On the second half of my U.K. trip, we spent a few days in the lovely city of Edinburgh, the capitol of Scotland. My wife Elizabeth has written a thorough review of the best part of our stay: the pubs! Here are some other highlights:
On our first day, we went out for a walk in what turned out to be one of the biggest rainstorms the city had seen in a while. It rained so hard my umbrella soaked through, and we got lost wandering around the downtown and ended up taking shelter in a coffee shop to drink cappuccinos while we dried out our soaked shoes. But we made it to our intended destination, the Dean Bridge, just in time for the sun to come out and this glorious double rainbow to appear.
A wide view looking south from the Dean Bridge.
Edinburgh's Old Town had some suitably majestic statues of famous Scots. Here's me striking a pose with Adam Smith, the father of capitalism.
And here's one of the skeptic philosopher David Hume. Notice how his toes are polished: presumably, when people rub them, good luck follows after, although no cause-and-effect relationship can logically be inferred from this correlation.
It was a cheering sight to see how many of the city's old, magnificent church buildings had been converted into bars, restaurants and clubs. Here are three (yes, one is Frankenstein-themed, and I don't know why).
In the National Museum of Scotland, we saw the taxidermied body of Dolly the sheep, the first-ever cloned mammal, who was created right in Edinburgh.
We also toured Edinburgh Castle, an ancient fortress rising imposingly over the city on a steep cliff of volcanic rock. I couldn't resist taking some more panoramic shots of the town from its vantage point.
Right smack in the middle of the city is Holyrood Park, an ancient, extinct volcano carpeted in grassland. We went hiking there on what turned out to be the best weather day of our trip.
Within Holyrood Park is the picturesque ruin of an ancient church, St. Anthony's Chapel.
The highest point in Holyrood Park is Arthur's Seat, a slick, rocky peak with spectacular views of the surrounding city. I made this panorama, with about a 180-degree field of view. The water visible in the distance is the Firth of Forth, an inlet of the North Sea.
On our last night there, I took this picture of Edinburgh Castle at twilight, rising behind the old pubs of Grassmarket Street.
Header image credit: Scottish flag, via Flags of Scotland