Sunday, July 8, 2018


I do so love Edinburgh. It is still all glorious sunshine, which makes sight-seeing so easy, but the atmosphere cannot be damaged by the weather!

Today was our only full day here, and left to my own devices, I'd have gone everywhere and done everything, but one thing I have learned about travelling as a family, is that it is best to make moderate targets, and that time to rest is necessary. So, we set out to walk the Royal Mile, from the bottom to the top.

The queen is at home at Holyroodhouse, so it isn't open to the public. The kids were far more excited about the fact that they were close to her, when standing at the gates, than they would have been on a  tour of the palace, so that worked out well. Andrew and I have already seen it, anyway. 

We wandered in and out of shops, marvelling at the ancient buildings, as well as the modern (Scottish Parliament) and when we found a sweet cafe in a tiny lane, we popped in for our first cream tea. I am not about to start eating sweet things regularly, I am perfectly happy and healthy without sugar, but there are two sweet experiences that I want to have while away - a cream tea in the UK, and gelato in Florence. One down, one to go...

We made it up to the top, where the stands are set up in preparation for the Edinburgh Tattoo. Andrew and I have been into the castle before, and the kids weren't that excited at the prospect, so we just admired the outside.

While everyone was watching a kilted duo playing Scottish tunes on violins, something caught my eye across the road. It was a really old building, that seemed to be a museum. When I got there, I found a lady from the National Trust, holding a huge owl. A real owl. It was the most beautiful thing; I was transfixed. Everyone else joined me, and the lady put the big owl away, and got out a fluffy, baby owl (still huge!). Today was this baby's first day in the public, and Bethany was the very first person to hold him. His fluffy feathers will be all gone in around four weeks, and he is just eight weeks old now.

Joss took this photo
 This was a major highlight of our trip. These birds are extraordinary. The European Eagle Owl in the wild can catch and eat foxes and deer!

Bethany also got to hold the dancing barn owl.

After lunch and a little birthday shopping (Beth turns fourteen tomorrow), some of us returned to the hotel to rest/prepare for a big night out, and one of us backtracked to find a missing backpack.

Joss and Andrew are now in Glasgow seeing Justin Timberlake. Joss bought the tickets for the 5th of July, when we were staying nearer Glasgow and had a car, but JT put his tour back a couple of days, so they have ended up with a long train trip at either end of the concert. At least he didn't postpone it for more than two days, because we leave the country tomorrow!

Toby and I were hoping to climb Arthur's Seat this afternoon, but having lost some time to backpack retrieval and World Cup watching, we settled for climbing the Scott Monument. Great views, and the Fitbit floor count is very healthy for today (54).

On her birthday Bethany gets to wake up in one country, and go to sleep in another. We fly to Brussels tomorrow afternoon, though quite late, so we'll have more time in Edinburgh first. I will be sorry to leave the U.K. and am not looking forward to feeling stressed about my lack of French! Still, adventure beckons.....


  1. Loving every moment of this.
    Bummer to miss out on Arthur's seat, but maybe a good decision, if you walk to it as well, you're talking about a couple of hours at least (though the Salisbury crags are pretty amazing!)

  2. they are Happy Birthday Bethany! How perfect to get to hold owls 🦉, they are the most stunning birds and so rarely seen here in Aus. Loving your adventures!

  3. Another great day, a birthday Bethany won't forget I'm sure!