Thursday, July 25, 2013

We Didn't Even Know What We Were Missing

Every July the Queen makes Holyrood Palace her residence.  We didn't even know she was in town.  We drove by the Palace numerous times, and hadn't the faintest notion that she was there.  While we were visiting the Palace on Friday (July 19th), we learned about her recent presence as well as about the Ceremony of the Keys.  Here is a short clip of what we could have witnessed first hand:

Queen formally receives keys to Edinburgh by reuters

Although we kicked ourselves in the rear for missing out on the events surrounding the Queens stay, we did enjoy touring through one of the Royal residences.
The Palace front showing 16th-century north-west tower on the left.
The rest of the Palace dates back to the 17th century.
We were provided with audio guides that really helped explain features of the castle as well as the overall history of the monarchs of Scotland.  Personally, I enjoy hearing about Mary Queen of Scots the most as she is one of the most famous monarchs in Scotland.  We were able to see her chambers and the ways she made it more sophisticated like the French palaces she grew up in.  All of our pictures were from the exterior of the castle as we were not allowed to take any pictures inside for security reasons.  Our favorite part of the visit was walking around the ruins of the Abbey.  Here are a couple of pictures from our visit:
Amelie listened to the Audio Guide for around 30 minutes and then it became a toy shared between her and Liam.
The impressive entrance.
The interior courtyard of the Palace.  If you look closely you can see that each level has different style columns.  As you go up levels, the style becomes more elaborate.  
There was a family area inside the Palace that had dress-up period clothes, historic toys, coloring sheets, and more.   Amelie and Liam enjoyed a break from the touring to play.  It was perfectly positioned and we were very thankful for the break of trying to keep them quiet and happy while we were listening to the audio guides.
Inside the Abbey.
Everything is considered a play area for small children, even old stone coffins.
Bobby and Liam in the center of the Abbey.
Liam was either running, trying to pick up the gravel from the path to throw, or talking on the "phone."
I love that he doesn't stop moving...ever!
We did not tour the entire gardens (as that was a separate ticket), but we did enjoy walking through most of the gardens.  There were spectacular views of Arthur's Seat.  It is clear why this spot was chosen for the Palace.

It would have been a fun memory for Amelie to be able to say that she saw the Queen.  However, she is not too shook up about missing out.  :)  

After visiting the Palace, we headed back home to eat lunch at the Malt and Hops, a pub at the corner of our apartment.  They only serve food on Fridays for lunch.  Amelie and Liam ate ham and cheese toasties with chips (fries) and baked beans while Bobby and I ate a Spicy Chicken Baked Potato.  All for super cheap! ;)  We all had a royally good day.

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