From the Sheep Heid Inn we headed down to Duddingston Loch. It wasn't hard to find, we just followed the smiling people. This is a lake (Loch) at the base of Arthur's Seat.
Here's the history. Click the image to view it larger in a new window.
The closer we got, the more it became clear that something was different about this place...
Notice the swans? First thing to know is they are all the property of the Queen. It's illegal to hunt them, kill them or eat them. You'll have Elizabeth to answer to. Second thing to notice is that these magnificent birds are nearly tame.
As we walked closer, they came to us, curious to see what we'd brought them. Nothing, I'm afraid. But when they figured that out, they didn't leave! We were just visitors in their world. How magical to just hang out with them. And they are so very BIG!
I really wanted to pet one, but they kept picking at each other, revealing large beaks full of tiny, razor sharp teeth that I didn't want to experience. So, I just stood nearby. But it wasn't just swans. There were also Canadian Geese, Wood Ducks, Mallards, and again this wee funny duck with the chicken legs. I still don't know what it is.
Oh, and there were crows too! Although, they weren't tame and flew off before I could grab their pictures. From there, we headed up the road towards Duddingston Kirk, a church dating from the late 12th century.
It had a proper graveyard with this one tiny grave marker that simply broke my heart. It reads "Wee Jim" - a child.
Inside felt much more modern.
(That's Stan in front of the pulpit.) But what we really came to see was Dr. Neal's Garden behind this tricky entrance.