More sight seeing today. We got up, had breakfast, got all our crap together and trekked up the hill (with our bags since we checked out of the hostel) to Edinburgh Castle.
This castle is pretty cool but a little confusing to get around. We didn't get a map (not really sure where to get one) and there was no obvious path throughout. It resembled Dover (both are military castles) and Windsor, in that you walked around outside to different buildings and sections - there was no interior path to follow. It had started to rain so we didn't have around as long as we may have. Since the castle is up high, on volcanic rock, there were fantastic views of Edinburgh, the sea and all the neighboring towns.
In one of the buildings you get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels: sword, crown and scepter. These were very beautiful, and honestly larger than I imagined. You had to walk through an exhibit about the jewels' history before you go to the actual jewels. I didn't really like this part. There were a bunch of figures everywhere illustrating scenes of the jewels being passed along the line, buried, lost etc. The figures (kind of like historical wax figures) kind of freaked me out. i'm not really sure why but I was glad to get to the end of the exhibit.
I really enjoyed the war memorial. It looks like a church but has a variety of plaques, medals, memorials etc. from wars. I particularly liked the stained glass windows. They depicted scenes from both world wars, including airplanes and paratroopers. It found it really interesting and refreshing to see stained glass who's subject was not biblical.
After wandering around the castle we caught the bus, going down the royal mile and to the Palace of Holyrood House. This, in contrast to Edinburgh Castle, is a residence. Queen Elizabeth and family stay there when visiting/working in Edinburgh. You saw state rooms, private apartments from Mary Queen of Scots day and the ruins of the adjoining abbey (by far the most beautiful part).
After Holyrood House we walked along the Royal Mile doing some window shopping and got lunch at a cute little pub with a christmas tree and fire (this made me so happy). After lunch we still had a couple hours to kill before our train so we did more exploring on the Royal Mile then went over to Princes street.
The train ride back was an adventure. About halfway through the journey this large group of men (part of a football gathering I believe) got on the train. They were incredibly loud and obnoxious (obviously not sober). And of course some of them sat at my table, making it very difficult to fall asleep.
Upon arrival at Kings Cross we found Platform 9 3/4 and took pictures then went back to the flat and crashed.