Edinburg Castle & The Puffins

Inside the castle walls

This morning we set out in search for the history surrounding Mary Queen of Scots. We headed off to Edinburg to find the most amazing city surrounded by historic buildings like those spotted in Europe…gothic spires, large irregular brickwork…and then, on top of a huge hill…the castle!

We parked the car and started to walk up the road in the direction of the castle until we all game to a grinding halt when we discovered the sheer enormity of the hill slope we had to climb. Not bad at all for most of us…but there was no way we would be able to get Nanny up there. Luckily for us there we some really nice Scottish Police Officers standing around their cars and wagon at the bottom of the hill where we stopped for Nan. They phoned around for a mobility scooter for her to no avail but, in the end, she got her own personal police escort up to the castle.

down the barrel of a canon

Once there we were greeted with the sight of an extraordinary castle perched high on the hill, surrounded by massive walls. How the English ever managed to invade this magnificent construction is boggling. The walls are massive and the climb would have been torture back in the days before modern roads and pavements...even then, it's still a stretch. We quickly grabbed some audio tours and headed off in search of Mary's past. She really did have a tragic life: Queen as a baby, an asylum seeker in France at the age of 5, married three times, widowed twice, jailed by her own cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, forced to abdicate to her own infant son, James VI, and finally beheaded by order of her cousin. We went for a walk around the town and stopped for some hot chips for lunch...it was so blowy that the boys decided to try a little 'wind riding' of their own...it was so funny! Storm even got blown over in the wind...VERY WINDY!hang on boys...watch out for that wind!

Next it was off to The Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick in search for Puffins. During Spring Bass Rock is covered in Gannets and Puffins as they come to nest here for the season. From inside the Seabird Centre you gain access to live camera feeds on Bass Rock. The cameras are controlled by visitors as they search for birdlife on the rock. We found plenty of Gannets and were just about to give up looking for the elusive Puffin when, all of a sudden, we spotted on solitary bird. This sparked a heavier look where Zane and Darian found a whole group of them....so amazing to watch them and hear their noises live as the microphone feeds accompanied the live cameras. A great way to experience them without interfering with their habitat. The centre also offers boat trips out to the rock but we declined this for now dur to a lack of time before we needed to head back to camp...maybe some other time?

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