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  • Writer's picturePamela Lawton

Hobnobbing on High Street

Today was sunny, not a cloud in the sky, but cold. We braved the weather and headed to the other end of High Street (the Royal Mile) to see Holyrood Palace, Queen Elizabeth's Edinburgh residence, located at the opposite end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle. The palace is situated on the edge of the grand Holyrood Park, an enormous green space. Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano, creates a dramatic backdrop for the palace and is a popular spot for tourists to view the city. Across the street is the Scottish Parliament, and today several protesters (see photo below) were out front calling for another vote for Scottish independence. Brexit politics are every bit as contentious as US politics. On the palace grounds are the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, built in 1120. The present day palace was built in 1529 and was the one-time residence of Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stewart). It was ravaged shortly after the failure of the 1745 Jacobite uprising. When the Queen is in residence the antique furniture is used by her family and distinguished guests--rather like a living museum. The gardens, closed during winter are magnificent and there is a gift shop and cafe. The Queen's Gallery, in an adjacent building, hosts changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection. Our tickets can be used for up to one year! So we plan to return in spring to visit the gardens and gallery.

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