Day Eight- Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat

Today was another fun and busy day as we explored Edinburgh! We started bright and early and headed out to the bus stop to get into town so we could hop on the hop on/hop off bus! We stayed on the bus for a full lap so we could hear about Edinburgh's history and see all of the best sights of the city! 


We decided to hop off in the middle of town so we could grab some quick brunch and then we walked up to the Edinburgh Castle. The castle housed the oldest building in Edinburgh AND the Scottish Crown Jewels! It also had wonderful views of the city! 


After seeing the different buildings and sights of the castle, we hopped back on the bus and drove over to Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat is the highest peak of several large hills that overlook Edinburgh. It is actually an ancient volcano! 

We walked up the path to the top of the hill next to it and I stopped there because I it was steep and I am really afraid of heights! However, I was quite proud of how high I did make it and I did get to see some great views of the city! Alexander then went to the top on his own and apparently the views are amazing!  



After coming down the Arthur's Seat, we walked down what is called the Royal Mile. It is just the name given to the main streets that make up Old Town. It has the oldest buildings, a bunch of tourist shops, and A LOT of people. Today was especially busy because the Edinburgh International Festival is going on. Because of the festival, there were street performers- artists, comedians, musicians- everywhere which were cool to experience! 

Late in the afternoon, we took the bus back to our Air BNB and then walked to a close pub for dinner. When we got home, we had some tea and biscuits for dessert and are now about to go to bed! 

We look forward to seeing more of Edinburgh tomorrow! 

Day Five- City of Dublin

The Wanderlust Newlyweds enjoyed a beautiful last day in Dublin, tomorrow we head to Belfast, Northern Ireland! Today, we walked around town and saw all of the classic tourist sites. It was really convenient that all of the things we wanted to see were very close together! The cobblestone walking streets had a lot of cute shops and the buildings were fun to see. 



We started at the Brazen Head Pub for an early lunch, the oldest pub in Ireland! It was established in 1198. It had a very pretty courtyard in between where the original building ends and the new part begins! 




We then walked over to St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was not as big as I thought it would be, but it was still very impressive. We saw a 1798 copy of the sheet music for Handel's Messiah which was really exciting!



Next, we strolled through St. Stephen's Green! It was nice to see all of the green once again and watch all of the people enjoying the day. We also noticed how fat all of the pigeons were, they clearly make a lot of friends! 


Through the Green, we stopped in at the National Museum of Ireland. They have 3 separate buildings, we went to the museum of Archeaology and History. We learned about and saw tools used in the Bronze Age. It's amazing how much work went into creating simple things like pots and bowls. 

A few blocks down from the museum was the Trinity College campus. There we went into their library and saw the Book of Kells. It is a copy of the four Gospels written with incomparable decoration- it's pages are each a work of art. The book was probably created around the year 800, but scholars do not know for sure. Next to the Book of Kells, we saw the Book of Durrows. It is the oldest known illuminated full Gospel book, it was written between 650 and 700. (We were not allow to take photos, but here is a page from the Book of Kells from Google)


Another important part of the Trinity College Library is the Long Room. It is a long corridor with shelves of very old books on either side. It also has a collection of busts of important politicians and philosophers that were created between 1700 and 1800. However, my favorite part was seeing the harp  that Ireland's emblem was modeled after. 



The last stop on today's outing was the Dublin Castle. It was as expected as far as castles go. We decided to do the self guided tour and so we wondered through the state apartments and learned about their history. Some of the rooms are still used today: dinners with foreign dignitaries still take place in the room in the first picture and the Irish President is inaugurated in the blue room in the third picture! 


We feel like we had a very productive afternoon! This evening we will do some more walking around and try to find a traditional Irish dinner!