I’m back from another trip to Edinburgh. This time it was a new experience, made with girlfriends and above all I had the opportunity to attend a two-day event organized by My Peak Challenge.
Of My Peak Challenge I will tell you in another post here, I anticipate only that it is a large global community, born in 2015, to educate and inspire its members to live healthier, happier and more balanced lives and at the same time raise funds in support of Bloodwise and Marie Curie two charitable organizations, the first supports research on leukemia while the second offers support to the families of the sick.
On the weekend of 4 and 5 May in Edinburgh there was the annual Grand Gala of all the Peakers, those who take part in this community, to spend two days of fitness, friendship, mutual knowledge, consolidating those friendships born, especially on social media.
Of course I took advantage of this event to visit those places in Edinburgh that I had not visited before and once again this city has entered my heart and, as had not happened to me for a long time, I returned home with a strange sadness; known friends, the moments shared together, the new places visited, the magical atmosphere that is breathed in this city, all contributed to make this trip wonderful.
I arrived in Edinburgh on a Ryanair flight on Friday and at 1pm I was ready for my new adventure. After placing the luggage in the rented apartment (on Queen Street) with 3 other friends, I set off with Mariella to discover some unusual places in the city.
The first stop was Signet Librery, a Georgian building located in Parlament Square, a short walk from the Royal Mile. Before leaving Italy I had written to ask if it was possible to visit it and I was told that this was possible and that the visit would be free.
Arriving at the library we climbed to the first floor; walking along an imposing staircase surrounded by columns and paintings we reached the hall used as a library.
The atmosphere you breathe is unique, the rooms have an elegance and a search for incredible details, here you can breathe the atmosphere of the high society of other times. It is possible to view the books displayed in bookstores but it is not possible to consult them, it requires a particular authorization.
This building is used for weddings, private parties or just for an Afternoon Tea at the Colonnades, a very chic place on the ground floor of the building.
After visiting the library, taking to step to the Royal Mile (the route linking the Castle to Holyrood), we entered some Closes, the narrow alleys that depart from the Royal Miles, often overlooking fascinating gardens. Riddell’s Close and Court was the first; inside you can see a double courtyard, where in 1593 James VI organized a great banquet for the nobles of the Danish embassy. There is also a 16th-century house with a wooden staircase outside.
Later, as good fans of the TV series “Outlander”, we went to visit Tweedale Court; alley used as one of the streets in the 18th century in the 3rd season. At the end of the court is the house of Tweedale, dating back to 1576, the house is named after a high councilor of King Charles II precisely the Marquis of Tweeddale.
A little further on Canongate, crossing a deep arch, you enter Bakehouse Close;
it is a well-preserved historic district, here one has the impression of being catapulted back in time. Also in this place scenes of “Outlander” were shot, in fact we can recognize the stairs that lead to the typography of Alexander Malcolm.
The first day is over, greeted by an incredible sunset that lights up the houses in Edinburgh.
Saturday morning begins the adventure My Peack Challenge; today there will be workout or yoga sessions at the Oriam Center. Given the high number of people attending the event we were divided into groups and I will be at 2.00 pm so I could spend the morning strolling aimlessly through the streets of Edinburgh; I retraced a little the places visited in October, Victoria Street with its colorful houses,
Grassmarket, with its weekly market (food and objects)
up to the majestic Castle that watches over the city.
In front of The Hub, a building with a high Gothic spire intended for public events, there was an orchestral group with bagpipes ready to perform.
At 12 o’clock with my friends, we went to the Oriam Sports Center for the Yoga session; it was exciting to meet people from all over the world. Today was also an opportunity to know the “bosses”, those who run this community and especially those who have organized everything: Jordana, John, Alex and Sam.
It’s strange how time moves quickly when you’re good at the company. This beautiful day could only end up sitting in a pub tasting Scottish food, sipping whisky and telling us the adventures of the day.
Sunday was a busy day from many points of view.
The morning began with the meeting of the Peakers at Holyrood Park for the 5km march at the foot of Arthur’s Seat. The march started with the sound of bagpipes led by the event organizers. The glance was fantastic!
In the afternoon, I put myself in the shoes of the traveler, with two other friends (Glenda and Laura) we went to visit the Rosslyn Chapel.
The Rosslyn Chapel is a church located in Roslin, near Edinburgh (reachable by bus 37); its construction began in 1446, by William Sinclair as a collegiate church of San Matteo, the chapel was completed after forty years.
The Rosslyn Chapel is characterized by a Gothic architecture elaborated with symbols and Masonic references related to the order of the Templars around which legends hover that indicate that the Holy Grail is still here somewhere. The structure is characterized by beautiful decorations, each angel or column sculpture has a precise meaning and a particular history. The Apprentice column, for example, is a representation of the Tree of Life supplemented by some pagan references such as the dragons at the base. Climbing vines emerge from their jaws, which extend in a spiral along the entire length of the column. Also, the ceiling has a particular decoration is divided into five bays with sculptures of stars and various types of flowers with symbolic meaning. In the church, some scenes from the movie “The Da Vinci Code” were set.Unfortunately inside the Chapel it is forbidden to photograph, on this site (https://www.rosslynchapel.com/) you can see some images of the interior.
Ater to visit to this amazing place we head towards the Royal Botanic Garden (free admission), a magnificent 28 hectares garden inside which there are areas dedicated to a specific type of vegetation; everything here is very nice, it is an oasis of peace and tranquility. I saw amazing plants and flowers of unexpected colors.
The emotions of the day do not end here, in fact in theevening was held the Gala dinner organized by My PeakChallenge,
The emotions of the day doesn’t end here, in fact in the evening there was the Gala dinner organized by My Peak Challenge, my first gala in a long dress with many people from all over the world.
During dinner, some videos were shown including that of Mrs. Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, who praised the charitable work of My Peak Challenge. Little Hugo and his family are also in the room; the story of this child has moved us a lot in the past months, since he has defeated leukemia, thanks also to Bloodwise’s research. Following this, some interviews were conducted by Sam Heughan with excellent guests, such as Cameron McNeish, a Scottish hiker and mountaineer, author, presenter and speaker; actor Graham Mc Tavish and Ritchie Marshall, CEO and founder of the Association for the awareness of male cancer, Cahons Scotland. After the dinner the first Scottish dances started and then disco-music … how can I say! Beautiful and exciting.
Monday, last day of this beautiful adventure, in the evening we return to Italy.
The morning is dedicated to the visit Leith, a village overlooking the sea, 15 minutes by bus (n. 11) from Queen Street. The Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth II’s ship, is docked in the harbor (the ship is accessed through the Ocean Terminal shopping center).
It was built in 1953 with the idea that it was used as a hospital ship for war periods and also as a nuclear refuge for the queen, the interiors are very elegant. Walking through the village we admired the coloured murals in Melrose Dr.,
and finally the Shore area, a long walk along the shore of the Water of Leith full of bistros serving seafood specialties.
It was a beautiful holiday, full of emotions, hard to forget.
Thank you Peakers !!!