For this trip, we will be visiting the capital of Scotland - Edinburgh. Along the way we will stop by Glasgow and Stirling.
26th March (Friday)
We left early on Friday morning by cab from Elms to the Seacat terminal. There is a shuttle service from the ferry terminal to Glasgow bus terminal. We walked briefly around Glasgow. As we only hanged around for a few hours, I will mention more on Glasgow in a separate posting for a trip I made myself.
From the bus terminal, we took a bus to Stirling. Stirling is quite notable for its university. At Stirling, we changed to another bus which brings us to the Wallace Monument. It is here in Stirling that William Wallace defeated the English army. William Wallace has been made famous in the show Braveheart.
Here is the Wallace Monument, it is at the top of a small hill.
We began our climb up. The entrance to the Wallace Monument cost 3.75 pounds. At the top, we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Stirling and its surrounding hills.
Notice how the river meanders through the countryside.
Here is the sword used by Sir William Wallace.
We left the Wallace Monument where there is a direct bus just around the corner which goes to Edinburgh. It is operated by the Scottish Citylink. The bus driver told us that the bus company is operated by a Singapore company. It is ComfortDelgro which I later come to find out. The journey cost 4 pounds to the capital.
We arrived at the capital in the evening. Edinburgh is quite different from the other cities we have been to. One of the distinctive features is that it is really old. There are both the new area and the old area in this city. The old town section is to the south where the university and castle are. The new town section is to the north where the commerical district are located.
The photo below shows the old town section.
Here is the Scott Monument just along Princes Street, the main shopping street of Edinburgh.
Here is the Princes Mall.
We arrived at the Edinburgh bus terminal and took a walk from there to the old city. We will be staying at one of Si Yu's friend house for the next 2 nights. His name is David, he is currently a student at the University of Edinburgh.
Here is a photo of us in his room.
27th March (Saturday)
On this day, David will be bringing us to Holyrood Park, where Arthur's Seat is. Arthur's Seat is actually the main peak of the group of hills in the area.
The weather is quite pleasant and we walked up the gentle grassland.
Here we are at the top of Arthur's Seat. It is around 250 metres above sea level.
It gives us a splendid view of Edinburgh city from the top.
Next we went on to Holyrood Palace. The entrance is 6.50 pounds.
The palace tell us the story of Queen Mary, the Queen of Scots.
We visited its many rooms with the audio guide.
Here is Holyrood Abbey, or what that is left of it.
The walls still stand after so many centuries.
We walked out from the Holyrood Abbey along the Royal Mile. So named because the distance between Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle is a scottish mile long. Along the way, we visited the St Giles cathedral.
There are many souvenir shops in the area, with several selling tartan, scottish cloths.
We went on to the Royal Museum and the Museum of Scotland next. Edinburgh is famous for its many brillant minds. To name a few, they include James Watt (inventor of the steam engine), Adam Smith (father of modern economics), David Hume and so on.
The first clone living being in the world - Dolly the sheep, is also by a Scottish team.
We went down to the old roman ruins at Calton Hill next.
Here we are trying to climb onto it.
We met up with David for dinner at Pizza hut next. Thereafter we went to do some shopping at the supermarket. We decided to try out Haggis, scotland's famous traditional dish. It is actually a mixture of spices with animal internals.
28th March (Sunday)
On the sunday morning, we went down to the city's main sight - Edinburgh Castle at the top of Castle rock.
At the top, we are given a closer view of the surrounding cityscapes. The guns in the castle were fired everyday (except sunday) at 1pm in the past. It was thus called the One O'Clock Gun and was used as a time signal.
In this castle, there is the statue of Robert the Bruce, who is the king of Scots. One of the more famous story surrounding him is how he is inspired by a spider's persistence in spinning its web.
Here we are in one of the prison cells in the castle.
Thereafter, we went down to Dean Village, a beautiful high class residential area.
Walking along the quiet Dean Village street. We came to a conclusion that he is indeed a great place for retirement.
We walked back to the old town to where most of the pubs are.
There is this one pub with a statue of a dog in front of it. It is actually Greyfriars Bobby, who reportedly spent 14 years guarding his owner's grave, until his own death in the 19th century.
We returned back to Belfast on the monday morning (29th March).