8/3/07 After we awoke in Edinburgh we rushed to the delicious breakfast buffet. Once packed for the day we began our journey to the historic downtown area of Edinburgh. We got a new local tour guide for today, Dave Torrance, who in addition to being quite a character, showed us all over the city, pointing out the important spots. We got off at Edinburgh Castle, our first destination, which dates back to 1100 and has 7 gated entrances before you get to the true castle. They had a statue of William Wallace, aka, Braveheart and his usurper Robert the Bruce, standing right near him. Harumph! In the castle we were the first group of the day to view the stunning crown jewels, scepters, crowns and swords. These jewels were hidden for over a hundred years and then found again.
Also there was a WWI memorial building that now is the war memorial building. After our perusal of this castle, we headed to Holyrood house, which was right across from the Scottish Parliament, at the foot of a stagnant volcano, also known as Arthur’s Step. After our brief stop we traveled through Edinburgh until we reached the stop for lunch. We had four hours with our small groups to traverse the city and see whatever our group wanted to see. Our group ate at Subway, and then supported street performers. They were American Indians that had a sound to enjoy for hours. Other groups visited the "Camera Obscura" or "Whisky Heritage Museum" sites. Our group then proceeded to shop, where most of us bought kilts. At the rendezvous point we headed back to the Edinburgh Capital Hotel, where we chilled until 6PM.
We then dressed in either slacks or kilts, along with our blue blazer, shirt and tie and headed for dinner and a traditional Scottish show. The dinner show, which had people from many different countries in attendance, consisted of a bagpiper, several dancers, a fiddler, a drummer, a singer, an accordion players and others. Needless to say, we were entertained and we also did some entertaining for the other dinner guests by singing a rendition of "Yankee Doodle Dandy".
We had very tasty prime rib and other main entries for dinner and about midway through the show, the Master of Ceremonies introduced us to a traditional food, HAGGIS!! I’m not sure what the hubbub was, because it tasted like roast beef hash, but originally they made it with sheep heart, brain, lungs and other parts. The show ended with everyone holding hands and singing Auld Lang Syne. T’was fun. Fun indeed. We headed back after our group photos with kilts and prepared to go to Liverpool.