We’ve managed to shift our body clocks three hours, but not five yet. So we go to sleep around 2:30 am and get up around 10:00 am. Ah, well.

Today we went to see Holyrood Palace, or the Palace at Holyroodhouse. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile, it’s Queen Elizabeth’s residence when she’s in Edinburgh, and since she’s due to show up this weekend, we couldn’t go inside. Normally the palace tour takes you through the 16th century historic apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the state apartments. Again, ah, well.

Each year, the Queen spends a week visiting various regions in Scotland, meeting Scots from all walks of life and hosting thousands at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in recognition of their good work. Known in Scotland as “Royal Week,” or “Holyrood Week,” these visits celebrate Scottish culture, achievement and community.

Since we couldn’t go inside, we took photos from outside and, over the heads of the crowd, got to watch a bit of the the Royal Scottish Pipers Society practicing in the forecourt and playing their pipes. Couldn’t get a good photo of them, unfortunately, because so many people had mobbed the gates.

Afterward we took a taxi up to see the Scottish National Gallery, which holds an amazing collection of famous artwork. Monet, Botticelli, Gaugin, da Vinci, the list goes on and on. A beautiful gallery. Had a small lunch there, then walked up past the big park (where everyone was out sunning themselves) that’s attached to the Sir Walter Scott Monument.  The Scots can’t believe all the sunshine — they must think they’ve done something wrong. Usually it’s quite cool here, cloudy and rainy. Then we went shopping at Jenners House of Fraser on Princes St., a huge, old-fashioned department store.

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Day 4, Holyrood Palace