A trip to Scotland - Part 3
After Stirling and the Kelpies, I was already in love with Scotland. Heading to the capital? Well, let's just say I wasn't as eager for it as heading up north towards Inverness and the Highlands. But my husband was adamant we couldn't leave Scotland without visiting Edinburgh, the capital, so I followed our itinerary.
I should start off by saying, I have nothing against Edinburgh. I'd just expected it to be like most of the capital cities - busy, chaotic, polluted. And I wanted the fresh air of the Highlands. When we arrived in the evening of Day 3, Edinburgh was dark, but its historical buildings already pulled my interest.
This was the first shot of Edinburgh at night:
Then we got to our Air BnB, a cute apartment within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palaces and I was charmed. Our hostess had left us a few pamphlets with areas of interest, so as we perused them that evening, we landed on a pamphlet for Sandman's tours, advertising a free tour of Edinburgh.
What caught my eye on it were a couple Harry Potter-worthy spots where the tour would stop, like the inspiration for Hogwarts, the cemetery where the real Voldemort is buried, and so on. (Yes, I'm a Harry Potter nerd!).
So we started Day 4 with the tour. And boy... I was about to be proven wrong for not being excited about Edinburgh! Our tour guide, Adam, was a passionate Scotsman with an amazing gift for bringing to life the history of this wonderful country. At the beginning of the tour, he told his mission was to make us tourists fall in love with Edinburgh.
And, he did. 100%, I walked away in love with a city full of life, history, and so much political intrigue Netflix needs to do a show on it! :) Here are a few highlights from that wonderful day.
Candid shots of Edinburgh
I really wish I'd thought to record Adam so I could relay the history he walked us through. But I didn't :( I do, however, HIGHLY recommend "A pocket history of Scotland" by Blair Millar. it's a wonderful, tiny-sized book with enough history to whet your appetite :)
For my fellow Harry Potter fans... These are some shots I took walking down "Diagon Alley" and at Greyfriar's cemetery. You'll know what I was looking for there... and I found them! The graves of Tom Riddle and the Potters hehe.
(If you're not a Harry Potter fan, move on to the next section :P)
Then there's the story of Bobby... If you know me, you know how much I love dogs. And yep, I cried when I heard about this! He was the dog who for 14yrs guarded his master's grave... Read the full heartwarming tale here.
Word of warning about Greyfriars' cemetery... Apparently it's a good idea to avoid it at night time. And nope, not because of ghosts. Rather, seems to be a popular spot for umm getting frisky! Go figure :)
Ooh Saint Giles' Cathedral!
It's the main place of worship of the Church of England and dates from the 14th century!!
And then there's Edinburgh Castle.
Set atop Castle Rock, it's a world famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sadly, it was closed when we go there BUT I did get these nice nightly shots :) Their website is super informative.
Now, the highlight of the day....
A hill near Holyrood Palace, Arthur's Seat is soooooo much more. Believe it or not, while we were hiking in high winds, plenty of people were jogging (yes, JOGGING!) up it! What is it, exactly? Well, it's the highest peak of a group of hills in Edinburgh, Scotland. Robert Louis Stevenson described them as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design". And yep, we hiked it at night. The view, when we made it to the top... was something else.
On Day 5, much as we wanted to try Edinburgh Castle while it was open, we had a 3hr drive ahead to Inverness and were planning to stop by Cairngorms National Park! Plus a few other spots in between hehe. We didn't get to see Balmoral Castle as it was closed for the year, but we did see 2 other castles that were super worth it!
But first, some pics of the drive!
Where Outlander Season 1 was filmed hehe :)
And its amazing gardens!
More pictures of the drive coming up next & Cairngorms National Park, Muir Dinnet National Reserve and Inverness! :)