The zzzland Times

Our travel

                                          Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea.

This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret's Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War. It is located at one end of the famous Royal Mile.  


Photo taken 3 years later. More clouds that day in June 2010...  

Along the Royal Mile... Probably Edinburgh's oldest street, The Royal Mile connects Edinburgh Castle (photograph above) with the Palace of Holyrood House.         

Interesting looking building on the Royal Mile.                         




William Brodie (September 28, 1741 - October 1, 1788), more commonly known by his prestigious title of Deacon Brodie, was a Scottish cabinet-maker, deacon of the trades guild and Edinburgh city councillor, who maintained a secret life as a burglar, partly for the thrill, and partly to fund his gambling.

The dichotomy, between Brodie's respectable façade, and his real nature inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Stevenson's father had furniture made by Brodie.

Deacon Brodie is commemorated by a pub of that name on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, on the corner between the Lawnmarket and Bank Street which leads down to The Mound, and a close (or alleyway) off the Royal Mile has been named after him.

Story of the signs; By day a shopkeeper and by night... well... a thief!



The High Kirk of St Giles. ("Kirk" means Church) 

The church was built 1120 and restored in 1829. The tower, with the stone crown that towers 161 ft, was completed between 1495 and 1500.

Later additions to the late medieval tower and "Burgh Kirk". From here John Knox preached and directed the Scottish reformation in the early 1500's.



Built in 1688 after James VII had given orders for the Nave at Holyrood Abbey to be converted from the parish church to the chapel for the Order of the Thistle.   

It is run by the Church of Scotland and has an interesting graveyard. This is the final resting place of Adam Smith, the notable Scottish economist. 

Canongate Kirk 

Robert Fergusson (5 September 1750 – 16 October 1774) was a Scottish poet. Many of his extant poems were printed from 1771 onwards in Walter Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine, and a collected works was first published early in 1773. Despite a short life, his career was highly influential, especially through its impact on Robert Burns.

(Statue isin front of the Church)       


Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is The Queen's official residence in Scotland. Situated at the end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is closely associated with Scotland's turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyroodhouse the premier royal residence in Scotland. Today, the Palace is the setting for State ceremonies and official entertaining.

It was a fascinating visit. A lot of stuff from Mary, Queen of Scots.

One example: A lock of her hair. She was kept there for 11 years before Queen Elizabeth I had her executed. She nows rest beside her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, in Westminster Abbey.




 Holyrood Abbey And Abbey Strand

The ruined nave of the 12th and 13th century abbey church, built for Augustinian canons. Abbey and palace administered by the Lord Chamberlain. 




Lady Stair's 17th century house is now a museum of the lives of Burns, Scott and Stevenson.







Courtyard...The wide berth was for lady dresses in the 19th century.


Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion  and portrait photographer.

We saw an exhibition of his work at the Scottish National portrait Gallery when we visited Edinburgh in August, 2013. I've included a solarised picture of Lee killer (his lover). The exhibition was a nice surprise.





 Glamis Castle 

Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public. Glamis Castle was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, best known as the Queen Mother. Her daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. A picture of the castle is featured on the Royal Bank of Scotland ten pound note.

It was nice to visit a castle that was still lived in.  

In William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the eponym resides at Glamis Castle.

It should be noted that the actual historical figure Macbeth of Scotland had no connection to the castle.                      



                                       H.M.Y. Britannia                                   

The H.M.Y. Britannia was built in 1953 and decommissioned in December 1997. It had a range of around 2,200 miles. She is now permanently moored as an exhibition ship at Ocean Terminal in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.            


The Royal Yacht's last foreign mission was to convey the last British governor of Hong Kong; Chris Patten (now the The Lord Patten of Barnes) and The Prince of Wales, away from Hong Kong after the handover of the British Colony to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997 



The main reception area where all the guests would meet for cocktails.   


The main dinning room where head's of states have dined. Menus in French, SVP!


Judy posing in front of the Ship's launch, "The Royal Barge". 

                             Stirling Castle                                 

Stirling Castle  is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Several  Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary Queen of Scots, in 1543. There have been at least eight seiges, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charles unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.  



There's a covered passeway between the two buildings. It was only used by Royalty to avoid getting wet going to and fro the Chapel Royal.


The Great Hall (on the left) following restoration. The original hammerbeam roof was removed in 1800, along with the decorative crenellated parapet, when the hall was subdivided to form barracks. Two floors and five cross-walls were inserted, and the windows were altered accordingly. As early as 1893, calls were being made for the restoration of the Great Hall, but it was not until the army left in 1965 that the opportunity arose. It was agreed that a historically correct restoration could be achieved, and works began which were only completed in 1999. The hammerbeam roof and parapet were replaced, windows reinstated, and the outer walls were limewashed.

Gallery where the Minstrel would play.


The Wallace Monument, near Stirling Castle, commemorates the actions of William Wallace during the Wars of Independence. (Braveheart)

The Battle of Bannockburn (24 June 1314) was a significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence. It was the decisive battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. 

A modern, abstract monument stands in a field above the battle site, where the warring parties are believed to have camped on the night before the battle. The monument consists of two hemicircular walls depicting the opposing parties. 

Wreath left at the site of the memorial to the Battle of Bannockburn June 24th. (We visited the site on June 26th, 2010)



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