Scotland Day Two: Calton Hill, Princess Gardens, and The Conan Doyle

Near Robert Burns' grave in Old Calton Cemetery

Traveler Two and I walked up Leith Street, from Picardy Place, and up around Waterloo Place on our way to Calton Hill. Before tackling the hill we wandered into Old Calton Cemetery. David Hume is buried here, as is Robert Burns. The cemetery, full of old crypts and 18th century head stones, was magnificently peaceful and full of bird song, mostly chaffinches and black birds singing their hearts out.

Female Black Bird

Male Chaffinch

We made our way to the top of Calton Hill. There are magnificent views of the city all around. We walked down the tree-covered slope toward Greenside, one of several sites in the city where executions and witch burnings were performed. On the way I saw my first blue tit. Like the chaffinch, the blue tit is fairly ubiquitous in the UK.

Blue Tit on Calton Hill

Blue Tit on Calton Hill

View of Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Abbey with Whinny Hill, covered in flowering gorse, in background.

After having a very good lunch at Zest, Traveler Two and I wandered Princess Gardens and the old burial ground between St. Cuthbert's and St. John's.

Walkway between St. Cuthbert's and St. John's on the west end of Princess Gardens

This old church yard is actually a very interesting place to wander around. It is tree covered and shady with bluebells carpeting the ground. Along one stone wall we observed a family of blue tits feeding their young, where they had built a nest in a hole in the wall.

Blue tit emerging from nest site in wall.

Had dinner at The Conan Doyle in Picardy Place. Picardy Place, where our hotel is, happens to be the birthplace of Sherlock Homes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. An no, we did not hear the braying of any Black Dogs...