Edinburgh ~ Thistles, Stitches, Kilts and Swans

Thursday August 7th ~ Edinburgh

The thistle is the symbol of Scottland

The thistle is the National Flower and symbol of Scotland

We have had several rainy days since arriving in Scotland and it is starting to take a toll on me.  I guess I really am more of a fair weather traveler than I realized.  It is hard for me to get motivated and excited to get out the door to explore when the sky is gray and drizzly.

The locals say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.”  And they are so right.  If nothing else, the weather is fluid here – in more ways than one!

Thankfully I don’t melt, my hair is short and straight, and I won’t rust.

Still I find myself glaring out the window, and when we do get a few nice rays of sunshine, we dart out the door to try to get our daily dose of Vitamin D.  

Parliament Building

Parliament Building

Not satisfied with just seeing the “main” tourist attractions, including churches, museums and castles, I often keep my eyes open for something different or unusual to see.

At the bottom of the Royal Mile is the Parliament Building.  Modern, angular with clean lines, it does not shout out “government building”.  In fact it looks more like it should be a museum of modern art.

It is currently housing a special Scotland Tapestry Project display that was put together largely because of the efforts of author, Alexander McCall Smith who penned one of my favorite reads,  “#1 Ladies Detective Agency”.

“A unique project to stitch the entire history of Scotland from pre-history to modern times”

Over 1000 stitchers from across Scotland have created 161 panels that depict the story of Scotland.  It took over 60,000 hours and they used over 300 miles of yarn.

Panel #1

Panel #1

A few panels of the Scottish Tapestry

A few panels of the Scottish Tapestry

If you are interested in seeing all 161 panels, please click here.

We have also enjoyed simply walking the Royal Mile, popping into a few random shops, exploring our neighborhood, and watching the many swans, ducks and other water fowl on the pond just down the street.  With the madhouse around the festival, it has been wonderful to have a quiet sanctuary to retreat to at the end of the day.

Our neighborhood

Our neighborhood

View of the hill just overlooking Holyrood Park (across the street from our flat)

View of the hill just overlooking Holyrood Park (across the street from our flat)

Swans looking for a handout

Is this the audition for Aflac?

Blooms against a gray sky

Blooms against a gray sky

Colorful Scottish Pounds

Colorful Scottish Pounds

Gratitude Moment:  Today I am grateful for the many librarians and historians that painstakingly keep records of events, large and small that make up our story.  Granted the story tellers version may be slanted, fabricated, biased or due to deception or lack of knowledge can even be totally inaccurate.  Still the compiled information will give us some insight of our past and potentially help guide us into our future.  I can only hope that we will learn something from our mistakes and will use this knowledge to create a better future for our children.

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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8 Responses to Edinburgh ~ Thistles, Stitches, Kilts and Swans

  1. Debra Kolkka says:

    I visited Edinburgh several years ago and loved it…time for another visit.


  2. antjeeb says:

    Tim and Joanne, what a pleasure to take a peek at a fellow traveler’s photos. I appreciate your use of contrasting color in the thistle photo as well as the one you took near your lodgings!
    Happy travels, Antje


  3. christinelaennec says:

    So glad you’ve had some sunshine, mixed in with the Scottish rain! I saw the Tapestry in Paisley in May – found it absolutely stunning, and so very educational. That’s some orange sporran in your photo of the kilt outfits!


    • Hello Christine! Our sunshine has been coming in small batches, and so appreciated when we do see it. I had to laugh at myself as I quickly looked up what sporran meant. I had been calling them “little purses”. Thanks for enlightening me.


      • christinelaennec says:

        Ha ha! Well, that’s just what they are: in Gaelic “sporran” means purse – both the kind that hangs on a chain around a kilt, and the kind in a lady’s handbag. It is bucketing down here in Glasgow – I hope you will get a nicer day tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

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