The center of Edinburgh's Old Town is dominated by a 200 foot tall extinct volcano, on top of which is the impressive Edinburgh Castle. Steep cliffs protect the North, South, and West sides of the castle. It can only be entered from the East. No one seems to know when the first castle was built on top of the volcano, but there is some evidence that peoples of the Bronze Age (between 3000 and 1200 B.C.) lived on Castle Rock. By the time of Malcom III (1034-1093), considered the founding father of Scotland, it had become an important royal site. Ownership of the castle bounced between the English and the Scots several times between the 13th and 14th centuries. During the 15th century, the castle was used as an arsenal and then in the 18th to the 19th centuries, as a prison. Approximately 1.5 million visitors a year come to the Castle. And we are living in its shadow! How cool is that?
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Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.