Finally I managed to visit Scotland, a land that fascinates me a lot. In these years I spoke to people who have visited it and who have come back with beautiful memories that have fascinated me.
Moreover I have seen images of very high cliffs, of green and wild prairies and of castles with their legends; and the beautiful Highlands…, all these places I would like to visit in the next few years.
I dedicated this trip to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, a beautiful and fascinating city. I spent 3 days walking through its narrow streets, going up and down the steps, savoring that particular atmosphere that it emanates, especially at night when the sun goes down the city seems to become “magical” and full of mystery …. will be the many of the stories and legends that I read before my departure, but …
It is a city divided in two parts: on one side is the Old Town, the medieval old town, with its historical buildings, on the other is the New Town, the new city, full of shops and pubs. Two great streets run through: the Royal Miles and Princes Street.
I arrived on Friday in the early afternoon with a Ryanair flight and I reached the city center by bus n. 100. The apartment I booked is located just below the castle, it was a great choice as I was really in the old town.
It ‘s my habit when I arrive in a city to discover it slowly, walking with my nose upwards and even Edinburgh I discovered it a little at a time. The apartment is near the Grassmarket, here in the past there were public executions, lynching and murders, now it is a beautiful place, full of pubs, clubs, restaurants.
At the end of the square is situated Victoria Street, one of my favorite corners, the colour of the houses makes this city even more fascinating. It is a street on two floors, in the lower there are the houses colored yellow, blue, fuchsia and white with shops and restaurants and in the upper there is a terrace where you can find delicious restaurants with tables overlooking the Street.
Finally I arrive at the Royal Mile, the most important street in the Old Town, connecting the 2 main buildings of the area, the Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House, the residence of the Queen. Along this road you will encounter many historic buildings, churches and old restaurants, and it is the ideal place for shopping, buying souvenirs and where you can still breathe the gothic air of Edinburgh.
Given the beautiful day, today, I decided to go there, to visit the monuments but to peek through the streets and enter the “closes” the famous closed alleys, to admire glimpses of the city until you reach Calton Hill, a hill from which you can admire the city. Here the view is breathtaking, especially looking at Arthru’s Seat, the rocky mountain that makes up the highest peak of the hills around Edinburgh.
On Calton Hill you can admire the Nelson Monument, the Burns Monument and the National Monument, which with its structure is reminiscent of the Parthenon but remained unfinished due to lack of funds.
We return along Princess Street, a long street full of shops, it is considered the shopping street, but it is not so much the road that attracts me as the Princess Street Garden, the city’s green lung, an idyllic place, made of great trees, green meadows and paths that cross it.
In the garden there are many statues and monuments, such as the gothic Scott Monument, built in 1844 in honor of Walter Scott.
The Fountain of Ross, an interesting monument housed inside the Princes street gardens, was built in the middle of the nineteenth century. It has a worked and decorated iron fountain. Which depicts five mermaids: the four at the base are science, poetry, art and industry; a mermaid is then located on the top of the fountain.
Today we visit the Castle, a truly imposing building, built over a now extinct volcano.
The path inside is incredible, you can admire the royal jewels, the old prisons, the War Museum and the Great Hall, once home to sumptuous banquets.
At 1 pm you can watch the cannon firing at the Mills Mounth Battery.
Even from here the view is incredible, it seems to touch the roofs of Edinburgh, also because of the beautiful day.
After visiting the Castle (at least 3 hours in the interior) we walk the Royal Mile, making detours to visit some interesting places such as:
– The New College (The University of Edimburgh): entering the courtyard seems to be catapulted into the Harry Potter movie.
– National Gallery of Scotland
– the St. Giles Cathedral, a 15th century Gothic building with a magnificent organ inside and the Thistle Chapel: the seat of the Knightly Order of Cardo.
Walking along the Royal Mile you reach the Holyrood House, the queen’s summer residence, as well as the official residence of the royal family in Scotland.
The palace can be visited (except when the queen resides there) and you can admire the rooms full of antique furniture, precious carpets and real portraits. One of the largest rooms is the 44-meter “Great Gallery”, where 96 portraits of members of the royal dynasty are exhibited. In the old part of the castle we visit the tower, where there are the apartments where Maria Stuart lived.
Outside you can admire the magnificent gardens and the Holyrood Abbey, an abbey of which only the ruins remain.
Just opposite the Holyrood House is the Scottish Parliament, a modern building in strong contrast with the city’s Gothic style.
After visiting the building we go up to Arthur’s Seat, the rocky hill that dominates Edinburgh. The climb is not challenging and when you get to the top the landscape is really fantastic.
Today the rainbow also appeared, giving us even more wonderful landscape.
Finally we went to the National Museum area and here we saw the monuments dedicated to Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier dog that became famous in the nineteenth century in Edinburgh, for having spent fourteen years of his life in front of the master’s grave, until his own death..
My weekend ends here, leaving, bringing with me a beautiful memory of this city, sure to return to complete the knowledge and the discovery of other areas.