Edinburgh Castle – Scotland
DAY 3 – A visit to Edinburgh Castle, Britain’s second most popular tourist attraction, was the first activity of the day. The castle stands on the basalt core of an extinct volcano and it dominates the city from its rocky crag. Although early in the morning, there were already several coaches stationed in the parking lot. We recognized the stand from where we’ll be watching the Edinburgh Military Tattoo tonight and it then dawned on us that we were actually standing right on the grounds where the Tattoo takes place.
Luckily for us, our local guide had already attended to the purchase of tickets and we were able to enter the Castle without delay. Our first stop was at the Great Hall which contained a collection of armour and weapons. As our guide commented that there were probably more weapons of mass destruction in this room than in all of Iraq.
At the north-eastern point, you’ll see this beautiful stained glass window in St. Margaret’s Chapel, one of the smallest churches in Britain and the oldest in Edinburgh. The chapel was building by Queen Margaret’s son, David I in the early 12th century, however the stained glass is the 20th century work of Douglas Strahan. Anyone named Margaret can join the St. Margaret’s Chapel Fellowship and contribute to the flowers placed in the chapel on November 16th, St. Margaret’s Day.
We had time to wonder around the battlements, explore the various stages of the castle’s development and pose for snaps next to the mighty Mons Meg. This famous cannon is so big that apparently a woman gave birth in its barrel! Believe It, Believe It Not!
If you’re able to hang around till one o’clock, you’ll also be able to witness the One O’Clock Gun go off at Mill’s Mount Battery. The Gun has been fired almost every day since 1861.