19-21 May 2018
1. The Red Wedding of game of thrones was inspired by the Black dinner (Edinburg Castle 1439)
2. Edinburgh Castle is built on the site of an extinct volcano
3. Edinburgh has 112 parks and more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK.
I thought it 10 year ago and I said it again, Edinburg is in the top 3 of my Europe’s cities, don’t know exactly why but I love the mix of nature, the fact that you can be transporter to a village within 30 minutes from the center. A must see city for all of the potterheads, which I’m not, but I have read the books and watch the movies, for me was interesting to see where the author took it inspiration
We started doing the free tour, which a good way to know a Little bit of the city and its history. It starts in the middle of the high street (AKA Royal mile) and during the 2,5h that the tours last we visit the most known places of the city like the city of Edinburg Council, St Glies cathedral…
Greyfriars Kikyard where J.K. Rowling took the inspiration for some of the Harry Potter characters, this kikyard is also famous because of Bobby Greyffriads a dog which is said to have spent the next 14 years at the of its owner. Inmmediately next to the cementary is the George Heriot’s School, this school remains to howards not because of the arquitecture but because the student are separated in 4 different Houses Castle, Greyfriars, Lauriston, Raeburn.
Enough of Harry Potter, the tour also takes you through Victoria street and Grassmarket, and even go to the castle (just to the door) where you get a little explanation about it. The tour ends in St marys Close where they explain the origin of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
One of the more interesting things to visit with in the Royal mile are its Closes, the small alleyways and courtyards that led off it to the north and south. Closes tend to be narrow with tall buildings on both sides, giving them a canyon-likeappearance and atmosphere. You never know what are you going to find in the other side.
If you want to take a picture of the castle from another angle, thy the Vennel (an alley of the Grassmarket)
The New Town was built between XVIII and XIX centuries to respond to the problem of overpopulation of the Old Town. It extends to the north of the city, with straight and orderly streets. Edinburgh’s New Town has flourished as a true marvel of urban planning and elegant Neo-Classical architecture.
Its main street is Princes St, and Princes St gardens act as a border between both neighborhoods and meeting place for locals when it is sunny. There are plenty of benches and the views of the castle are splendid.
The Scott Monument is Scotland’s national monument to one of its most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott. From the top of it you will be rewarded with some of the most sweeping views you can get of the city.
The New Town is full of Georgian houses and a good example of it is Charlotte Square. During the summer the garden in the center of this square serves as hub of the Edimburg International Book Festival
Our last stop was Calton Hill, one of the most photographed places especially at sunset, reached by a very short hike (five minutes) starting close to Princes Street.
From the top of Calton Hill, you get access to panoramic views of Edinburgh, which include some of the main attractions such as Arthur’s Seat, Princes Street, Holyrood Park, and Edinburgh Castle.
It’s home to the Nelson Monument, the National Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the old Royal High School, the Political Martyrs’ Monument, the Robert Burns Monument and the City Observatory.
The Water of Leith is the main river flowing through Edinburgh.
Its Walkway goes beside the river for the 19.71 km from Balerno to Leith. The route forms an attractive haven for wildlife, passing through areas of woodland, often well separated from roads. For some distance the walkway follows the route of former railway tracks, and the remains of tunnels, bridges and other features of more than one railway may be seen at many places along the route.
For our second day we decided to move away from the center, and walk part of the walkay.
We started by Dean Village, a small village next to the river, about 20 min walk from the center. It seems incredible that such a quiet place is so close to the noise of the city.
Dean Village, is now an affluent area, but has quite humble beginnings. When it was originally chartered in the 12th century, it was home to a large milling industry.
It’s easy to see why this was a perfect spot for water-run mills, as a powerful river runs through the village
From there we keep walking till Stockbridge were we enjoyed its weekly market. Stockbridge is lovely residencial area.
And keep walking till we arrived to Leight, in total we walked 5 out of the 20 of the walkay.
The walk was quite pleasant. The end of the path is Leith, this neighborhood used to be the port of Edimburg and an independent city until 1920. Crime, prostitution and drug addiction were the tonic of the neighborhood in the 80s, this atmosphere is reflected in the novel Trainspotting from Irvine Welsh and in its adaptation to the cinema of the same name by Danny Boyle
In Leith you can see the waterfront and enjoy one of the many restaurants there.
In our last day we vist the Castle, Located on the volcanic hill of Castle Rock from there you have an excellent view of the city.
You can spend several hours inside the enclosure, there are a lot of buildings. To get inside of some of them you will have to wait a queu. I recommend taking an audio guide so they tell you a little about the story.
We were inside for 2-3hours, and we left after the 13:00 shoot “One o’clock gun” (The One O'Clock Gun is a time signal, fired every day at precisely 13:00, excepting Sunday, Good Friday and Christmas Day. The 'Time Gun' was established in 1861 as a time signal for ships in the harbour of Leith and the Firth of Forth, 2 miles (3 km) away. It complemented the 'Time Ball', which was installed on the Nelson Monument in 1852, but was useless as a visual signal in foggy weather).
The castle get bussy so try to get there the sunner the better, you can order the tickets in advance.
From the castle we went to the arthur’s seat, the hights hill in Edimburg, just a few minutes walk from the Palace of Holyroodhouse (The queen official residence when she is visiting Scotland, at the time of our visit was occupied by an agent).
The hill with has 351 mt of altitude is the remains of an extinct volcano that erupted 350 million years ago. It is around 30 min walk and the the views from the highest point are stunning, on a clear day you can see the is Leith’s port.
There are several options for reaching the summit: Salisbury Crags an easy walk with views out over the best of Edinburgh
Our last stop was Duddingston neighborhood, just like Dean villages seems to be in another world Although today it is part of the metropolitan area of the capital, this neighborhood of residential streets is still moving at a leisurely and daily pace.
The Sheep Heid Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh: they say that there has been a pub here since 1360!
Food and drink from an old Victorian pub house in the Old Town
The food was simple great tasting comfort food.