The lower end of the Royal Mile, at one time thought to be at the end of the world (in fact, part way down from the castle is a pub known as "The End of the World" and if you look carefully on the street in front of the pub, you can see brass plates that indicated the position of the original city gate known as "The End of the World". The populace of Edinburgh believed that leaving the safety of the city meant certain death from monsters or from the Pics, who painted their bodies blue) is known as Canongate and at one time was considered to be a separate burgh before being incorporated into the city of Edinburgh in 1856. Situated just a short distance from Holyrood Palace, the Canongate Kirk (church) was founded in 1688. Its parish includes the Palace, the Scottish Parliament, and Edinburgh Castle (even though strictly speaking the Castle is outside of Canongate). This is the official place of worship for members of the Royal Family while in residence at Holyrood. Princess Anne is a regular visitor to Edinburg and has her own apartment in the palace. In 2011, with great hoopla, the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips (Princess Anne's daughter) married Mike Tindall here. A few notables are buried in the cemetery next to the church, including the economist Adam Smith, David Rizio (who was murdered in Holyrood) the private secretary to Mary Queen of Scots, and the poet, Robert Ferguson, whose statue stands in front of the church. Fortunately during one of our walk-abouts, we found the church open and were able to get a good look around. While not as opulent as some of the other churches we have visited during our adventure, Canongate Kirk is still majestic and we could feel the history oozing from the structure and its surrounding cemetery.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.