Edinburgh, Scotland: Day 5

The next morning we woke up bright and early to be the first ones at the Edinburgh Castle, for fear of lines forming and herds of people piling through everything there is to see... and as it turned out, there were quite a few others who had that same idea. Not tremendously crowded, but busy nonetheless. Here's a picture of JT and I out front (remember this from the night before? we're standing where the Tattoo performed in front of the castle).

There was even a bag pipe player out front to welcome us in. LOVE the music!

Edinburgh Castle is at the top of a hill and even when walking through the many walls of fortress and barriers the hill continues to go up, which only means that the view of the city get better!

The bagpipe player even made his way into the castle and we got right up and close. What talent.

JT and I definitely thought of all our dog lover friends and family when we saw this... an actual cemetery for all the royal dogs!

Imagine looking out this hole to defend your castle.

Once it started to rain on us, we headed inside one of the buildings of the castle and sat down to plan out the rest of our day.

Knowing how much we love Rick Steves, we thought we'd go on his walking tour of the Royal Mile. Like I mentioned before, the streets are busy with bus tours, tourists taking pictures (yes, I'm one of them), and all the beautiful architecture built over the last hundreds of years.

We even saw the cafe that is famed "The Birthplace of Harry Potter". It's said that JK Rowling visited this cafe when writing the Harry Potter series. The line was long so we decided to move along to Pizza Express for lunch. Yum.

Now, five days into the trip, it was time for wandering. JT and I split off from Jack for a few hours. We headed over to briefly visit New College, which has a potential PhD program for JT, and is also placed right off the Royal Mile. Stunning views and in a castle-like building. Just beautiful. The rooms were closed off for the festival, but we actually ran into a student who gave us a snapshot of his time at New College. Overall it was a beautiful and quaint campus. In the below pictures, New College is on the far left with the tall pointy towers and the Edinburgh Castle is on top of the hill to the right in the photo.

Then we headed over to St. Giles cathedral where the body of John Knox is buried. It's actually not even in the cathedral at all. It's under the 23rd parking spot.

After meeting back up with Jack, we headed down the remainder of the Royal Mile which ends at Holyrood Palace. Which is closer to stunning views of hills and full of parks where families play with their dogs in the rain and walk up and down the streets.

The rain rolled back in and we waited out the down pour and then headed up the street to find a place to eat for dinner. Wouldn't you know that JT and Jack were keeping their eyes out for Mexican restaurants and they only saw two. We tried the first one and then after being served chips and salsa that had a pickle for garnish, we decided to take the bill and head to the second one, hoping for a more positive experience. And boy were we right! The second place was delicious and satisfied all of our Mexican taste buds.

At this point in the trip our adrenaline is starting to wear off and so we called it a night around 9pm and headed back to our hotel for a long night sleep. The plan was to sleep in the next day too, so we knew we'd be well rested for heading over to Stirling the next day.