Today we were treated to an early morning private tour of Edinburgh Castle. It was wonderful to be there without mobs of tourists clogging up every photo opportunity. We had an expert guide take us on a journey of the castle’s rich history and unforgettable characters. We then had a panoramic city tour of Edinburgh which featured the “new” and the “old” towns. The remainder of the day was at leisure to explore the city. I was very fortunate to have the services of my own private guide, Catherine Thomson, lately returned to Edinburgh after a four-year stay in Toronto, where I had the great pleasure of getting to know her. Catherine shared her love and expert knowledge of Scottish history with George and me as we lunched at the fabulous Dome restaurant, strolled the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace, and then had a lovely stop for refreshments at the Cafe Royal pub in “new” town. This evening we attended the Spirit of Scotland Show, an evening of traditional entertainment and dinner at the Jam House (formerly BBC Studios). I had no idea that bagpipes made me cry and I was thrilled when the entire group got up and joined in a chorus of 500 Miles, my absolutely favourite Scottish song by the Proclaimers. The evening ended with a very emotional group version of Auld Lang Syne. It has been a wonderful week in Scotland with a great group of very diverse Canadians (and two lovely women from Turkey). It was sad to say goodbye to those in our group who were not going on to Ireland tomorrow with us. We will say goodbye to the lovely Roxburgh Hotel in Edinburgh as we go on to Dublin tomorrow morning where we will stay at the Grand Hotel, Malahide.
At the Dome with Catherine Thomson
Panoramic view looking out from a hillside near Edinburgh