Castles, Camera Obscura, and traditional dishes
On our last full day we explored Edinburgh Castle, gathered to watch the daily firing of the One O’Clock gun, and looked up my husband’s family crest. Our family name comes from southern Scotland near the English border. The Murdocks used to travel back and forth pillaging from the English, bringing loot back to Scotland. My boys were very amused to say their ancestors were land pirates.
Camera Obscura is located right next to the entrance to the castle. A spur of the moment decision, but we decided to take a detour and give it a try, the experience was worth the entrance fee. Everyone had a lot of fun, especially in the rotating light tube. They also had tons of displays that let you take distorted reality pictures. I was particularly in love with one that made me look over six feet tall and very slim. One note on Camera Obscura; they have a 184 year old camera at the top of the building. This original Camera Obscura uses daylight to provide gorgeous live panoramas of the city. To enjoy this feature make sure you arrive before sunset. We were able to see a night time demonstration of it because there was a full moon, but during the day you can see a lot more.
After the castle we had time for one more afternoon tea service. We picked up some handmade wool pieces and then had a delicious diner at Makars Gourmet mashbar. About food options, booking Scotland the foodies amongst us had low expectations. Dining in the U.K. doesn’t always get the best reviews from travelers, especially compared to other parts of Europe. However we found a lot of variety and many of the dishes were locally sourced with fresh ingredients. Next time we come back to Scotland in the summer. I would love to attend one of the Highland festivals. Also our guide highly recommended a future visit to the Isle of Skye. Which he said is even more breathtaking than the Highlands, and worth a return trip.