Waking up on our first day in Edinburgh, It was nice to see the rain had eased and it was trying very hard to be sunny. We were really feeling the cold here so our first stop today was M&S to buy some extra socks/stockings. A quick breakfast in the M&S cafe and then we went to find the bus stop for the Hop-on-hop-off bus. I highly recommend these type of city bus tours. I have done them in several cities now and it is the easiest way to get around and see everything that is worthwhile seeing as well as getting invaluable and interesting information regarding your surroundings. Because of the shorter days we planned to make the most of it by picking two destinations that we definately wanted to see and work around those.
First up we decided to get off the bus at Holyroodhouse Palace which is still used as the Queen's residence when she visits Edinburgh. The palace is closed when she is in residence so I, for one, was pleased she was not in town.
This is one of those tourist sights that gives you an audio tour as part of the ticket price. The history of this palace is very interesting as it was the home of Mary, Queen of Scots and where she spent much of her time after returning from France following the death of her husband. No photography allowed within the walls of the palace but you can take photos in the abbey ruins adjoining the palace. The abbey was burned down by Henry VIII's army after Mary broke the treaty to marry his son Edward and went to France to marry it's heir, the Dauphin, instead.
Holyroodhouse is at the bottom end (so to speak) of the Royal Mile, which starts UP at Edinburgh Castle, and is next to Holyrood Park. That is where you will find Arthurs Seat which is part of the hills you can see peeping out next to Holyroodhouse in the next picture. We would find another time to visit Holyrood Park.
We had to travel to the port of Leith which is quite a distance outside of the city of Edinburgh. On the way we went past Edinburgh Castle which we would visit later and also the Royal Botanic Gardens which was also quite a way out of the city centre.
Eventually we reached the Ocean Terminal and made our way to try and find the yacht. I was disappointed that we couldn't see the yacht initially but had to enter the precinct before it could be seen at all.