Thursday, July 14, 2016

I "Kilt" them in Scotland.

During a changing-of-the-guard at Edinburgh's Castle, I wondered if I was being watched?

I had wandered up the hill, crossed the Esplanade (drill field) and entered through the spiked front gate.

Crowds all around me snapped photos and dodged quick bursts of rain, amid the military spectacle of this fabled Scottish landmark.

But, could this guard actually see me.... or anyone else?

You can see the Castle from almost all parts of this capital city.

August 5-27, the "temporary" bleachers will be filled nightly as the Military Tattoo is performed on the very ground I had just walked on to reach the entrance.

The guide on a really neat Vintage Bus Tour had explained the bleachers.

They are set up each year for the gala  month-long gathering of pipers and dancers.

"Three months to build, about 30 days of use, and then, disassembled and stored," he said with a delightful heavy brogue.

Later, as I walked and cabbed about the three levels of the city, I saw a reminder of the recent Brexit vote that allowed Britain to leave the European Union.

Scotland, and others in the United Kingdom, had voted to remain.

Looking down, I saw a Scottish version of Charleston's Rainbow Row.

We don't have such a lofty view of our colorful stretch near the Battery.

And we have never had flapping banners hanging overhead.

Another "rainbow" was sighted along the tour route.

This was a salute of LGBT support after the recent massacre in Orlando, Florida.

Back to the Castle for a moment.
Looking over a projecting cannon, I could see that our balcony room was in the sights.

Well, we had a grand view of the Castle from the balcony so this was not a total surprise.

The occasional rain and wind made holding an umbrella a challenge.

We had opted instead for  two "Mackintosh," waterproof  parkas.

These Macs doubled for warmth when, later, we ventured into the Highlands in search of the Loch Ness Monster.

Paris was definitely a "walking" kind of place.

But, Edinburgh, with its steep hills, gave us many opportunities to hop in and out of a black cab.

The efficient interior reminded me of the old U.S. Checker cabs in NYC.

Saw several buskers, amusing and teasing passersby, demonstrating feats of balance, poise, and concentration.

The Illusionists had apparently found ways to defy gravity.

And fatigue.

I dropped a few pounds into the hat.

A sign I didn't see very often - and then one often ignored by tourists - was a ban  on cameras.

Finally saw one that specifically told us not to use a smartphone camera either.

I saw a LOT of Scotch whisky.

And I tasted a few, so I finally had to ask what was the main difference between 12-year old and a whopping 25-year old Scotch?

"Mainly, the price," I was told.

Ageing took longer so there were fewer to be had. Therefore, a higher cost.

And, speaking of lucky (?), many believed that rubbing the foot of this statue would bring you luck.

I did so because why would I pass up a chance for good fortune?

And, on that upbeat note, I'll stop for now.

Oh, I have plenty more pictures so there will be lots of additional entries. (Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for riding around in cabs and peering over cannons with me.

Have a wee dram and we'll get back together soon.

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At Thu Jul 14, 04:06:00 PM , Blogger Paul said...

I'm still wondering if the guard saw you! I guess that he would have run you off if you had been trespassing where you weren't welcomed! :)

At Fri Jul 15, 11:03:00 PM , Blogger Joan Perry said...

These are beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more!


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