The lilt of the Scottish accent was a welcome relief to my ears that had only strained under the sound of European gobbledygook for the past two months. I was now in the land of understanding- well most of the time. We have been told that the Scottish language gets “thicker” the further north we travel.
For the past four days we have enjoyed the sights and sounds of Edinburgh, the grand capital of Scotland. The weather has been glorious with the fresh, cool and foggy mornings burning off into blue skies and sunshine by 11am. Probably cool for us but approaching heat wave conditions for the locals when the temperatures climb over 24 degrees.
We are staying in a one bedroom flat at the bottom of the Royal Mile, across the road from The Palace of Holyrood, the Queens official residence in Scotland, and around the corner from the new Parliament building. Not bad neighbours especially as we had three days of around the clock police guards outside our window- not for us- for Prince Charles and Camilla who were staying at the Castle for a few days. Initially I was told that it was Prince Phillip but after touring the castle this morning, I have been corrected. The Castle by the way is full of thick, heavy tapestries and dark, elaborately decorative furnishings (unfortunately not allowed to take photos in the Castle). Behind the castle is the 12th century roofless abbey which was ethereal shroaded in morning fog.
It has been a right royal tour for us as we have also visited the majestic Edinburgh Castle (we were captivated by the Stone of Destiny) and The Royal Yacht Britannia, which has been moored in Leith since being decommissioned in 1997. Britannia was particularly stunning and spectacular in its grandness. Billed as UK’s No.1 tourist attraction and steeped in history, she did not disappoint.
Tomorrow we leave the big city to travel north. The highlands and islands beckon. I only hope we will be able to understand the local bravehearts!