We spent one day exploring the Royal Mile. This is an old part of the original walled town that stretches from Edinbourgh Castle to Holyrood Palace which is the Queen's home in Scotland. We visited several shops looking for just the right presents to bring home. Eventually we realized that much of the merchandise was the same in each shop and we had pretty much covered the majority of the offerings. We rode a bus called the Hop On Hop Off bus. It seemed like it was a way to have transportation throughout the day but in reality I think it was meant to be a tour of the area. It served it's purpose in giving us a way around town, but I wouldn't put this on my "repeat" list. We visited St. Giles Cathedral and walked over to the other side of town where there are "regular" (as opposed to tourist) stores. Besides my family gifts, I came home with two items for myself. I found a brand of shoes, Brasher, that I've never seen for sale here. They have a comfortable, roomy fit and a pair now live in my closet. We also came across a shop that makes custom kilts selling fabric remnants! I came home with a collection of different tartans that will hopefully be transformed into a special remembrance from this trip.
The next day the weather was particularly miserable with high winds and drizzly rain all day. We decided to do an indoor activity and opted for a visit to Holyrood Palace. The Palace is only open when it is not being used by a member of the Royal family and in fact this was the only day of our stay when visiting was possible. It was very interesting. Much of the Palace was basically historic with the Royal apartments on the third floor closed to tours.
We walked around the town a bit more until we were tired of getting beat on by the wind and then we made our way back to the hotel.