Day two in Edinburgh was another gorgeous, sunny day. We walked to Waverly Bridge and took one of the tour buses for a “hop on-hop off” tour of the city…
The Balmoral Hotel, where J.K. Rowling wrote the last Harry Potter book in room 555.
Arthur’s Seat in the background…more about that later…
Holyrood Palace,Queen Elizabeth’s residence when she is in Scotland.
After the bus tour, we walked over to the Scott Monument, where Tim climbed the 287 steps to the top and I sat on a bench and drank a diet coke and people watched 💁🏻.
And then…we hiked up Arthur’s Seat.
Arthur’s Seat is another extinct volcano, which also overlooks the city. It was a gorgeous, sunny day…it was incredible.
Views of Holyrood Palace and Calton Hill
Holyrood Palace and Calton Hill in background
Holyrood Palace, with the Abbey in back.
Finally, we toured the Real Mary King’s Close, which was really cool and interesting and informative. I love learning little “factoids” such as…
During the foul pestilence (plague) doctors (who often weren’t really doctors) wore beak like masks filled with herbs to try to fend off the plague…and that’s where the phrase “visiting the quack” came from. (The bird like masks…)
Also, I learned that during the plague, people were dying so quickly that they just buried bodies as quickly as possible. Sometimes they made mistakes and thought a person was dead, when in fact they were only unconscious. Apparently, this happened so often that they began burying bodies with a string attached to a little bell above ground. If an unconscious person was mistakenly buried, they could tug on the string and it would ring the bell (and hopefully someone would hear it and dig them out!) From this came the expression “dead ringer!”