Travel to Scotland
Day 9 Edinburgh (Edinburgh castle, St. Giles, Holyroodhouse palace) (50 Km.)
(in 10 km.) Edinburgh: We began our second day of visiting this city by Edinburgh Castle, an ancient fortress erected on a rock of volcanic origin located in the center of the city. Three of its sides are protected by steep cliffs, and access to the castle is limited to a steeply sloping street on the eastern side of the castle. In the interior several exhibitions and museums are presented, among which the Honors of Scotland stand out, where they are the jewels of the Scottish Crown (especially the Crown, the Sword of the State and the Scepter) and the objects of the Scottish royal treasure. Another remarkable element is the Stone of Scone, also known as "Stone of Destiny", on which the Scottish kings were crowned.
Outside we find the Mons Meg canyon, built in 1449 and with a caliber of 510 mm (20 inches) it is considered one of the largest canyons in the world. Right next to it is the chapel of Saint Margaret, the oldest building in the fortress and the city. It dates from the reign of King David I (r.1124-1153), who built it as a private chapel for the royal family and dedicated to his mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland. Other interesting buildings of the castle are the dungeons, with recreations of the period and the royal rooms. The Royal Palace comprises the former royal apartments, which were the residence of the later Stewart Monarchs. It was begun in the mid 15th century, during the reign of James IV. The building was extensively remodeled for the visit of James VI to the castle in 1617, when the apartments for the King and Queen were built.
After leaving the castle we descend again along the Royal Mile, along the section called Castle Hill, until we reach Tolbooth-Highland-St John´s Church. We continue to Saint Giles Cathedral, built from the 12th century. It is one of the two parishes of the Old City of Edinburgh and is considered the mother church of Presbyterianism and the Church of Scotland. Its most characteristic element is its dome in the form of a royal crown. The current church dates from the late 14th century, and was later restored in the 19th century. The oldest parts of the building are four pillars, which are said to date from 1124. Another building of interest is the Tron Kirk, built in the seventeenth century and closed as a church in 1952. In 1828 a new spire was constructed to replace the original, destroyed in the Great Edinburgh Fire of November 1824.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, better known as Holyrood Palace, founded as a monastery by David I in 1128, has served as the main residence of the kings and queens of Scotland since the 15th century. The palace is at the end of the Royal Mile. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in Scotland, where she usually spends a season at the beginning of summer. The visit begins at the palace, continues through the abbey and ends in its gardens. The Palace was built around a courtyard, located west of the cloister of the Abbey. It contains a chapel, a gallery, the royal apartments, and a large hall. The chapel occupied the present north wing of the Great Courtyard, with the apartments of the Queen occupying part of the south wing. The wing to the west contains the King´s chambers and the entrance to the palace.
James V added the beginning of the current northwest tower, between 1528 and 1536. In this tower is the famous room that once occupied Mary, Queen of Scots. The coffered ceiling of the wooden ceiling of the main rooms is from María´s time. This room contains an audience chamber and the Queen´s room. The ruined Augustinian Abbey was built in 1128 by order of King David I of Scotland. It has been the seat of many royal coronations and marriages. The roof of the abbey fell in the eighteenth century, leaving it in its current state, a ruin. We finish the visit by the gardens of the palace, from which we can contemplate Arthur´s Seat, a hill of volcanic origin that rises above the city to a height of 251 meters and provides a panoramic view of the city . It is also very easy to ascend, which makes it a very popular walk.
Holyroodhouse palace - Abbey
(in 40 km.) Harthill: We left Edinburgh and slept in a hotel located on the way to Glasgow.