Not so snowy
Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
39Trip End Apr 05, 2010
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Where I stayed
Moray Park Terrace
We were headed to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Queens Gallery today so we thought we’d get an early start, and were out the door in time to be there for opening at 930am. We hadn’t figured on not being able to take photos inside the Palace, not sure why we hadn’t – it’s a working palace after all. So Nigel spent a fair amount of time out the front in the forecourt taking photos (the rain had let off by now). When we finally ventured in, we wandered the first level – through the “processional” entry. This essentially is a load of rooms one after the other for pomp and ceremony
We were provided with a history lesson on Mary Queen of Scots, and the murder of her Italian adviser by her husband some of his lackeys. Seems pretty extreme to drag someone out of dinner and stab him 54 times if I do say so myself. And then, thoroughly disappointing to find yourself murdered as well within the year – albeit by ‘explosion and strangulation’. Ahh the joys of royal history!
We were both struck by the beauty of Holyrood Abbey Ruins – they were so lovely. It just made both of our imaginations run wild about how beautiful it must have looked prior to its destruction at the hands of a mob and subsequent abandonment and roof collapse and slow and steady deterioration.
We then headed out of the Palace into the Queens Gallery which at present is showing an exhibition of photographs taken by 2 photographers on different Antarctic exhibitions. Frank Hurley photographed Ernest Shackleton’s Polar expedition on Endurance in 1914-16 in which they got stuck in ice floes, the boat then sank and they ended with a (and this is quoted) heroic sea journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia. Hurley took some really great photos, including this one where a slither of sunlight returns after 92 days of darkness and illuminates the locked in Endurance. He also took a few during those 92 days of darkness (in -40C temperatures) using his various flashes to illuminate the ship in the darkness. The other photographer (Megan’s favourite) was Herbert George Ponting who photographed the Terra Nova expedition of 1910-13 in which Captain Scott and 4 team members lost their life on their return from the South Pole. He took many landscape photographs and just accurately depicted the amazing-ness of the terrain of the Antarctic. He also did some really good work depicting the colours that he would have seen by choosing to print some of his black and whites onto coloured card which created the illusion of the colours he was trying to represent. Of the two we both enjoyed the Gallery the most.
The gardens of the Palace were not open, and due to the dismal weather and lack of viewing opportunities the original plan to head up Salisbury Crags and Arthurs seat was cancelled – we did see others hiking up the sides, but without the offer of potential viewing opportunities we weren’t tempted enough. Nigel is not used to all of this walking and we have to slowly build up to it! Surprisingly his old soccer injury is playing up more than Megan’s recent injury.
So after heading back to our flat for some hot food and a bit of a rest we headed off to Bruntsfield with the ultimate aim of going to Coco on Bruntsfield on our way we did however stop at another little chocolate spot The Chocolate Tree to sample some Spanish hot chocolate with churros. Unfortunately Nigel found it all a bit bitter, whilst Megan found it delicious. So a bit of a disappointment for Nigel there, he will probably enjoy the overpowering sweetness of a Max Brenner Italian Hot Chocolate more (or perhaps....just an Italian Hot Chocolate in Italy when we get there?) Megan made a few purchases at Coco’s and we headed back.
On our way Megan made the terrible mistake of turning off Nigel’s iPhone and so lo and behold it lost its settings again, meaning we then had to make a decision about what to do. We hopped on a bus and headed into the city centre and straight to our cosy corner Starbucks – we are really becoming familiar with the staff now! We reset everything in record time and then headed back out to explore the streets of Edinburgh again. Alas, Nigel did not take his camera this time and today was such a better day for taking photos, but that was ok, we walked down some of the quainter little side streets and continued to marvel at (a) the way people park (b) the way people drive (c) the way people jay walk in front of police and they don’t bat an eye.
It was probably our latest day out with us not getting back to the flat again until 5pm, and simply relaxing. We are trying our best to create a good balance of seeing everything we want to mixed with actual relaxation. That is important to us, this is the first holiday we’ve both had properly since we went to South Africa in 2007 and will probably be our last proper break until April 2012 when we want to go to South Africa for Granny Puckey’s 80th birthday so we don’t want to arrive back home needing a holiday from our holiday!! Megan continues to persist in waking up around 4:30/5am despite it being a holiday for her, but you can’t break a well established pattern can you?
And – as will be always, the best photos will be found on Nigel’s flickr