Scottish Meanderings

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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Made my drive over to Weeze in no-time flat and waited around a little for my flight.  All very uneventful.  Landed in Edinburgh, pretty much breezed through customs (I bet a Brit arriving in JFK doesn’t get through immigration so fast!), and before noon as was checked into my hotel, the International Guest House on Mayfield Gardens.

After some quick organizing (and borrowing the Lonely Planet some former guest very graciously left with the guest house for future guests to use…not a bad idea for future travels!) I was soon on my way for my American Tourist romp through Edinburgh.  How much can I see before losing daylight?

I was expecting rain.  The couple forecasts I had seen prior to the flight were calling for rain, so I assumed this would be a wet trip.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Today turned out to be a little cloudy, but also lots of sun patches.  It always seemed to be threatening though.  I started walking and quickly decided this wasn’t going to be a regular walk straight to the old town…I wanted to see the city from on high…and the best place to do that is not from the city’s spires, but from mother nature’s.   First stop on my journey, therefore, was to Holyrood Park. 

While walking to the park, it got nice out!  A little warm as well…but it still looked like rain might be coming.  Not wanting to possibly have to make a decent in the rain, I opted to justtake in the view from the Salisbury Crags instead of going up to the top of Arthur’s Seat.  I would have preferred to go to the Seat, but then, the view from the Crags was awesome enough, and it was much more quiet (looked like quite the crowd on the top of the Seat) and I had to call my mom anyway as it was her Birthday, so the Crags was a good choice for me today.  Beautiful views of the entire town, and a nice walk to boot.  Perhaps I’ll try the seat later if I have time…otherwise, something to revisit for.

Coming down off the Crags, I received a free sample of the new Red Bull Cola (disgusting, to be honest…way too sweet for my taste) and then did a quick walk by the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the new Scottish Parliament  building.  Um…ok.

True tourist time…the walk up the Royal Mile.  Nice street, all the typical tourist shops, restaurants, and some nice old buildings.  All along the lower part of the Mile.  A little crowded, but no different than the main tourist drag in any major city…until I hit the High Street part of the Mile…then the Festival began!

From North Bridge to the Castle, the streets were full.  Tourists, locals, street performers, and tons and tons of touts (other performers) handling out flyers for their shows later that night.  Saw a couple acts, wandered around, took a walk through St. Giles cathedral, and then wandered up to the Castle for a little sightseeing.  Wandered through the castle for around an hour then back out through the Tattoo grounds and back onto the mile.

Next stop on my journey was the Scotch Whiskey Experience for the Edinburgh equivalent of the Guinness Experience/Old Jameson Distillery and the found may way into the New Town.

Wandered around the areas of Princess Street (and gardens), George Street, Charlotte Square, St. Steven’s Square, Waterloo Place, and up Carlton Hill and through the Old Carlton Cemetery before finishing up back on the Mile and grabbing a quick dinner at a place called Reverie and calling it an early night.  Had an early morning pickup on Thursday for my bus tour of the highlands…

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photo by: vances