93. Edinburgh – The tale of two towns (Part 3)

On the second day, we had a short bus tour in the morning after which we had a few hours to explore the city on our own. It was a gloomy cloudy day but hey no better way to brighten up a day other than a positive attitude right? πŸ™‚

I made my way across to Old Town (cos personally, I find it more interesting as compared to the organised New Town) to wander through the streets, closes and wynds.

Even just crossing the bridge from New Town to Old Town gives you a fantastic view. My favourite has got to be this view of Edinburgh Castle from the bridge:

I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated this… But really, stepping into Old Town gives me a sense of wonder, a sense of stepping into a time long past. No matter how many times I’ve come and gone, it still is a wondrous thing. Just my kind of thing, y’know?

Can’t quite get over the whole architecture and feel of the place…

Of course, the main highlight of the day though was Edinburgh Castle!

I’d bought the ticket the day before so I managed to beat the queue! Definitely a great tip for travelling: Book your tickets in advance, online if possible, if not, buy the day before. It will definitely help you save time on the actual day!

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle (EC) is a bit pricey though, so I definitely recommend spending a full day there to make sure you’ve got the best of it. There’s plenty to see, with many exhibitions and historical artifacts lying around so you’ll really need the time. πŸ˜‰

One of the things I really liked about EC is how in harmony it is with the ground it stands on. EC is built into the craggy hill and its design is such that it acts as one of the most formidable fortress of its time.

Eherm, the fact that it is on high ground and has a killer view doesn’t hurt either. πŸ™‚

I am a sucker for such views and what made the EC experience a whole lot more special for me was when I was standing atop it, just in a state of awe… and I heard bagpipes being played in the distance.

I tried to capture it but it’s quite faint in the video. It was magical, that’s all I can say. Being in Scotland, in a castle and hearing bagpipes being played… I felt like I’d time-travelled. β™₯

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, there’s plenty to do, once you’re done admiring the scenery. There are exhibitions ranging from the history of EC, the royal palace, the underground vaults, the military museum to the Scottish crown jewels… There are even free guided tours for those who’d like to have a feel of the whole place first!

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One of my favourite ‘exhibitions’ has got to be the medieval weaponry display! Think: (sexy) Scottish accent, men in (medieval) army uniform and guns. πŸ˜›

Ended the trip with another shot of a beautiful view at the other side of EC and grabbing some Scottish shortbread as souvenirs! πŸ˜‰

And just to end off this Edinburgh series, I thought I’d share something I (kinda) regretted not doing there: I didn’t climb up Arthur’s Seat.

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Arthur’s Seat is a hill situated in the centre of Edinburgh. The hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5m and provides excellent panoramic views of the city! It is relatively easy to climb, and is popular for hillwalking.

edinburgh-from-arthurs-seat

Photo credits: www.walkhighlands.co.ukΒ  and jonathan.rawle.org

I didn’t hike up Arthur’s Seat because I’d hurt my right foot and weren’t wearing appropriate shoes for hiking. I was also rushing to spend time in EC so I decided to skip the 2-3 hours hike up.But if I were to ever return to Edinburgh one day (I probably will, inshaallah), I’ll definitely make it a point to hike up! Some friends hiked up and the pictures they took were just enviable!

Y’know… Kinda glad I hiked up (tiny) Carlton Hill on the first day! Tak kempunan lah kan? πŸ˜›

So yes, that pretty much sums up my short weekend trip to Edinburgh! Such a stunning and picturesque city! β™₯

I’ll be back with Bath, Stonehenge, Lake District and hopefully London, entries soon! Gotta go and plan for my Spain trip! β™₯

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