I think David was more interested in the car than the monument.
After a Scottish breakfast (the Royal Mile Full Scottish Breakfast for David and the Mini Mile for me... both had eggs, toast, sausage, haggis--I ordered vegetarian haggis this time--hash browns, and some kind of mystery meat. David's came with black pudding as well), we headed to the Scott Monument and spent a little time checking out the poppies in the Garden of Remembrance that was set up for 11 November.
Poppies, just like us!
Then we paid our entry fee, which one of the workers assured us would be the best three pounds we'd spend all day. Right after getting our ticket/brochure thing, I spotted the sign on the wall that said, "If you are afraid of heights or don't like small spaces, don't come in." Ha! Perfect for me on both counts! *eyeroll*
We started climbing the 287 steps to the top. The steps were small and spiraly, so they were extra scary! And I don't know exactly what would've happened if we would have met up with people trying to come down as we were trying to go up. I was thankful that it wasn't high tourist season and that we got there right when it opened, rather than trying to battle crowds in this tiny space.
The first "landing" had a really pretty indoor section with placards, carvings, and stained glass paying tribute to author Sir Walter Scott, Scotland, Edinburgh, and the design, building and restoration of the monument.
The Scotland crest/shield thing.
And then there were more stairs. The next 3 viewing areas were just small paths leading around the monument. The views were nice, but the whole time we were up there, I was dreading getting down! But I didn't necessarily like being 200 feet off the ground either. David took tons of photos on the way up and down the monument. We met an American on one of the landings on our way down. He was on his way up, and was contemplating whether to continue, because he didn't like heights or small spaces. I assured him that if I could do it, he could do it!
Looking out at Edinburgh, down at the poppies, and up at the monument.
When we got out of the monument, we were both feeling a little dizzy from coming down the spiral stairs! Our next stop was right around the corner at the National Gallery. We could see it from the monument, as well as Edinburgh Castle.
We spent quite a bit of time in the gallery (more than I had thought David would be up for, honestly) checking out art by artists like Monet, Degas, Titian and also Scottish artists. There was an exhibition in the Scottish artists section inspired by Robert Burns.
We had thought we'd hit up one more museum, but it turned out we were both feeling kind of museumed out. We headed to Princes Street & Rose Street to browse some shops. I really, really wanted to find the black boots that I was searching for in London.
Really, really wanted to find them! We went into Clarks, where 3 pairs came close to meeting my specifications: really low, stack-style heel, tall enough but not too tall, the right kind of leather, etc. One pair wasn't available in my size. The other two pair were alright, but I decided to wait and maybe come back later if I didn't find anything. There was another shoe store right next door. We went in there, and I found a pair of boots that looked a little better than the others and were 10 pounds cheaper. But I still wasn't ready to commit! We went into one more store and I chose 2 pairs to try on. While I was waiting for the girl to get them from the back, a pair in the children's section caught my eye. I tried those on and they were perfect AND half the price of the adult boots next door. It took all of my might to refrain from hugging the salesgirl. I am now the proud owner of a practically perfect pair of black boots... a pretty atypical souvenir from Scotland! We did a little more shopping and browsing, then had lunch at the Fueling Station (I think). After lunch, a little more browsing (we went into a golf shop and Jenners, which I read was like the "Harrods" of Scotland.)
We dropped our bags off at the hotel, and headed back out to look at the souvenir shops (that we had already looked in many times in the past two days! Got a few things (David got a fleece jacket, I got a real kilt!) and relaxed in the hotel a little while before dinner at an Italian restaurant right around the corner. There were real Italian girls at the table next to ours and I had fun trying to listen in on their conversation ;) We made it an early night, as we had to get up at 0300 to get ready, checked out, and to the AirLink bus to make it to the airport for our flight. Our trip to Edinburgh was officially almost over! :(