Thursday, 23 July 2009

Return to Edinburgh

The last of our holiday photos. I'm gradually catching up!

We left Sunderland and headed north to Edinburgh on what was probably the hottest day of the year so far. Even on the move there was little cool air, unzipping my jacket a bit and opening up my cuffs were about the only things I could do to avoid overheating. Whenever we stopped it was a case of strip off as much as was decently possible! No complaints though, it could so easily have been raining.

We took country roads where possible and quite often we had these roads to ourselves. It made for great biking.

The open road

Alnwick Castle was the first on our route and it is surely the epitome of an English castle. You can easily imagine knights and battles here! The earliest parts of the castle date back to 1096.

A closer view of Alnwick Castle

We stopped at Seahouses for lunch and could see our next castle, Bamburgh, further up the coast.

I love how Bamburgh Castle looms over the little village.

The beach at Bamburgh with Lindisfarne in the distance

Back in Scotland and time for a rest in a shady spot

Arthur's Seat

One of our 'things to do' whilst in Edinburgh was climb Arthur's Seat and we arrived back in the city with enough time to tackle the peak. The fact that Edinburgh was baking in 30C heat did not exactly make for perfect conditions but I was willing to give it a go. LSH was not so willing, he thought it was a mad idea and was determined to have a heart attack on the way up just to prove it! He survived, of course, but both our hearts did get a good work out as it was a steep climb. The view from the top was well worth the effort, though.

Looking up to the summit before the climb. Heart in chilled mode.

LSH at the summit. Heart in racing mode!

The view south

Looking back down to the loch where we had parked and to the east.

Looking over Salisbury Crags and the city.
Into the sun, unfortunately, but it couldn't be helped

Zooming in on Edinburgh Castle

This is the loch where we parked. It's about half way up Arthur's Seat and it's so quiet and peaceful there that you'd never believe you were in the middle of a city. It was quite busy with people of course but there were no city noises. I was amazed at how many people were running and cycling around and up (!!) the hill, we were huffing and puffing just walking it!

I really enjoyed my time there, the people of Edinburgh are lucky to have such a lovely, green and fairly wild place right in the middle of the city.


Our last day in Edinburgh and we met up with Ian, Lynne and Euan for a trip to the zoo. The last time I was there I was about two years old, not much older than Euan is now.

I have mixed feelings about zoos and definitely don't like to see large animals cooped up but it's perhaps not so bad for some of the smaller exhibits. A lot of effort is made to try and provide as natural an environment as possible and most of the endangered animals are part of a breeding programme. It's also a way of seeing just how big, or small, they are in the flesh. Something that doesn't always come across on TV.

Euan makes an entrance.
I've forgotten what the animal was behind the screens but it obviously wasn't as much fun as this peek-a-boo game.

This baby Pygmy Hippopotamus was the newest addition to the zoo, she was about 4 weeeks old...........

.............and really rather cute.

Afternoon nap required (for Euan, not Ian!)

This wild beastie seemed to have escaped from its cage

What fantastic eyebrows!

How can it possibly sleep in this position?

You can watch the penguins as they 'fly' underwater. So much more at home there than on land...... could be seen during the 'Penguin Parade'

Every afternoon the penguins come out (if they feel like it) for a walk round the green beside their enclosure. It's very popular, certainly with visitors, and apparently with the penguins too.

I have no idea!

This Red River Hog has to be the ugliest animal in the zoo, although I expect the female in with him really goes for that look.

Euan follows in his dad's footsteps (hand holds?) and does a spot of climbing

Heading for the monkey house.......looks like three inmates have escaped

Ian and Euan in the jungle

Adam gets looked in the eye

These Rainbow Lorikeets come to feed on nectar in little pots

Euan wasn't convinced of their appeal

Beautiful colours

Aren't rhinos just the strangest looking creatures?

The End


Prospero said...

Actually, I quite like the Red River Hog. And the penguin with the eyebrows. Just wait till the folks at Disney see these - they'll be turning out another classic before you can climb up to one of those Scottish castles. Speaking of which, they are quite the sight!

Martine said...

That last part of your trip looks and sounds amazing!! We especially enjoyed the penguins!! So cute!!

Euan is a doll!!

xo sugar & martine

jabblog said...

It sounds as though you had a really enjoyable and busy holiday. I know what you mean about zoos - I'm not keen either, but often they are the only means of conserving endangered species.
I loved the penguin parade - they look so purposeful striding along.

Jo said...

WOW! WOW! Thanks for the fantastic ride! Wow what beautiful Scottish countryside Thanks for the walk up to Arthurs Seat and the sharing the view. I agree that zoos are not my cup of tea, but necessary. For instance, the pygmy hippo is SO endangered. I wonder if there are any left in the wild. At last count, quite a few years ago, I read that there were only 300 left out there. That must be the cutest baby - the pygmy calf - apart from little Euan. He's adorable. The penguins are also vulnerable/ endangered here in South Africa. Do you know which rhino that is? Black or White? Just a trivia question I can't resist;) Thanks again for sharing your holiday with us. (((Hugs))) Jo xxx

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Greetings from Coimbatore,India. This is my first time and you have a great post.The castles are mysterious & fascinating and reminiscent of the middle ages. Pictures of the sea, the mountains, the Loch, the Arthur seat summit are all so beautiful.
The pictures at the zoo were breathtaking.Shall time out to read the rest of your posts leisurely.
You are welcome to my blog. Have a great day.
Regards Ram

sunnyme said...

Edinburgh is a very nice city.
When I was there I climbed Arthur's Seat too. It's stunning to look down on the city! I have to agree on the quietness. You never would say that you are in a city there.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

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Claire said...

what a gorgeous day for arthur's seat! i loved that climb--although it was really windy when we did it. it's gorgeous, though!

also, a martingale collar is a collar that will tighten like a choke collar, only it's made so it can't tighten too far. that way it can be worn around without worrying that it'll choke them, but at the same time if you need added control you have that option. they're handy for dogs like roux!!

wyvisview said...

Great pictures, as usual. Makes us appreciate our lovely country! Who would believe 30 degrees in Edinburgh!!?

Suldog said...

Beautiful loch! And I love "The End", too!

Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

That was great! I love the castles! I could so live there happily.

Chris said...

Great blog Sue, I like the Red River Hog,reminds me of someone I knew once.

Esther Garvi said...

Wow! What a scenery! What an outing! The critters are adorable but Edinburgh is just awesome today!!

Thomgib said...

Those who have likened me ( LSH ) to the Red river hog. Are technically accurate but a trifle unkind.

Thomgib said...

Only Joking LSH XX

Linda said...

Another great travelogue! So glad you caught the last of the good weather for your return visit, tho Arthur's Seat must have been a slog in that heat. It's on our list to do this week with my daughter's French exchange partner - if it ever stops raining. I know what you mean about the people running up it - impressive! Some people from the University's jogging group run up it at lunchtimes for a little light exercise...

Haven't been to the zoo for years (my kids were never that keen on it), but it certainly looks good here.

Happy memories of a summer holiday at Bamburgh, with so much to do inland as well as at the beach.

Dogbert said...

somptuous castles and marvellous landscape.
Thanks for your travel ;-)

Notails said...

Looks like you had a great time, the photos around Alnwick brought back great memories

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Lovely holiday photo's, you visited some really nice places.

Also congrats on the wins in the post after this one... :-)