Edinburgh's oldest purpose-built tourist attraction, and well worth the climb up five flights of stairs. As well as the actual camera obscura, of which I didn't get any photos, there's a balcony affording some nice views of the city.
The Royal Mile:
University of Edinburgh, New College:
The internet tells me this is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is 200ft 6in high. Note the skillful way I've framed the clock of North British Hotel in the first picture!
For only three quid visitors can climb up the four lots of spiral stairs to reach the fine views from the top. In what I can only assume is a joke by the architect, two of the spiral staircases lull the climber into a false sense of security and then suddenly get much tighter! I managed to squeeze through.
Tram construction works are everywhere. They don't seem to have achieved much yet, though.
Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens. The two buildings are the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy.
Arthur's Seat. In the foreground, North Bridge crosses over Waverley Station:
The Firth of Forth:
The clock tower on the North British Hotel and, beyond, Calton Hill and the National Monument of Scotland. This unfinished building modelled on the parthenon is Scotland's memorial to those who fell in the Napoleonic Wars. It is popularly known as Edinburgh's Shame.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned in 1997 and is permenantly located in Leith and open to the public. I enjoyed a fascinating tour of the ship.
The Captain's cabin:
On deck a rather ornate binnacle, and the ship's bell, in front of the sun lounge:
Inside the sun lounge:
The Queen's bedroom:
After a while all the luxury facilities merge into one! I think this is the Captain's Dining Room, or is it the Wardroom?.
The State Dining Room:
One of the bars for the crew:
Another of the crew's bars, this one for officers of higher rank than the one above. In fact, I visited three of these wardrooms at varying levels of luxury for different ranks of officers, and that's in addition to the Captain's. What a waste!
Ship's surgery. There was a plan that Britannia could be converted into a hospital ship for up to 255 patients. She was never used in this rôle, but was used in 1986 to evacuate British nationals from Yemen.
The cleanest engine room I've ever seen:
At the time of my visit there was some kind of media event associated with the diamond jubilee, with a number of former crew visiting the ship. Amongst the extra entertainment provided, I was able to watch this royal launch circling round the harbour chased by a boat loaded with cameramen:
Docked nearby was this warship, French I think.
I took a day trip across Scotland to Glasgow, for a ride on the Subway, sometimes known as the clockwork orange. Although I've travelled on it on a number of occasions before, it's still something of a surprise when, after much screeching and roaring, the tiny little train pops out of the tunnel. I can see over the carriages!
At Buchanan Street station part of one of the original cars is on display:
And in the transport museum you can board one of the old cars:
The original station building at Saint Enoch is now a coffee shop:
The new home for the Glasgow Transport Museum was opened in 2011.
Back in Edinburgh, a couple of shots which didn't fit in any other category. First, the North British Hotel (Now called the Balmoral Hotel, I think.) from the North Bridge. The clock was traditionally set a couple of minutes fast so that people didn't miss their trains.
The Scottish National Gallery.
A small length of completed tram track. This troubled project was supposed to be in operation in February 2011 but it still seems to have a long way to go before services begin.
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