I was so happy that the fun wasn’t over after our first day in Edinburgh! On our second morning, we went out to Rosslyn Chapel. For anyone who read or saw The DaVinci Code, you are likely familiar with this site. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but I’m really curious now! This chapel was built in 1446, and the detailed carvings are incredible! There are a variety of hidden meanings and a bit of mystery behind many of the carvings. I anticipated a quick trip, but we found ourselves walking through the chapel with a key looking for the various carvings and reading about what they could mean. We also heard one of the 20-minute lectures put on by a member of the staff sharing various tidbits about the history of the building, the mysteries of the carvings, and the efforts they are making to maintain and preserve it. (As you can imagine, no photos are allowed inside, so you’ll have to rely on Google or their website to take a peak.)
Our sweet taxi driver went home for a spot of tea while we enjoyed the chapel. (How fun is that?!) Then, he took us back to Edinburgh for an afternoon visit to the Royal Yacht BRITANNIA. This was the official yacht of the royal family from 1953 to 1997. It is permanently docked in Edinburgh, and it was AMAZING – particularly for someone who loves the royals (and especially Princess Diana) as much as my mom.
[Can you feel her excitement?! We weren’t even on board yet!]
[Learning while sitting in the Captain’s seat!]
[One week per year, former crew members come back to work on the boat, have a bit of a reunion, and interact with the visitors. This guy shared a bunch of stories with us about his time spent on the yacht and his interactions with the royal family, and my mama thought we needed a picture. Then, he proceeded to ask a few too many times why I didn’t have a boyfriend or a husband at which point we had to make a quick getaway. Not sure how old he thought I was, but he definitely worked on the ship for 10 years before I was even born! Yikes!]
[We had a delightful lunch on the ship, which we both loved! Throughout our entire visit, my mom kept saying, “maybe Princess Diana sat in this chair…used this fork…drank from this glass!”]
[I would LOVE to host a Thanksgiving dinner at a table like this! Don’t worry – I STILL wouldn’t want to be the one preparing the turkey! We learned that before all state dinners (or maybe it was every meal with a special guest?), they literally use a ruler to measure to make sure all of the place settings are set exactly the same.]
[Seeing this picture in isolation, you don’t really feel like you’re on a boat! I loved how homey they made it feel. You could tell that this was a place the family really used to get away and enjoy themselves.]
That evening, we went to dinner at Tower Restaurant, which overlooks the Edinburgh Castle. Great views and a great meal were the perfect way to end another wonderful day!
All good things must come to an end, but even so, after all of that fun, all of that driving, and all of the sites, food, and hotels, it was still hard to believe it when we reached the final day of our trip…and our final day in Edinburgh. I had planned for it to be a bit of a relaxing day, but ‘relaxing’ by my standards is probably different that most.
We headed out to hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat in the morning. Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano, which is the highest point in the Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. At 822 feet, you definitely get panoramic views of the city. It was crazy windy, but really beautiful!
We heard from multiple people that the Royal Botanic Garden was worth a visit. It was such a beautiful day! I’m so glad we got to spend so much of it outside.
And what better way to end our time together than with a beautiful Afternoon Tea in The Palm Court at the Balmoral Hotel?! It was fun to learn from them that:
Afternoon Tea was ‘invented’ by Anna Maria, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, who in 1841 started drinking tea and having a bite to eat in the mid-afternoon, to tide her over during the long gap between lunch and dinner. This swiftly developed into a social occasion, which is as popular today as it was back then.
I am so grateful for a mama who embraces my adventurous spirit and plays along with my crazy ideas! She is a fun travel buddy, and I loved sharing two weeks of new experiences with her!
For those interested in reading all about our trip to Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, here are links to all of the blog posts: