Talk about contrasts!!! At the bottom of the Royal Mile sits the 337 year old Holyrood Palace, while directly across the street, on the previous site of the headquarters of the Scottish & Newcastle Brewery, is the 11 year old Scottish Parliament building. Housing 129 Members of Parliament with more than 1000 staff and civil servants, the "new" parliament building was officially opened in October of 2004. While this building was being constructed, parliament's temporary home was at the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland up on the Royal Mile. The Scots apparently love controversy (they are a warring people). Right from the beginning of planning for the new building, politicians, the media, and the Scottish public all had issues with the location, the design, and the choice of the construction company. The completion of construction was three years beyond what had been anticipated and there was a cost overrun ten times beyond projected costs. In spite of this, the building has won numerous awards.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.