Posts Tagged ‘edinburgh castle’

Edinburgh Castle View

I love Scotland ~ from Edinburgh to Inverness and all the way to the North Coast. The countryside, the people, the can’t quite put in to words feeling I get when I’m there.

On our 2013 drive through Scotland, my well-traveled (dare I say slightly jaded) 15-year-old said “Inverness speaks to my soul.” I have no doubt she will return to Scotland again and again.

We’ve been watching the debates, keeping an eye on the polls and now the day has come for Scotland to decide its future. Looks to be a nail-biter. My American heart is rooting for their independence but my economy-thinking brain can’t help but see the financial struggles looming for both Scotland and England. And even in Independence, there is an interdependence with other countries for security, finances, etc that can’t be ignored.

Such an important day in history and I wish only the best for Scotland and the wonderful Scottish people!

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I’m so excited to be in Scotland again! My last two visits (November and March) were both bone-chillingly cold. As cold as it was, I still loved being in Scotland and now even more since it’s warm and sunny!

When I booked our flight, I searched extensively for the cheapest fare with the best flight times. Ended up booking a flight on Aer Lingus which flew from Dulles (Virginia) to Dublin then on to Edinburgh. It was the Red Eye flight (we ended up taking off at 10:40pm). Luckily, we had tailwinds and the flight was only 6.5 hours! From Dublin to Edinburgh it was a little under an hour.

I’m traveling with my husband and daughter. We have different ideas of how to get “on local time.” I have to take a nap for an hour or two while they force themselves to stay awake. While I napped, they went to the top of the Scott Monument (which we did while here in March)

Edinburgh View from the Scott Monument
View from the top of the Scott Monument

Edinburgh View from our hotel room at the Premier Inn
The view from our room at Premier Inn on Princes Street, Edinburgh

Edinburgh New Tram to city center

Edinburgh on the tram
On the newly opened tram from the Edinburgh Airport to City Center

Edinburgh on Chalotte Square
Charlotte Square buildings, Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m so thrilled with the view from our room but it makes me want to just hang out and stare at it but we’re heading out to hike “Arthur’s Seat” and then to lunch with a friend who lives locally. Did I mention I’m thrilled to be here!!

Edinburg view from the room at sunset

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In Flanders Field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae, May 1915
Today is “Remembrance Day” in the UK and it commemorates the sacrifices of members of the armed forces.  In the states, we call it Veterans Day.  In November 1918, Moina Michael, an American, was inspired by the “In Flanders Field” poem to wear and distribute poppies in honor of  fallen soldiers.  During the month of November, poppies are worn by men and women throughout the UK.  In Scotland, this weekend, we noticed the poppy was a little different (had four petals rather than two) but the sentiment was the same.  I even saw a dog with a poppy on his collar.  Internationally the poppy is becoming more popular but not so much in the US.  I would love to see it make a comeback.  The poppies are sold and the money raised is used for soldier projects. 
We were at the Edinburgh Castle and participated in the two minutes of silence at the  11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which is the anniversary of  the ending of the First World War in 1918 between the Allies  and Germany.  It was very moving even if a few of the other tourists there didn’t realize the significance of the ceremony. 
It started with a lone bag piper walking through the castle courtyard
Then there was a gun salute at the beginning and the end of the two minutes of silence. During my 2 minutes of reflections, I thought of all the brave men and women who willingly put their lives in danger to protect our freedoms.  I’m so thankful to all the veterans, past and present.  Especially my husband, my dad, my uncle, my brother, my cousin, my friends…

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