Today we slept in and took things slowly, finally jumping back on the double decker back to Edinburgh where the Queen herself was also coming by train to reopen the Borders Railway line. We didn’t actually see her at Waverley Station but we did catch a bus from Waverley not long after she left to do the opening. We drank her health on the former royal yacht Brittania which is moored these days at the Edinburgh docks and can be toured at length.
Prior to the Brittania we wandered around the Scottish National Art Gallery which has an excellent collection of all periods of Western Art majoring obviously in Scottish art but also a very strong collection of Dutch, Renaissance and other European art. As ever artistic tastes vary. I include some of my favourites from Edinburgh. An unknown Flemish artist, Raphael, Da Vinci, Verrochio, Jan Steen, Tiepolo and Turner.
We then took the No 22 bus to the Docks to find the Brittania. It is an amazing exhibition and includes all levels of activity on the boat from the engine rooms to Queen’s personal apartments. An independent trust now runs the Brittania and they have a working staff including full time chefs who run high class business dinners for profit. Throughout there are many photos of royal events involving the yacht as well as the royal racing yacht which was raced with success by Prince Phillip and has now been completely restored. The royal barge is also stored in the same area. We finished the afternoon in the tea room on the top deck looking out over the water. The weather held and it was a very pleasant way to celebrate the longest ever reign of a British monarch.
These are shots of the spit and polish royal engine room for Brian Brown, former Chief Engineer on many a Merchant Navy and Shell ocean going ship for many many years.