Friday, February 5, 2016

Honeymoon Part Four: Holyroodhouse Palace & Royal Botanical Garden

Here we are, at the end of our honeymoon story!

On the opposite end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle is Holyroodhouse Palace where the Queen stays while in the city. It was absolutely stunning, however, there were no cameras allowed inside the gates! I did get some pictures though
The palace
We took the audio tour that walked us through the ceremonial procession that the Queen takes when she arrives at the palace. We got to see so much historical stuff. They even had Queen Mary's bed still displayed in a glass case. We got to see a bunch of little knicknacks and some pretty monumental historical items, like Bonny Prince Charlie's sword and Robert the Bruce's skull.

The abbey
One thing I learned was that the abbey was actually there before the palace was. It was so cool to stand in the ruins of this super old building.
View of the abbey from the gardens
We were lucky enough to be there when they still allow you to walk through the gardens (they're closed from November through March or April). The views were absolutely breathtaking
And there are actually ruins of other buildings that were part of the abbey throughout, which you're not supposed to walk on, but some idiot decided to go tromping through the ruins to take pictures. Michael and I watched a security camera pan and stay right on him and eventually saw a security officer coming down the path to talk to the man.
Arthur's Seat
One thing I didn't know about Edinburgh is that it has 2 dormant volcanoes in the city. Arthur's Seat is one and on the opposite end is what Edinburgh Castle sits on. People were hiking up the mountain and one day I'd love to do that and see everything.

On our last day we decided to take a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens for fun

And there we are folks, the end of our amazing Scottish honeymoon! We both can't wait to go back and explore such an amazing country!
Slàinte Mhath!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Honeymoon Part Three: Edinburgh Castle & Whiskey Tasting Experience

Back again!
Michael and I couldn't go to Edinburgh without going to see Edinburgh Castle. 
But I have to say, despite it being so famous, I didn't like it nearly as much as Stirling Castle. 
I didn't realize that it's still used by the military so a good portion of it was inaccessible to the public.

There were bagpipers all over the city, I loved it!

Outside of Edinburgh Castle this man dressed up as William Wallace, of course Michael had to get a picture with him, being Clan Wallace
View of Edinburgh from the castle
Prisons of the castle

Great Hall
 Every year when the Queen visits Edinburgh she is given the key to the city and she gives it back to someone (can't remember who) for safekeeping. They have all the keys the Queen has been presented displayed in the great hall as well as old weapons.
Mons Meg
This giant monster of a cannon was put in in 1449 and it fired cannonballs that were about 3 feet in diameter. I could literally crawl into the barrel
Saint Margaret's Chapel
It's the oldest building at the castle and was built in the 1200's

Dog cemetery
They even have a little doggie cemetery for any dogs that were regimental mascots or officer's dogs

When you're in Scotland you absolutely have to do whiskey tasting. We went through this whole "ride" that showed you how whiskey is made and taught us about all the different regional whiskies. At the end we got to taste all the different types.

They have the largest whisky collection
This was the front hallway
Back wall
Second hallway 
It was so much fun, but I'm definitely not a straight whisky kind of girl, at least not single malt.

And that's it for part 3! Stay tuned for the last part!