Sunday, June 7, 2009

Holyrood Palace, St. Giles Cathedral & National Gallery

This morning we woke up a little later than usual. I think the pace is starting to slow down a bit! We had our breakfast and Andrew was going to try 'Black Pudding', another traditional Scottish dish, but he had the good sense to ask the innkeeper what it actually was. He told us it was pig's insides boiled in blood - sounds yummy, huh? Needless to say he didn't try it although an elderly Scottish couple enjoyed theirs. 

Holyrood Palace, about a 25 minute walk from our B&B.

After our breakfast we walked toward Holyrood Palace, the Queen's residence for a week before she goes on to Balmoral Castle (her summer home). It was a beautiful morning, but we were caught in the rain yesterday, so Andrew took his umbrella anyway. We stopped at Holyrood Palace, took a few outside photos, but didn't take the tour inside. Anything related to royalty over here costs money to see, so we decided to save our pennies. We then proceeded up the Royal Mile, the road from the Palace to the Edinburgh Castle. 

St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland

The pipe organ in the cathedral. It really didn't hold a candle to the one at St. Paul's, but the organist sure could play it!

It was a lovely morning and we ended up at St. Giles Cathedral for their morning service at 11:30 am. We really wanted to hear a cathedral choir sing and decided to go to a service to do that. It was so incredible to hear the enormous pipe organ and the choir voices fill such a large cathedral. It was 'Trinity' Sunday and I think probably half of the congregation were tourists. It was a very formal service, much different than our usual Sunday worship. 

A very well dressed young man trying to pick up some extra cash on a Sunday afternoon.

After that we stopped at Marks and Spencer and picked up some muffins and apples for lunch and ate outside on the steps of the National Gallery and were serenaded by a young male guitarist with  a really good voice. It was a good day for the street performers because of the nice weather and there seemed to be a lot of people around on a Sunday. 

A friendly game of cricket.

In the afternoon we took in the National Gallery of Scotland. Again, about a third of the size of London's National Gallery, but much more manageable to see a lot of the works. Here, we saw another self-portrait of Rembrandt, Gauguin's 'Three Tahitians', Ruben's 'The Feast of Herod'. Absolutely amazing! It has been an almost surreal experience to have been in the same room as these paintings. Sorry we couldn't take any photos Heather, but I hope that someday you will be able to see these for yourself.

Well, it has been a long day so I think we will retire early. Tomorrow we have booked tickets for a bus tour to Oban & West Highland Lochs and Castles. Will fill you in tomorrow evening but it will likely be mostly photos. We also purchased our train tickets to Glasgow for Tuesday.
Hope everything is running smoothly at home. 


  1. Thanks for keeping us visually updated. The pictures from this week have been awesome. You'll have to plan a slideshow night when you get home. Can't wait!

  2. Everything's going well! In Newfoundland they call Black pudding blood pudding and you can get it in IGA...yum?!

  3. Is that guy playing the guitar me?!?

    No, wait... can't be; he's too well dressed.