Thursday, September 18, 2014

British Isles trip, part 20: Edinburgh Castle

Link to photo dump.

Edinburgh Castle is--are you ready for this?--an amazing place. It is not a single building, but a complex of buildings erected at various times over the last thousand years, like a small, walled city. I was overwhelmed by the power and majesty of the way the whole complex rises out of the cliff faces, as if when ancient geologic forces thrust the mountain up, it had the castle walls already attached. No photograph will ever do justice to that sight, I'm afraid. You'll just have to go there yourself.

The oldest surviving part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel, built in the early 12th century.

I made a rookie mistake with this next photo: shooting into the sun, instead of walking around to the other side of the cannon. I didn't notice the awful lens flare until I was back home, and it was a little late to go back and try again. But I wanted to show it to you anyway, because I like guns, and guns don't come much more magnificent than this beast.

The two explanatory signs for the cannon:

Here's a spot in the castle that's easy to miss: a tiny cemetery for soldiers' dogs.

I don't think there's any way for the public to get access to the dogs' cemetery for a closer look; you have to kind of lean forward over a railing and peer almost straight down on it. When I look at the full-sized photograph, most of the stones are too eroded to read, but I can make out a few of the dogs' names: Tinker, Flora, Sheena, Don, Major. The clearest one is on the flat-topped stone, two to the left of the sign, top center of the picture:

[illegible] WILSON PATERSON 
JUNE 1917 

Our wonderful guide for Edinburgh, with two of his many lady admirers from our tour group. (And yes, dammit, I've forgotten his name again!) 

This was only the second time that I tried the automatic panorama feature of my new camera. It seemed fitting, as we had a truly panoramic view of the city from the castle. I just held down the shutter release as I panned left to right, and the camera's software instantly did the digital stitching. 

OK, enough chat. Now I'll shut up and just let you enjoy the views. 

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