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Exploring the Bishopric of Elgin, Scotland

In between the company scheduled tours, dinners and activities, I found some time to walk around and explore the area our hotel was located in.

To my surprise, I found out that Elgin was a former cathedral city (town built around a medieval cathedral) created as a Royal Burgh (official royal town) in the 12th century by King David I of Scotland. So historically, there are a lot of places here to whet one's appetite.

On a pop culture note, the Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd and The Kinks all performed in a dance hall here back in the 60's; so, add extra points for coolness!!


Elgin

* The view of the town from my attic-style hotel room's window!


Elgin

* The view of the other side of town from my room's other window. Upon seeing this EPIC looking column, I decided to make this my first stop of the walk!


Mansefield Hotel

* Fancy looking garden-chess decor in our hotel's lawn.


Elgin

* The starting point for the ascent towards the Column of Epicness was this creepy, illuminati looking base.


Gordon Monument

* The Gordon Monument was erected in 1839 on top of Lady Hill in honor of the 5th Duke of Gordon, the first Commander of the Gordon Highlanders regiment. This area also used to be the site of Elgin Castle, hence the random ruins and stones scattered all over.


Elgin

* View from the top of the monument. For some reason, this shot of town reminds me of the Beatles music video, Free As A Bird.


Elgin

* Heading towards the city center along quiet and sleepy streets.


Elgin

* Some of the sights along the way include: (clockwise from upper left) a China Town Buffet, which I found weird since I really didn't see any minorities in Elgin, a butcher shop of "distinction", a pet shop and The Victoria, a neighborhood pub.


Elgin

* Also in the area are a couple of hotels including: (clockwise from upper left) the American Western-style White Horse Inn, bargain selling department store TK Maxx (as compared to the American TJ Maxx) and a Kebab House which unfortunately was closed.


St. Giles Church

Central to the city is the neo-classical and very picturesque, St. Giles Church.


St. Giles Church

* St. Giles belongs to the Church of Scotland, which is an adherent of Presbyterian-Calvinistic Christianity founded by John Knox.


St. Giles Church

* The area around the city center is perfect for window shoppingcoffee sipping and people watching. Getting my morning cup of Joe from the Starbucks across St. Giles was a highlight of this walk.


Elgin

* I don't know what species of bird these two are, but they were causing quite a ruckus with their amusing chatter!


Thunderton House

* The famous Thunderton House, a backpacker's hotel that kinda looks like something out of the Harry Potter / Secret Society world.


Elgin and Forres Free Church

* Some other sights near the city center include: (clockwise from upper left) A high-end kilt store (with the basic kilt set starting at 285 pounds!!!), The Elgin and Forres Free Church (1863), artful graffiti and the Elgin South Church (1852) which interestingly has a huge for sale sign in front.


Elgin Cathedral

* The highlight of the walk was seeing the historic and magnificent ruins of Elgin Cathedralthe cathedral from which the current town of Elgin was built around.  Constructed in 1224, the Cathedral was once the headquarters of the Bishops of Moray and a major locale for the Scots back in the dark ages.


Elgin Cathedral

* Sadly, the Cathedral was burned-damaged-rebuilt several times in its lifetime, until 1560 when the clergy themselves moved out of the Cathedral and into the town. Since then, the building has been in a gradual state of ruin.


Elgin Cathedral

* A lot of these tombstones are HUGE! And spooky! Ghost hunting must be fun here especially at night.


Elgin Museum

* Built in 1842, the Elgin Museum is Scotland's oldest independent museum, containing fossils, archaeological works, ancient documents and art from the area, including sketches from visitors throughout the centuries of Elgin Cathedral in its various stages of ruin.


Elgin

Heading back to the hotel through the town's charming and ancient streets.

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