6. A Trip to Edinburgh Part I
A walk up to the Castle and down the Royal Mile to St Giles Church
We got the train from Darlington Station (above) to Edinburgh Waverley Station (below) where the railway acts as a dividing line between the 'Old Town' to the south and the 'Age of Enlightenment' 'New Town' to the north.
Edinburgh is built on a series of extinct volcanoes and rocky crags which is exemplified by the 'perched high up' Edinburgh Castle.
The 200 ft high (~65m) Sir Walter Scott Monument rises high above Edinburgh Waverley Station.
The National Gallery of Scotland is set over the railway and contains many fine paintings by Scottish painters as well as an impressive collection of the works of many famous European artists.
Looking across the railway to the 'New Town', including the Scot Monument and Princes Street near Edinburgh Waverley Station.
Looking back down to the city centre as we head up towards Edinburgh Castle along Market Street.
There are many handsome blocks of houses, and in this case, ascending up through Ramsay Street, the back of Ramsay Garden has some fine back stairways decorated with cast iron railings and boxes of flowers, most appropriate to the name 'Ramsay Gardens'.
Boswell's Court (above and below) is a fine building and houses a restaurant called the Witchery - near the site where 300+ witches were burned for alleged sorcery.
On the left is the entrance to the Camera Obscura and on the right of Boswell's Court is the entrance to the 'Scotch Whisky Experience'!
The main 'forecourt' called the 'Esplanade' of the magnificently set Edinburgh Castle high on a volcanic rocky hill of Castle Rock. The Esplanade is where the Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place, but a from the TV highlights it seems a very cosmopolitan affair these days.
Looking down back through the relatively 'modern' Castle entrance towards the hills above Edinburgh City to the peak of Arthur's Seat.
Heading straight down to Castlehill and High Street to explore the Royal Mile and the 'Old Town' of Canongate and Holyrood. The tall spire of Tolbooth Kirk and the peak of Arthur's Seat dominate the skyline.
The statue of Field Marshal Earl Haig - hero or villain of the tragedy of the First World War? the Edinburgh born commander of the British Forces whose trench warfare strategy of sending men 'over the top' caused immense casualties.
Welcome to 'THE HUB' the headquarters of Edinburgh International Festival of the arts. The Edinburgh Fringe office is housed in a fine spire topped church in High Street. The formally disused since 1981, Tolbooth Kirk has now found a brand new and important role in the cultural life of Edinburgh City. The churches superbly designed neo-Gothic architecture is the work of Augustus Pugin.
The entrance to the modernist building of the Royal Museum of Scotland (Scottish National Museum?).
An old car in the entrance foyer of the museum. The historic vehicle is Argyll Motor Car of 1910 registration number SR 390.
Ten chesspieces made of walrus ivory found near the shore of Uig on the island of Lewis.
Some of the finely carved stones in Scotland's National Museum which often are inscribed with pagan pre-Christian and 'converted' Christian symbols - just to be on the safe side!
Below is the middle section of the Papil Stone. The Papil Stone is fine cross slab dating from ~7th century ('Pictish' stone) and is divided on one face into three panels. The Papil Stone is inscribed with many symbols - both Christian and 'pagan' pre-Christian.
In the centre panel, shown above, is a very elegantly carved beast - possibly a lion?
In the bottom section are two creatures with bird heads and legs but human bodies and arms. They each carry an axe and they hold human head between their beaks.
At top of the Papil Stone is a wheel-headed cross on a short shaft (a sort of 'Celtic' cross?). Although not very clear in this photo, apparently two cowled monks or priests with crooked staffs stand either side of the shaft of the Christian cross.
Back to the Royal Mile.
Rows of houses in High Street, Bank Street is on the right.
The west face of St Giles Cathedral Church - properly known as the High Kirk of St Giles.
The finely carved entrance to St Giles in wonderful reproduction Gothic!
The memorial low relief bronze portrait to the writer Robert Louis Stevenson.
The columns of the south aisle known as the Holy Blood Aisle.
The memorial statue to John Knox who brought Calvinism to Scotland.
Some of the fine Victorian 19th century and early 20th century stained glass in St. Giles.
The controversial modern stained glass commemorating the achievements of the poet Robbie Burns.
More recent stained glass of a more traditional composition.
Arches at the west end of the nave and looking into the Albany Aisle built in 1409.
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