We used our sunny day to take a walk through Edinburgh Castle.
The approach to the castle winds a long loop around, so you can get views from many different angles. Also, the archers have a lot of time to shoot you. Good thing they’re all dead, or else this blog post would be a lot shorter.
Fortunately the weather was good, and not too windy. We took our time making our way up to the gate.
We found a statue of William Wallace guarding the castle walls:
We paid our entrance and walked up to the lower walls. The views even from here were breathtaking.
The road continues to spiral around the castle, going higher up.
Passing through the inner gate, we found the oldest structure, a chapel to Saint Margaret…
…and the inner keep. Here, they have a Scottish WWI memorial, a hall of weapons, and the Honours of Scotland, which were first used by Mary Queen of Scots.
The WWI memorial was particularly solemn, but touching. Cameras aren’t allowed here, and that’s fine with me. The building looks a bit like a cathedral, but instead of stations of the cross, they have large plaques describing the battle and the regions where it took place, below which sits a pile of books. Each book has the name of a Scottish soldier who died in that battle, his rank, his hometown, and his survivors. Needless to say, the memorial is quite large, and some sections have many books.
The hall of weapons was pretty interesting. The swords all looked like they could be picked up and used right away. I know where I’m headed in the zombie apocalypse.
The Honours of Scotland museum started out like a really hokey museum exhibit, but ended up being a pretty diet-coke telling of the story of Mary Queen of Scots. It ended with a viewing of the Honours of Scotland themselves – a crown, a scepter, and a really big rock – which, if you’ve seen the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London, other than the rock it’s very much the same sort of deal. Somewhat interesting, but a solid skip if the lines are long.
On our way out of the castle, I noticed a little detail that made me chuckle:
Sometimes a simple sign is all it takes.