On 2sday the 14th I had a full day to explore Linlithgow on my own. The downtown area is beautiful - lots of flowers and historic buildings. This is the Annet House Museum of Linlithgow viewed from the lovely back garden.
Proof I was there.
St. Michael's Parish Church is a beautiful structure that was built in 1242 on the site of an older church; there was a fire in 1424 and most of the present building is from that time period with extensive restoration work done in the 1800s. It's the home church of our Linlithgow families and we attended a service there 2 years ago.
Immediately north of St. Michael's stands Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots in December, 1542. It's my favorite sort of 'ruin' - lots of stairs and details and levels to explore.
This photo is of the courtyard and fountain from the tallest tower, followed by a photo of the fountain with the tallest tower behind it, and a detail of the fountain itself.
The lower kitchen
This artifact room was behind a locked door but there was a stone missing above the door which enabled me to take this photo.
There were displays in a ground floor hallway, examples below. The top pieces bear a remarkable resemblance to the pottery you can still buy in Guatemalan markets for household use.
Free tours were offered by young volunteers in festive dress.
The Palace sits on beautiful Linlithgow Loch; it was a beautiful day so I took advantage of the perfect combination of location, time, and weather for a leisurely stroll and picnic. The swans were especially photogenic but there were lots of gorgeous bird babies and flowers as well as views of the Palace and St. Michael's from different directions. If you'd like to learn more about Linlithgow Palace, here's a wikipedia page that includes links to information about the town and St. Michael's as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linlithgow_Palace
Great crested grebe
These gorgeous flowers are in Ruth and Norman's back garden.
My final meal with Ruth and Norman was this lovely combination of salad with portobello mushrooms and brie for a starter, then salmon, new potatoes, pea pods, and broad beans. I miss Mike all through every day but especially when I'm eating salmon.
Ruth mentioned to me that they're building a 3rd bridge over the Firth of Forth, commonly referred to as the third Forth bridge. It joins the current motor vehicle bridge and a rail bridge (right) that recently obtained United Nations World Heritage Status. Norman drove me to the Edinburgh airport to catch an early flight south and I was able to snap this photo just as we climbed into the clouds. Farewell to Scotland for now!