Fàilte gu Dùn Èideann (Welcome to Edinburgh) The latest place I have gone on my travels and after spending nearly a week in this city, I can honestly say that I hope to go back to it someday in the future. For a 4 day holiday, we were pretty much able to see the majority of the city and to our surprise, never really ever needed to use public transport to get from A to B, everything was within walking distance so we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
Last year was Japan and the year before that was France and after a few years of going abroad, we realised that we didn’t ever stay anywhere in our own back yard…minus London and I had never been to Ireland, Wales or Scotland before in my life and I thought that it was time to change that so after looking about at what we were more interested, it was a close call but Scotland just edged Ireland and Wales which we’ll just have to do another time down the road.
Travelling from Leeds, we went via the East Coast across the border and arriving into the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh and it was raining, wonderful start to a holiday but we were just happy to be here. We set off towards York Place where our hotel was and right away, you can see the hustle and bustle of this city as the streets were jam packed with citizens and tourists and so many buses and trams! Our place was easy to find and as we would soon discover…Edinburgh isn’t the largest city you will ever visit and we would soon learn why during our stay as we learnt quite a bit of history about this place, it has a lot to tell! Edinburgh is a very hilly place and we discovered that on our way to our accommodation as we went up and down repeatedly before passing St Andrews Square.
The next morning, we set out towards the famous landmark that was Edinburgh Castle and it looked like it would be quite the trek as it’s situated on top a mighty hillside and since we didn’t know the area so well, we weren’t so sure as to which side the path leading up was on. We headed down Princes Street and we passed Scott Monument , dedicated to Sir Walter Scott and I was already enjoying the architecture and history of this place, every street has a story to tell so I was hopeful that I was going to enjoy every single moment I had here.
The castle can be seen from all around, it’s the center piece of the entire area by far! When we eventually arrived to the front gates, we saw a massive crowd, mostly of large tour groups piling inside so we knew we were to be in for quite the wait before we could explore inside.
Once inside, we spent the next few hours wandering around and going from room to room, like everyone else and I’ll try to not bore you with constant pictures of everything we saw
What can I say, I take a lot of photos when I’m on holiday! The castle was a great place to visit first as we both like history, my wife and me so learning all about the castle’s long history was fascinating and well worth the entrance fee. One thing that I learnt here that opened my eyes slightly was the origins of my last name Whitehouse which apparently originated in Scotland, first found in Aberdeenshire so that was interesting although I also know it’s a well known English last name nowadays so who knows, maybe I have a Scottish Ancestor deep in my family’s past, might have to look into that.
Next we saw the 1pm gun go off which it does every single day at the same time which was pretty cool, made me jump as it went off and it must be deafening for the guard who fires it all the time to be so close…I always thought they could do it on a timer or push a button from a safer distance but I’m no expert on the matter, just an interested observer
The majority of our first day was surprisingly spent at the castle which was unusual for us as we tend to do the castle part of the holiday in the morning and spend the afternoon doing something else but this place just had so much to see and do. Everyone was friendly which made the experience much better because like Japan last year, if the people around you are friendly, the experience is just made that much better because of it and Edinburgh was no exception.
One American said something to us as we went into the war memorial that made us scratch our heads because it just sounded bizarre to us.
‘I don’t understand English, I speak American!’ – Tourist Can someone explain that one to me??
The dungeons were awesome as well but too dark for any photos but quite spooky which is what you should feel when you step into a place where people once suffered. If I lived in this city, I’d feel pretty proud to have this gem to look at everyday, it just looks so cool on the rock, overlooking everything in the distance like Fife and Arthur’s Seat.
We made our way out of the Castle and after looking about some gift shops and seeing a ton of Cashmere, we decided to go for a little hike up Arthur’s Seat but I’ll talk about that next time.
Hope you enjoyed!