmere sweaters. I was surprised at how many of them were made in China, but mine were made in Scotland.
We also visited Stirling Castle with this lovely view from a pretty window.
This is the guy that I met. I know he's kind of short, but still pretty cute.
We toured the Grouse distillery to learn about the making of Scotch Whiskey. We were able to sample several varieties, but they were not to my liking. I did like the Scotch based liqueur that we sampled and bought in town.
This monument was to Towser, a cat that had lived at the distillery for 24 years and caught an amazing 28, 899 mice in his lifetime.
At one of our dinners this bagpipe player gave us an explanation of all the parts of his costume and no, he didn't answer the question that everyone asks.
The same fellow explained and read Robert Burn's poem about haggis. We were served a sample along with the traditional neeps and tatties (turnips and mashed potatoes.) Although it sounds rather unappealing, I liked it and thought it tasted something like corned beef hash. It is the traditional dish of Scotland and I was bound and determined to taste it and was glad to have the chance.
This was the ladies room in our hotel, the Balmoral. I just had to take a picture.
We drove an hour or so to visit St. Andrew's, the home of golf. It was very picturesque, being right on the water.
Although I've never been to Ireland, we were told that the countryside is very similar, lush and green and rolling hills. I took these from the bus while driving to St. Andrew's. I wanted to get a picture of the many fields dotted with sheep, but I couldn't get a good shot.
We had lunch on our own one day at this charming pub with it's dark paneled walls and stained glass windows. We finally had traditional fish and chips and it was delicious.
So that's it. While we had a great time, I think I'm a little "castled and cathedraled" out. Our next big trip next Fall will be something very different.