Our last day in Scotland was spent back in Edinburgh. We had run out of time to see Holyrood Palace on Day 2 so that was the goal for today – and to handle the parking ticket we got while at Edinburgh Castle. This time though we opted to leave the car at the hotel and take the bus into town. I was quite excited to ride the double decker buses since we don’t have those here, so of course we immediately went upstairs upon boarding. We sat toward the back and enjoyed seeing the sights as we headed into town rather than navigating the streets and GPS.
It was a relatively short ride to reach the area near the magistrate’s office where we had to go to contest the ticket. Once off the bus we got our bearings and soon realized we had to climb these stairs to get to the right street.
We took a short breather at the mid-way point to peek in the windows of the shops along the way. I had to wonder how they handled deliveries of goods, but I guess that’s just part of the usual routine in this area.
After a couple mis-turns we found the right office to contest our ticket, spoke to the officials and learned that we had parked in an area where you have to have a special resident permit, not just the kiosk permit. They told us we could appeal the ticket with a written statement and explain that we were tourists and hadn’t understood the difference. We wrote up our statement and submitted it along with our contact information back home in case they had any questions. Then we headed back out to the Royal Mile to make our way to Holyrood. Having handled the pressing item of the day we were both in lighter spirits and totally got a chuckle out of this display!
Along the Royal Mile I spotted this guy in one of the shop windows and fell in love. So we stepped inside to find out how much he was. It turned out he was quite heavy as he was constructed to be a door stop, but they had other similar designs as pillows and ornaments.
We were getting hungry after our trek down the Royal Mile so we decided to stop and eat before getting to the castle. We ducked into a quaint little pub, which we soon learned was the Tolbooth Tavern – full of history and stories. We ordered and were pleased to see the hearty meals that were presented.
We walked off our food comas with the remaining blocks to Holyrood, where we quickly toured the gift shop and purchased our entrance tickets. The courtyard in front of the palace has a magnificent fountain with ornate carvings of several historical Scottish figures.
After touring the palace, including the apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots, where David Rizzio had been murdered we made our way over to the abby ruins. They were absolutely stunning.
It was a beautiful landscape, where a giant jubilee is held each year. I was so enamored with the gardens that I didn’t notice the stone ruins on the hillside beyond until I was editing these images! The large crag behind the palace is Arthur’s Seat.
On our way back to the bus station we stopped to see the Scott Monument, a victorian monument to Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott. Luckily, it was just a few blocks from our bus stop so it wasn’t far out of the way since we were quite tired from all the walking we’d done that day.
The ride itself was very entertaining as the buses, kept stopping so close to each other that we made noises each time and then giggled. Just to give you an idea of how close they get there was only inches between them at this stop.
Back at the hotel we asked our new friend Steven, who works as a concierge, where the best nearby spot to go for dinner was. I was wanting fish and chips for my last night and he drove us to a spot just a few miles away that did to-go orders. With fish and chips and a Greek gyro in hand we grabbed a cab back to the hotel to rest our feet and dig in. It was the perfect ending to our trip.
We lugged our very stuffed suitcases into the terminal and checked in as we thought about the wonderful trip we’d had. It’s been fun reliving it through these posts and I hope it inspires you to go see some of these amazing places. We’ll definitely be back again at some point!
Check out our other Scotland adventures: