Edinburgh | A Castle in the Clouds

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

A castle under siege?  No, it’s just a mob of soaking wet tourists, on their way into Edinburgh Castle.  On this blustery, rainy day, I joined them.

The 12th century castle overlooks the city of Edinburgh from it’s perch atop a dramatic volcanic rock that was formed around 70 million years ago. It turned out to be a good spot for a fortress that was, indeed, under siege during centuries of battle between English and Scottish monarchies.

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

I don’t know if it was the rain, or the wind, or the fact that I had just disembarked from an overnight flight, including a ten mile journey through London’s Heathrow airport – but everything was funny to me on this day. 

Consequently, please excuse this slightly irreverent account of the illustriously historical citadel.

With this disclaimer, off we go.

The law of the land was posted just inside the entrance.

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

And, around the corner, I saw this.

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

This long suffering steward looked like he’d had just about enough of the rain, but stood his ground next to Mon’s Meg.  In 1457, when she was given to King James II, this was cutting-edge military technology.  The six-ton medieval gun last unleashed its mighty power in 1681, bursting open when she was fired. 

Mon's Meg_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

I looked over a parapet to see this quaint little cemetery – for dogs. Since Queen Victoria’s reign, in the middle of the nineteenth century, this small garden has been used as a burial place for regimental mascots and officers’ dogs. Among the reportedly numerous ghost sightings at the castle is a phantom dog who has not only been seen, but heard.

Dog cemetery_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

Behold, the royal drainpipe.  Okay, yes, it’s just a drainpipe – but it’s pretty fancy, isn’t it?

Drainpipe_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

The lion has been a symbol of the “dominion and sovereignty of the Kings of Scotland” since the 13th century Royal Coat of Arms was established. 

Lion_ Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

You’ll see it above the arched entrance to the castle in the first photograph – and the “ruddy lion ramping in his field of gold” also appears on the royal tourist rain ponchos.

Rain poncho_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

Rain ponchos_ Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

The magnificent panoramic view from the castle stopped me in my tracks at every turn. From this vantage point, you can see far and wide, over the rooftops of beautiful Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

The actual sixteenth century Royal Crown Jewels are encased in glass within a stone chamber, but I couldn’t help admiring the handmade version this little girl was wearing.

Little girl_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

Princes and princesses skipped across the cobblestones…

Kids_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

…to the Royal ice cream truck waiting outside the castle walls.

Ice cream truck_Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

No ordinary ice cream for these royal subjects – it’s luxury Scottish ice cream.  I couldn’t help wondering how luxury ice cream tasted, but, let’s face it, the last thing I wanted on this chilly day was ice cream. 

As for me, I took one last look at the legendary fortress, and the view through the mist…and then went in search of a steaming hot cup of tea.

Edinburgh Castle_Edinburgh_Scotland

One response to “Edinburgh | A Castle in the Clouds”

  1. Orlene

    I got chilled just looking at the photographs!  Were you able to see very much of the inside of the castle? 
    And did you get a crown too!?!  : )