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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Athens of the north: battlefields and poppies

We've been to Edinburgh before, but never up Calton Hill with it's fantastic views of the Castle, Arthur's Seat - and the Firth of Forth. And once you've had a picnic there's the memorials. The Parthenon copy (still with scaffolding!) was a war memorial to fallen soldiers at Waterloo and the construction that led to the city being dubbed "the Athens of the North". This post is from Nicola Baird

Scotland is proud of its war contribution (even if colonisation has been air brushed out of history up at its national museum), with memorials of generals and "the fallen" in all the best places.

Up at Edinburgh Castle there's Ensign Ewart's marble block which marks the "lucky" solider who grabbed the French eagle for our forces. Impressive as this was the memorial didn't go up until 1938. But it did spawn 1,000 demands for large golden mirrors encircled by a cowed eagle - something still very on trend. There were two in the appartment we borrowed!

War still seems very distant even if there's never yet been a whole day of peace in the world I've lived in. See more about how to resolve this at War Child here. Meanwhile Lola is learning about the second World War and perhaps understanding how the first World War carnage (from 1914-1918) helped lead nations into another six years of war in 1939.

<<>Mervyn James Hamilton, a soldier who died in November 1914 from his wounds. Phoebe (we know her as Gebe and Lola was old enough to have several Christmases with her and also went to her funeral) never knew her dad. She was yet another generation raised by single mothers.

<< href="http://www.gordonhighlanders.com/">Gordon Highlanders at Scotland's National War Memorial, within the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, see more here. I don't think we were meant to take pictures, so many apologies.

Nell had a good word for war memorabilia: on a sunny day the cannons provide the best seat for views across to the Firth of Forth and beyond...

And then Lola <<>I believe in Yesterday (Jonathan Cape) and look for the battle scenes.
My conclusion is that we all left our attempt at remembrance a little confused.

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