Scotland The Brave
Edinburgh Travel Blog› entry 62 of 94 › view all entries
I arrived in Edinburgh with no problems on my Ryan Where flight. The flight was pretty painless in the end except for some reason the crew had blocked off rows in 2 – 5 so no one could sit there, and after being one of the last people to board, I was left with somewhere down the very back, or the emergency exit seat right at the front.
It wasn’t a hard choice, and the decision was made a lot easier because I was carrying a lot of things tucked into my jacket. Since I did not want to run the risk of items falling out and giving away that I had brought onto the plane more than the one piece of hand luggage, the middle exit row seat was the one for me.
Arrival into Edinburgh Airport is simple.
I got dropped off and after getting confused by the directions from the hostel internet site telling me ‘Once off the bus, turn right and then left’, I found myself standing outside the Hilton Caledonian Hotel. Not quite what I had booked, but it did have the name Caledonia in it at least. After getting help from the barmen and several gentlemen in the bar, I was directed to my backpackers. The clean and simple 20-bed dorm room was good except for the snores coming from the various bunks, and the smells of homemade haggis coming from underneath their sheets. This was to be my ‘Home Sweet Home’ for the next three days.
I spent my time in Edinburgh ambling around the city and just taking in the clichés that were walking around or performing. I saw William Wallace painted for battle posing with children for photos, a fiddler playing a merry jig and fully kilted men playing the bagpipes (or doedelzakken as they are called in Dutch). There was no other word I could use to describe Edinburgh but as lovely. All the buildings have character and the sounds of the pipes can be heard on the cool crisp autumn air. Quite a timeless feel to the city.
There is quite a tranquil feel about this city, or maybe it was because I spent most of the morning walking around St Cuthbert’s and especially the cemetery. The land around this Church has been a place for Christian burial for 1000 years but only one stone (Rev Robert Pont who died in 1606) has remained from the earlier days but there are still over 1000 people buried here.
Whilst walking around the usual touristy areas, I walked down George IV Bridge and came across the National Museum of Scotland. With free entry to the museum this place was a bargain. I walked around the site and made use of the free audio guides on offer and I even took part in the free tour that was on offer that day (Mary Queen of Scots). But the best secret I found near the end of my visit. At the top of the museum is a terrace, which has amazing views over Edinburgh and the castle.
The city looks very peaceful from up here and you can stare off into the skyline and see the city from a different vantage point. Once again entry to this section of the museum is free. I was really starting to like sightseeing around Edinburgh.
But now I am doing even more touristy things with Katie, a lovely Welsh lass I met whilst in Safari in Kenya and Tanzania many years ago.
However it has been catching up with Davina, a friend I knew in high school some 16 years earlier that really was quite the highlight of Edinburgh for me. It’s nice to know after all these years’ people are the same as they were many years ago (ok but married with two children). Like the great Scottish poet Robbie Burns wrote; ‘Nae man can tether time or tide’ but it sure is nice to know that sometimes reliving our past, like Edinburgh, has a timeless feel to it.
Oidhche mhath from Edinburgh