The next, and next-to-last, stop on our around-half-the-world tour was Edinburgh, home of all the Venters(es), my mum's family. Cousins, aunts and uncles whichever way I turned. It was nice to spend time with family since we're so far away from home most of the year. Our visit was short but sweet. It was also nice showing Patrick the city that was once (for a brief period in my youth) my home! Unfortunately my camera had died by this point, so most of the pictures in this post were taken by Pat (or locals!) and many are repeats from his post about Edinburgh (which he posted in a much timelier fashion).
It's such an old city, it breathes history!
Pat, me and Auntie Mary, mum's sister.
Me and my ole pal, Greyfriars' Bobby, the best little dog there ever was!
In the Greyfriars' kirkyard, many years ago, I found the grave of Tom Riddle (Thomas Riddell, close enough!) and I swore I would find it again. When I stayed in Edinburgh in 2001, Harry Potter was just starting to take off. Since The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the series, is just up the road, I am convinced the authoress walked these quiet paths amongst the old gravestones for inspiration and solitude. Up along the way you'll find the gravestone of William Topaz McGonagall, the worst poet in the history of the world (great name, though, right?)
Clutching my Irn-Bru, trying to look spooked at Voldemort's family gravestone.
A view of Edinburgh castle from below.
We got lost in the alleys and cobblestone streets, but it was so atmospheric we didn't mind (Auntie Mary did a bit, though, when we were late to meet up with her).
Uncle George and Aunt Viv drove us to an old church near the Forth Bridge, where they had found the layouts of an old Roman arm base and set up a site dedicated to them, where you could walk along the paths and it would tell you where the mess hall, sleeping quarters, officers' rooms, etc., were.
In the Princes St. Gardens - not too many flowers... yet!
Another view of the castle, from another graveyard.
Edinburgh was wonderful! We crammed so much into our few days there - a bunch of museums, sightseeing, visiting with most of my relatives and we even saw a play! The weather was miserable for part of the time, but for Edinburgh at the tail end of winter we got quite lucky! I can't wait to go back and spend even more time showing Pat around and hanging out with the family.