After a night in an actual room with an actual bed (our fantastic family, splurged on a hotel for us all on Saturday night) we continued on our way South and went to Edinburgh Castle. Time for a photo or three:
Ok, so apparently those are the only photos we took of the outside of Edinburgh Castle, so now here's some inside bits. . .
And this is the fireplace that they used to roast people in. . .we couldn't find any literature on that, but they must have otherwise, why is it so big?
And this is the prison, we put Shelley in there because we could.
So, the inside of that outside part we took photos of is a HUGE War Memorial that was built after the First World War (as you can see from the dates above). Since then of course, it also has all the following wars (cause, you know, the "war to end all wars" apparently wasn't). We couldn't take photos inside which was a shame as it was really beautiful in there. We asked if it was an original building that had been converted or if it was added and apparently it's a bit of both. They guy we asked was really knowledgable about it and told us that what happened was that the architect who was hired to build was told he wasn't allowed to put a "modern looking" building in the Castle grounds. So what he did was he tore down an old barracks building (cause it seemed appropriate that a War Memorial should be made out of a building that used to house soldiers anyway) and he kept the materials from it and rebuilt it as the above building. And yes, Amber cried a little bit at some of the, displays, in there.
Oh, speaking of wars, here's a photo I took just for Rob and our Hogs of War marathons; it's an actual mortar:
The other thing that we saw there but that they wouldn't let us take photos of were the Scottish Crown Jewels. Shelley was in a little bit of heaven. Amber kept yelling at people who were taking photos (if we couldn't take photos, no one else should be allowed to either). Shelley wants a crown now. And possibly a sceptre and a really big necklace too. Oh, and Amber wants a Sword, altough the one that's a part of the Scottish Crown Jewels might be a little bit on the large side, it's one of those big two handed jobbies.
Anyway, after the Castle we went for a bit of a wander through Edinburgh itself. Which was really cool because the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was on and there were street performers EVERYWHERE!!
We also got handed leaflets for like EVERY show that is on in Edinburgh and we got really upset that we couldn't stay and go see everything. This probably won't mean much to anyone who isn't a Terry Pratchett fan but, they're doing MORT!!!! Oh, speaking of Terry Pratchett, on to The Hunting of The Haggis.
In Terry Pratchett's books he wrote about these little creatures called the Nac Mac Feegle. They're Pictsies. . .They wear tartans, are tattooed blue and love drinking, fighting and stealing. . .and they say "Crivens" a lot
They also generally try to hide what they're up to from the only human who they kinda trust. So one day, when she asked them what they were up to they said "Hunting the Haggis". Shelley and I started talking about what a Haggis might look like; we decided that it would be furry and kinda Guinea Pig sized. . .So when we went to Scotland, Mel and Mike, who have read the said books, told us to catch them a Haggis. While wandering through a town in Scotland, we saw a sign that said "Wild Hairy Haggis" and there was a whole bunch of them lying in a box! We quickly pounced on one and caught it for Mel and Mike but the rest managed to avoid us. . .However, as we were leaving Scotland, we saw another nest of them. One gorgeous little female bounced out at us (they have no legs, they only bounce everywhere) and begged us to take her with us. So, we caught us some Haggises (Haggi?)
The little lady on the left is our girl, Kelda. They also have tails too which aren't shown in the photos.
So, that was Scotland. . .We then went to Bradford where Amber's sister lives. She took us to Haworth which is where the Bronte sisters grew up and there was a proper old-fashioned Apothecary there which we just loved!! Then it was Amber's nephew's fifth birthday and we went to Blackpool for the day. Blackpool is an. . .interesting. . .place. Picture Las Vegas for children and then add a beach (with Donkeys on). But possibly the best part of the whole week in Bradford was the ZOO!!! Nanimals EVERYWHERE!! And, lots of nanimals that you just don't get in New Zealand like Snakes (which Shelley wasn't that keen on) and Tarantulas (Which Shelley has decided aren't really spiders, they're furry rodents just with more legs) and Jaguars AND, our favourite was the BATCAVE!! It's a free-flight Bat shed that you walk through in the dark and was opened by Douglas Adams!! There's a sign as you enter that says, "Bat's WILL NOT fly into your hair and they WILL NOT bite you. However, baby bats who are learning to fly, may bump into you as they go past, please be patient with them however, everyone has to learn somehow." It's quite an experience to feel the wind whistling past you and to realise it's a bat!! You can't take photos in there however as the flash will scare the poor little batties. We do however have a photo of Shelley in her animal form:
This is pretty much what Shelley looks like before her coffee in the morning. . .
But on to more photos of nanimals:
The last one is for Shelley's mummy who loves her Owls. . .
Anyway, I think that's enough for now. Hugs to you all