Crowds on this trip were light overall, but the castle was quite busy the day we visited. The Royal Tattoo takes place in August, and they had already begun to prepare for that as well (blue seating on the left) so the amount of people there was more than we encountered on the rest of the trip.
We did get some rain during the visit, so ducked inside the Scottish National War Memorial.
The Scottish National War Museum is housed at the castle. In addition to the history of Scotland's military involvement, their soldiers who have died while serving are part of the Roll of Honour. The names of the soldiers are in books, placed around the museum, so many books.
Photographs were not allowed inside the memorial, but you can see inside here.
The main entrance to the Memorial is flanked by these beautiful life-sized statues of a unicorn and a lion. They were sculpted by Phyllis Bone in 1927. She was one of many female artists who consulted and created for the Memorial.
One O'Clock was an important time for the Scottish sailors in the 1800s. Watches were not yet reliable so sailors used chronometers and needed to reset them midday. The time ball was invented as a visual to those on the water. When the ball dropped they knew it was 1:00 and could set the chronometer.
However, with it being Scotland, those on the ships couldn't always see the ball, so it was decided a cannon at the castle would be fired at 1:00 as well. Because the speed of sound is quite slow, sailors were given maps to show what time it would be when they heard the sound on the water. Of course, the time ball and the One O'Clock Gun are no longer needed, but they are both still used as a matter of ceremony.
A little before 1:00, the crowds surrounded the North Face of the castle to watch the 1:00. Thank goodness it was early in the trip and lugging both camera lenses hadn't tired me out yet. We were quite far away, but the long lens helped with that. (The photos are better enlarged.)
While I'm not usually one for ceremony, I did enjoy this one, no matter how touristy it was.