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Life in the UK, Snippets of life, Travel tales

Edinburgh

I wrote about Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle before, and now I finally managed to find some time to write about my whole experience in that short trip.

On my third day in Southampton, I was queuing to enroll (5 hours of standing, no less) when I started chatting with two people in front of me, and in the first five minutes of the conversation, Edinburgh came up and they both professed how much of a beauty it was. A chat with my flatmate also confirmed that, which only made me even more curious. When I found a cheap return ticket, I bought it right away, afraid someone would snap it if I thought about it for one second too long.

Upon arriving, my expectation was already set high, given how many people say it was really beautiful and everything. I was afraid this high expectation would lead me to disappointment (as often happens), but I was wrong. I had set my expectation high, but my first glance (and the second, and third, and fourth, and so on) exceeded it.

On the first day, I just walked around and tried to set up a plan for the rest of my time there (I just finished two exams in two days in a row, I hadn’t had time to plan an itinerary). I walked along Royal Mile, and had my first glimpse of Edinburgh Castle and its surroundings.

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The next day, I went to Holyrood, with Arthur’s Seat as my first destination. On my walk back from Arthur’s Seat, I passed Margaret Loch and spent quite a long time there, gazing at the beautiful swans.

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Then I walked to Holyrood Palace.

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On my way back from Holyrood, I unexpectedly passed Canongate Kirk, the place where Zara Philips got married (I didn’t realized this until later, as I took this photo because of the unique statue — which in my imagination seemed like an escapee).

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Going up to a place and enjoying the view from such height has always been my favorite thing to do, and Edinburgh offers a lot of chance for that, in so many places. On my last day there, I went to Calton Hill in the morning and got a nice view of the city and Holyrood Palace from above.

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And that much-needed trip was wrapped up with a dinner at The Elephant House (also renowned as the birthplace of Harry Potter), just for the sake of feeling what it’s like to be Rowling when she wrote the first draft of Harry Potter here, atmosphere-wise.

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The weather was horrible the whole time as expected, but it didn’t make Edinburgh any less beautiful. I can see why Rowling (and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a bunch of other writers) prefer to live here rather than London. And here are some further proofs of the beauty.

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While I was there, no matter how tired I was after walking around all day (and hiking the hills), I always went out again to walk some more and soak the atmosphere of Edinburgh at night. And every night, there were always a couple of tours which promised an unforgettable experience by walking through the vaults and dungeons, with a bunch of people dressed up in ancient clothes. Alas, I wasn’t brave enough to go to this kinda tour. Well, I much preferred to see the city in the lights anyway, rather than in the dark.

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In my three days there, I had a growing admiration and love for the city. It’s hard to pick my favorite part, but if I really have to choose, it’s probably the good mix of everything. The nature and the buildings, the old and new, and so on. While in other places the bright-colored tour bus might seem out of place with Victorian architectures in the background, in Edinburgh it somehow fits nicely.

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Without a doubt, Edinburgh has made its way up to the top of my favorite place here, leaving London far behind.

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4 Comments

  • Reply newenglandselkie

    I’m not, by definition, a “city person”, but Edinburgh is one of my favorite places on the planet. Arriving there now always feels like coming home…

    February 13, 2014 at 2:33 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Same here! I usually loathe being in a city but Edinburgh is different. It has a beautiful homely charm that puts everyone at ease. Plus, it feels more like a town than a city (even though it’s actually a city)

      February 13, 2014 at 3:10 am
  • Reply The Very Hungry Londoner

    Gorgeous photos!

    February 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm
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