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Blair Atholl Castle

On our way towards Edinburgh we visited Blair Atholl Castle, another fairytale castle in the Grampian Mountains. Its oldest parts date back to the 13th century, and it offers more than 30 rooms in excellent condition.

Blair Atholl Gardens

Blair Atholl Castle offers beautiful gardens that tell of the castle's history in old photos.

Blair Atholl Castle Scotland

By the way, the Duke of Atholl is the only Brit who may run his own private army, the "Atholl Highlanders". (The army is a privilege that was granted to him by Queen Victoria.) But the troops are far from being professional soldiers - it's just made from employees of the Duke!

Blair Atholl Castle Bagpiper

To entertain the tourists, a single bagpipers appeared outside the castle, blowing traditional tunes. Somehow these tunes sound melancholic, but they were matching the dark clouds that started to appear. And so we started our drive to Edinburgh, hoping to see it in sunshine...

Edinburgh Scotland

And so we came to Edinburgh. We were faster than the rain, probably because the rain knew that we had another odyssee waiting: finding a nice B&B! We turned to the central Tourist Information Center (TIC) at Princes Street, and we had to wait for ages to get to a rep. His computer system was ultimately slooooowwwwww, and he was not really inclined to find something suitable for us. He was focusing on finding something for us. And so we ended up in a nice guest house in the south-west. We had a bus stop right in front of the house, and it was just a 10-minute ride into town center. Yet, we felt the TIC rep could have found something within walking distance.

Edinburgh Castle

This is Edinburgh Castle, seen from Johnston Terrace. It is perched high on top of a volcanic hill, dominating the Edinburgh skyline with stunning views across the city (only if weather permits).

Edinburgh Calton Hill

And then the rain started. It seemed to rain for hours. We waited in Cafes, we visited galleries and museums, but the rain would not stop! And so we finally walked up Calton Hill to enjoy the view across the city center. Here, you can see the clock tower of the Balmoral Hotel, the best hotel in town.

Edinburgh Rain

This photo shows Petra on Calton Hill with the umbrella. We soon found out that the combination of rain and wind made the umbrella pretty useless!

Edinburgh Princes Street

Here you can see the full desaster - at 12 o'clock, the cars are still using their headlights, and the buildings at the end of Princes Street can barely be seen. Argh! The rain simply had to stop...

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