Today was our only full day in Edinburgh, and Micah's birthday. In the morning we had a wonderful breakfast at our B&B; we had a hard time eating it all. After breakfast we decided to get to Edinburgh Castle right when it opened to beat the crowds. We were glad we did because when we left around lunchtime it was getting crazy. At the castle we went on the 20 minute tour and enjoyed listening to our guide's accent and information. One of the buildings in the castle is over 900 years old. All of the other old buildings from the same time period were destroyed by Robert the Bruce. We also saw the Scottish crown jewels, the prison, a military memorial, the Royal Scots Army exhibit, the great hall and lots of great views of the city.
When we left the castle we walked down the Royal Mile and enjoyed looking in shops and window browsing. We went in one shop and talked to the girl working there about tartan and asked her questions about it. Kim ended up buying a scarf as a souvenir. When we got to the end of the Royal Mile we saw the Holyrood Palace, the Queen's residence in Edinburgh. Across the street is the new parliment building. We just walked around and looked at the beautiful buildings. After our walk we went to the New Town and found a T-Mobile store for Micah to get a UK sim card for his phone. We then went to the National Gallery and looked at many beautiful paintings. They have some VanGogh, Monet and Sargents. My favorite was one that showed a visual representation of the Old Testament on the left and New Testament on the right, and Jesus in the middle. It had a lot of detail and symbolism. When we came out of the gallery there was a band of bagpipers playing. We really enjoyed listening to them. We left downtown and started looking for a place to have dinner for Micah's birthday. After looking for awhile we ended up going to the Blonde Restaurant. We shared an appetizer of fishcakes and entree of salmon with a glass of wine. It was an enjoyable dinner. After dinner we left to go back to our B&B to pack and try to get to bed early since we had to wake up at 3:30 am the next day for our early flight to London.