Monday, 17 September -- Edinburgh

It was a pretty early departure, to get us to a meeting point in Edinburgh to pick up our local guide, Seana. We drove through the city seeing monuments, famous buildings such a the new Scottish Parliament and homes of famous Scots like Alexander Graham Bell, R.L Stevenson, etc. and getting a sense of the city's colourful history.

Stopped at Holyrood for a photo op. We arrived at "the Hub" just below the castle and climbed the last part of the Royal Mile, then spent a couple hours looking around the castle

and admiring the Crown Jewels. We were meeting Kaye and Willie at 1:30, so left before then.

We all worried about finding each other in the massive crowd, but it turned out to be easy. They helped me find a Campbell tartan scarf (I chose the dress tartan), so I can honour my great-grandmother Maria Campbell. Then we made our way to St. Giles Cathedral where we looked around (amazing stained glass, unusual lay-out) and had lunch (tasty baked potatoes). We had time to enjoy the view of the Castle from the gardens below Princes St. before returning to the Hub for a drink and catching our bus back to the hotel. It was a wonderful visit, though too short, and I felt as if we'd seen each other last week instead of 7 months ago.

On the way back to Airth we stopped at the Helix to admire the Kelties -- huge statues of horses along the canal linking two firths. We didn't go to the group dinner, opting for a quiet evening and dinner in the hotel dining room, as did several others from the bus.

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