Today was characterised by persistent rain, a feature which only marginally impacted on our tour.

We departed our Dunfermline lodgings and drive into Edinburgh, a journey which we had planned to undertake by train but was thwarted by a derailment on the line in Edinburgh. Another schedule disruption occurred on arrival owing to closure of the Palace of Holyroodhouse (royal residence) and accompanying heavy police presence. Similarly the Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile was also subject to closure and heavy police presence. We discovered that the security was a function of the upcoming Royal wedding (Zara Phillips) on Saturday.

World's End Pub, Royal Mile

World's End Pub, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

After parking near the Parliament, we walked slowly up the Royal Mile past the Canongate Kirk, World’s End pub and John Knox’s House. Our fisrt viist was to the Mercat Cross, statue of Charles II and Parliament Square. We were able to go inside the debating chamber of the old Scottish Parliament building which together with adjacent premises is occupied by the Scottish legal profession.

John Knox House, Royal Mile

John Knox House, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Charles II Statue

Charles II Statue, Royal Mile

Inside St Giles Cathedral

Inside St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Next we toured thew interior of St Giles Cathedral with its John Knox association, Thistle Chapel and famous organ.

Next we continued up to the castle which was very busy with a high volume of visitors. We toured the main sites including One O’Clock gun, Mons Meg Cannon, St Margaret’s Chapel, Crown Jewels and Great Hall.

Royal Palace, Edinburgh Castle

Royal Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Next to the Elephant House for lunch. This is a coffee shop made famous as the place of inspiration for J.K. Rowling who wrote of her early ‘Harry Potter’ novels here in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. A smart eatery.

Elephant House, Edinburgh

Elephant House, Edinburgh, Scotland

Because of the incessant rain, we next walked round to the nearby National Museum of Scotland where we spent over one hour viewing the various exhibits in this prestigious establishment.

Exhibits at National Museum of Scotland

Exhibits at National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Finally, we returned down the Royal Mile (in the rain) to the car and then returned to our Dunfermline lodgings in time for two of the party to change and return to Edinburgh to join in  a Scottish evening at the Thistle Hotel.

Despite the bad weather we achieved most of our objectives.

Tomorrow, we head for the Scottish Borders and a Clan Armstrong reunion.

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