Darn that woman! I think she's following me. Yesterday we went to the Palace of the Holy Rood to have a look but couldn't because HRH Cabbage is there. Not sure how many of the others were there but did you know that Chaz turns 60 this year?
The Palace is on the other side of a big hill called Calton Hill. I was going to walk towards the Castle then down the Royal Mile but decided at the last minute to walk down Leith street and around Calton Hill meaning that I could also visit Valvona & Crolla. This is the deli that is (of course) mentioned in 44 Scotland Street where Bertie goes with his insufferable mother and is sometimes allowed to eat pan forte. It is a sensational deli. It has that smell, that amazing smell that all good delis have that is a mixture of salamis and bread and coffee and seriously good things to eat. I bought a bombolini (doesn't that sound better than a doughnut?) and also a loaf of caraway seed sourdough which is seriously good, Jack likes gnawing on the crust. It was very nice but the staff had a kind of vibe that indicated that I shouldn't mention 'that book', Bertie or Irene.
After V & C we headed up Royal Terrace which eventually leads to the palace. I saw a path going up over the hill and decided we should take the shortcut. It was steep and there were lots of steps. I did see one person coming the other way but he didn't offer to help and I think he was hoping I wouldn't ask. He looked knackered which made me worry about what lay ahead, but it was fine. The view was spectacular looking back over Edinburgh to the Firth of Forth. There were some monuments on the top but we charged onwards stopping only for a man to address Jack as "Hey Toots!".
I had been told that if the Queen was in the flag would be raised and spotted this on the way down but decided to go ahead anyway. I certainly wasn't going back the way we came. We walked past what is called Mary, Queen of Scots bathhouse, where she apparently went twice a year for her bathing. S thinks that at least she would've smelt better than James 1.
We saw lots of police doing security checks and making sure all the manhole covers were secured and sticking little black pieces of rubber on them so they could see if they'd been tampered with. We still managed to see the palace from the outside and take a few photos. The palace is located on a most unusually named street. The Queen's gallery was still open so we saw an exhibition of Italian Renaissance works by Da Vinci, Titian, Rafael. You get the idea. Beautiful. Some of the works were a funny shape because for awhile there was a fashion for cutting the corners off artworks (sounds like something my Auntie Jenny would do, though as far as I know she only did it too wettexes and cat whiskers). There was also a work that had started as circular and a collector had trimmed bits and added them in other places to make it square. The gallery itself was also very striking with an 'Yves Klein' blue wall at the entrance with an enormous bunch of white lilies. Across the road from the palace is the new Scottish Parliament, a structure that has caused a fair amount of controversy, being expensive and quite 'unusual. Actually I think it looks like a Hyatt. Also close by are the Salisbury Crags, which people were climbing. I guess they hadn't heard the stories about being blown off the side. And alongside this is Arthur's seat. More people were climbing it. They must be mad. I was thinking how awful it would be to see someone fall and just as I was taking a photo of people rock climbing (see? mad) I saw a large dark object falling. It was just a rock slide but for a moment my heart jumped and I may have sworn.
After a run in the park we headed back home via the Royal mile and Scotland street.