Follow the Cobblestone Road Part 1-Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

The Number 11’s brakes squealed and let out a whoosh as the bus jerked to a halt on Edinburgh’s busy Princes Street. The driver opened the door, and two people, who had never before crossed an ocean, now found themselves about to step out into the heart of Scotland’s capital city. Mr. C and I bubbled with anticipation. Excited about the day ahead, we climbed off of the red and white double-decker and took our first tentative steps onto the bustling street. Buses, cabs, cars, bicycles, pedestrians all were players in the well-organized chaos around us. Ahead, the Scott Monument-very Gothic, and very impressive-pointed sharply toward the sky. The squeal of a bagpipe cried in the distance. It was May, the weather was beautiful, and we had one destination in mind – Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

The Scott Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Scott Monument

A “Scots Mile” long, the Royal Mile is the beating heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is a series of four connecting streets that begin on the west end at Edinburgh Castle and slope steadily downward to the east, ending at the Palace of Holyrood House.

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Why Scotland?

There are 196 countries in this big world. So why Scotland? Well, it all began with a thumbnail. Not my own – I’m talking about the itty bitty image that appeared on my computer screen one night while I searched for vacation rentals. 

For months, my husband and I had been bouncing around destination ideas for where to celebrate an upcoming milestone anniversary. We had considered several locations, such as Hawaii, the islands, Italy, and others, but we couldn’t seem to land on a decision. Because neither of us were seasoned travelers, we felt it was essential to get it right.

Then one dark winter evening, I was absent-mindedly perusing vacation homes on VRBO. Suddenly, a tiny image of a lovely stone manor house – a tower house, caught my attention. I clicked on the photo and discovered Pilrig House in Edinburgh, Scotland. Huh, I wasn’t even looking at listings for Scotland. Very strange! My interest was immediately piqued, so I took a closer look, which then led me to wander over to their web site. And as the woman said in When Harry Met Sally, “At that moment I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon.” I sent a text to my husband, told him where we were going, and that was all she wrote!

Except that wasn’t all she wrote, for I had no idea at that time what kind of impression Scotland would make on me. I didn’t know that I would fall head-over-heels, or that it would be the beginning of many subsequent visits to come. Or that it would lead me to begin a blog! Scotland is much more than just a destination for me. It is my heart. 

I have established this site as a creative outlet and as a place where I can share what I know about Scotland. I plan to use this space to take you through Scotland – to castles, gardens, churches, stone circles, and many other amazing historical sites. I will share my knowledge of whisky, occasionally make Scottish recipes, and even teach you a bit of history.

Readers, I can’t wait to get to know you and to share my plaid heart with you. Welcome! I’m so glad you are here.