We headed off in two cars to Edinburgh this morning which was very exciting! It only took about an hour and a half although it didn't seem that long because we were chartting away and enjoying the scenery. Andrew and I were with Amy and Anne and Richard were in Marion's car with David. When we got there we climbed to the top of the Scott Monument which is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It stands in Princes Street Gardens, opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and near to Edinburgh Waverly Railway Station. The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 287 steps and we can now say we have climbed them all! It is built from Binny sandstone quarried near Ecclesmachan in West Lothian. It has been described as looking like a "gothic rocket ship".
We strolled into the Old Town of Edinburgh and wandered along The Royal Mile which runs downhill between two significant locations in the history of Scotland, namely Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Place. Amy and David suggested we visited the 'Camera Obscura and World of Illusions' and it was heaps of fun! The Camera Obscura show was a fascinating and highly amusing way to see the city and learn about its history. From inside this mysterious Victorian rooftop chamber, you see live moving images of Edinburgh projected onto a viewing table through a giant periscope. You can pick people up on your hands, squash them to a pulp and even make the traffic climb over paper bridges! A guide entertained us by telling stories of Edinburgh, past and present, in an engaging and informative way. It is truly amazing how, in this age of high technology, a simple array of mirror, lenses and daylight can produce this incredible panorama. The Magic Gallery was lots of fun with bendy mirrors, big lenses, shadow walls and colourful giant kaleidoscopes. We all had lots of laughs! The Light Fantastic exhibition is the one of the largest hologram exhibitions in Europe with lots of captivating holograms and 3D pictures. They appear, change and disappear before your eyes! Edinburgh Vision was where we discovered old, new, live and unique pictures of Edinburgh. The Ames Room tricks your eyes by making people shrink and grow, we spied on people on the live viewcams and lots more interactive fun! We finished off our experience by visiting the mirror maze and Giant Vortex Tunnel which made us squeal and feel a little dizzy! All in all it was a very interesting and enjoyable place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Edinburgh.
The weather was a little bit dull but we had a good look around the city and found a pub to have a late afternoon drink and snack. Marion was cooking dinner for us so we didn't want to be too late back to Gretna so we returned to the cars and hit the road. It was a very pleasant evening at Marion's house and when we got back to Amy and David's we had stayed up and chatted for a while before going to bed. We weren't expecting to go to Edinburgh so that was an awesome surprise and what a fabulous day we had there!