6 July 2013
Entering the Royal Apartments…
Do we look alike?
The Edinburgh Castle is gorgeous!
Peaking through the haze is a castle set on the top of a sheer cliff of rock and stone. This formation is in the dead center of the city of Edinburgh and it just so happens to be an old volcano. I have never seen anything like it. The whole city is old, but old in a way that I have never seen a city before. Layers upon layers of history make up the floors, walls, and ceilings of Edinburgh and each layer comes from a different era in history.
Things always feel more special when you have a personal connection to them. Edinburgh has been a place that I have always desired to visit because much of my family history takes place within the country of Scotland, but more specifically within the city of Edinburgh. I am lucky enough to have one of my family lines traced all the way back to Adam, something that does not happen all to often unless you can trace your line back to royalty. Roughly 14 generations ago (I need to check the exact statistics with my Grandmother) my great, great, etc… grandmother, Queen Mary of Scots, was living in the Edinburgh castle preparing to give birth to her son James who would later become the King of Scotland. She lived her life all throughout Scotland and England trying to pursue to spread of the Catholic Church to all her people. She was ruthless and she was the cause of many people’s deaths who would not follow her will. Her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England would not allow her Protestant faith to be flattened, so she got rid of the threat by beheading Queen Mary after she had suffered her adequate time in Prison. Queen Mary of Scots is one of the most famous and controversial figures in Scottish history. For a woman who only lived her life to the age of 44 and half of that in captivity, she has a compelling and fascinating story that has shaped the course of Scottish history.
I have always been very interested in learning about the royal families throughout European history but my attention has been drawn to learning about Queen Mary of Scots, because she is my Grandmother. Without her, would I be here? It has been an interesting thing to think about how my family has been built at shaped over time. Just think, if things would of gone just the slightest bit different, I could be the Queen of Scots today. Good thing that didn’t happen because after learning all about the royal lifestyle, I don’t know if I could handle it!
Today I was able to visit the Edinburgh castle where Queen Mary of Scots spent much of her time while she reigned in Scotland. Today the castle is used as a military stronghold for the city of Edinburgh and the country of Scotland. There are numerous calvary arrays as well as many historical war museums that were located in the castle.
The Great Hall
This is the room where king James, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, was born in 1566.
A crest in the Royal Apartments
Queen Mary as a child and as the powerful Queen of England
Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists…
Degas, another famous artist who commonly paints ballet scenes…
Monet, the lilypad and water guy…
We also went to the Scottish National Gallery which actually had quite a few very famous pieces of art. Within their collection were several pieces from Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Rodin, etc… It was neat to be able to see more famous pieces of art that I was unable to see as I traveled throughout Europe. I love being able to discover new things and learn a bit more about the beauty that people have brought to our world. Edinburgh is such a fascinating city, I love how old and beautiful it is.
There were so many people in the streets, probably because it was a saturday and it was not raining. Both of the days we were in Edinburgh the weather was beautiful…and we were told that NEVER happens. The plus of having so many people out on the streets was that there were more “back-pipers” out to entertain them. People are not joking when they say that kilts and bagpipes are the norm in Scotland. EVERYONE WEARS KILTS and EVERYONE PLAYS THE BAGPIPES. I almost bought some a CD of some traditional Scottish music from a vendor on the streets but them I realized that I did not have anyway to play it while I was in Scotland and that I could probably get it a lot cheaper online later.
There was a market right near the park a few blocks down from the national gallery. We bought some freshly baked bread and found ourselves a nice spot in the park with a great view of the castle to chat and eat. The park was situated in the best location imaginable because literally a hundred yards away the giant volcano that Edinburgh Castles sits on rises out of the ground. The castle towers over all those who sit in the park and it is quite intimidating.
Prior to going to the Edinburgh Castle we stopped at the cutest little antique store. We spent quite a long time in there looking through the racks of vintage clothing and trying on the traditional English hats that you still see being worn all throughout England. Everything was so cute and I wanted to buy it all! We had so much fun at that antique store that on our way back to Pollock halls we stopped at another one. This one was much larger and it had some of the most unique stuff I have ever seen. Everything was stunning and again I wanted to buy it all! They had a huge selection of English hats and Mariah and I went crazy trying them all on. They were all so cute and after putting a beautiful bright pink one on my head…I knew there was no turning back. Mariah ended up buying a blue one and I ended up purchasing the pink one. Guess what I will be wearing to the next formal hall?