Our journey as a pair of Texans learning British way of life.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HMY Royal Britannia

Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia is the now retired Royal Yacht of the Queen. It's moored in the Edinburgh area, converted to a museum and we got the chance to tour it.

You'll probably be overwhelmed with pictures, but this was one of the first and only things we visited that allowed you to take pictures throughout the entire space. So I went a little snap happy.
The Yacht was launched in 1953 and was originally being planned by the Queen's father, but upon his death she took over the plans. Therefor the designs of the interior, fabric and such are all her personal taste and she wanted this to feel like a country home.
You might know the Britannia as the boat Princess Di and Prince Charles used for the Honeymoon.

The Sun Lounge
The all important Rum Barrell
The Queen's Bedroom
Prince Phillip's Bedroom A mid-way stop for tea.The State Dining Room
The State Drawing Room
The Crew Quarters (over 230 crew)
The Crew's Bar The Hospital Wing
And the Laundry Area for all that crew.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Around Town, Edinburgh

Just some things that caught my eye around Edinburgh that I thought I'd share.

Scottish Bagpipers.

This guy was just hanging around town with his owner, check out his vest!

Old town and the Royal Mile are full of these old Closes or alley's that lead down the hill through the close built buildings from the middle ages.

Cobles that mark the Old Tolbooth and the city jail, apparently spitting on it brings you good luck. (If you look close you can see some) Bobby's Bar and the Grayfriars Bobby statue just out front, which is in honor of the real Greyfriars Bobby a Scottish hero.
And having a pint in Bobby's Bar. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

At the end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle is a beautiful park area that has Arthur's Seat. It's the main peak of set of large hills, from the top you can get a great view of the North Sea, the town of Edinburgh and fresh air.

This is Arthur's Seat in the middle background before the hike.
Almost to the top, he's King of the World!!
I was in awe that my mom actually walked/climbed to the top, she hates heights!!
Look at the view! Not the city, both Cam and I at the top...

Proof that my mom reached the penicle!!

And the castle, the cathedral, and the city.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh castle is more than just a castle, it's a fortress as well, that sits atop the volcanic Castle Rock. There has been a Royal Castle here since the 12th Century and was a residence until the Scottish and English crowns united when King James I (James VI, King of Scots) seceded to the thrown after his cousin Queen Elizabeth I died and left no heirs.

It's the second most popular visitor attraction in Scotland and we arrived early on our first full day. You can tour the castle grounds with an audio-guide, see the Scottish Crown Jewels.
This is Portcullis Gate, the entrance to the Middle Ward.
Notice the rock on the right side of the photo, it's a formidable force, try climbimg that to conquer the castle!There is also a large prison on site and where several prisoners of the American War of Independence.
This amazing building is the Scottish National War Memorial and was amazing inside, unfortunately no photography was allowed.
Below is the Pet Cemetary, the soliders pets get a place of honor!
And the One o'Clock Gun, which is fired like the name says at One o'Clock everyday except Sunday. They joke it's at one not any other time, to save artillery and money!
Looking back through my pictures to share with you, there was a lot more to see that for some reason I didn't have photos of, whether they weren't allowed or I was avoiding the rain, wind, or mobs of people! But there is the royal palace,National War Museum of Scotland, St. Margaret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the Great Hall, and more! If you're there in August you can purchase tickets for the famous Royal Military Tattoo, which takes place just out front.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Edinburgh, Scotland

On one of the holiday weekends we've had we made our way up to Edinburgh, Scotland for a three day holiday. I'm going to do Scotland in a few different posts because we did and saw a lot of things I want to share with you.

First post is going to be some of the scenic pictures from around the town. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is on the coast and the Firth of Forth. It still has a lot of their original medieval and Georgian architecture, which makes for one of the most picturesque towns I've seen in Europe.

Edinburgh CastleThe view down the royal mile.

Old town on the right.
New Town, which is still 18th century.
View from Edinburgh Castle over New Town.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flowers, Flowers, and more Flowers

When my mother was here visiting, one of the top things on her list was something she read about in the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die book she had.

The RHS Chelsea Flower show, it's a show that's held for 5 days in May ever year and has been taking place in some form since 1862. It attracts 157,000 visitors every year, including the Queen.

The main focus is the show gardens which are usually designed by leading garden names. This is all a little over my head, but I know that what I saw was very pretty and I wouldn't mind having a garden that looks like some of these.

Here are a few of my favorites.
Yes this is a full size lock in a garden!

This one has to be my favorite.
Bling, Bling!!
They also sell bulbs and other gardening things in the center tent, here was a tulip display.
Can you spot my mom and myself in the reflection in this garden?
I'll take the pool in this garden, notice the grill on the right, the seats inside the pool and the champagne cooler at the foot of the stairs!
I was amazed I got as many pictures as I did without the swarms of crowds in the pictures and we got there right when the gates opened! It's a very popular event, so if your willing to drop the money on an expensive ticket, book yours for next year now!