First full day in Edinburgh - day 6

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
After an exciting night at the Beltane fire festival; staying up until the wee hours of the morning and getting too little sleep, I managed to wake up and pull myself out of bed. Most of the individuals in my hostel room were nowhere in site but I did notice that one of my "roomies" that I met the previous night was still in the room. We had only exchanged a little amount of small chat the night before because I was getting ready for the festival, so I was comfortable enough to great him in the morning. We spoke about each of our plans for the day and city. As it just so happened, our plans mingled so we decided that we would go to the Royal Botanic Gardens together as a small group of myself including the two men from Brussels (Jan and David).

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh dates back as early as 1670 and was only about the size of a tennis court then.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, inside the West Gate entrance
Originally the Gardens were at the head of Nor Loch, where Waverly station currently is, and was moved outside the city. The Gardens was very beautiful and added a highlight to the never-ending grayish days in Scotland. We ended up walking all the way around the Gardens to get to the West gate entrance but not intentionally. At one point we didn't think we could find the entrance and that we were going the wrong way! Just to be clear to everyone, if you are going towards the Garden from Princess street, I recommend you go into the east garden gate because it is closer. The east garden gate is on Inverleigh Row.

Overall, I really enjoy seeing all the different plants and trees at the Botanic Gardens. It was my first large scale garden I had been too and I enjoyed it very much.

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The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
Once I had my fill of the Royal Botanic Gardens, we decided we would start heading back towards town and the hostel. It was I think at least a 30 minutes walk give or take to the Gardens and by that time, I personally was absolutely freezing! So once we got back into town I want to a Starbucks and enjoyed some great conversation with Jan and a steaming hot cup of coffee. After sometime of trying to stabilize my core temperature, I walked back to the hostel and said my goodbyes to my new found companions. They were very pleasant, and smart guys. Perhaps I will take them up on their offer and go visit them in Brussels one of these days. By that time it was late in the afternoon/evening and I wasn't sure what would be still opened. However, because it was the weekend, a lot of the markets and store were opened so I decided to walk the Royal Mile (High street).
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
This street is very touristy. If you're into buying common souvenirs, this is the place you should go.

When night hit, I met up with a member of a different tour that I had previously dance with during the Scottish party in Oban. He was staying in my hostel and had invited me to go on a ghost walking tour with him. So after dark, we headed to meet the tour group. The tour itself wasn't that eventful; however, the tour guide himself was very friendly, funny and personable so he added some fun to the tour. In the end though, we didn't end up seeing any ghosts! The tour started at Starbucks on High street and then went to the North Bridge. At the North Bridge, the guide told us a story about how in the past, when the bridge was first built, many of the city folk believed that the north end of the city was cursed! To try an encourage to prove the people wrong and to show them that it was ok to cross the bridge, the Mayor sought out the help of the oldest person alive in Edinburgh.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh
She agreed to be the first person to walk across the bridge. The Mayor was please because he thought for sure that the people would see that their thoughts in regards to the north end of the city were not warranted.
A couple of days before the ceremony for the opening of the new bridge happened, the old lady ended up dying! Now, the Mayor didn't know what to do, but thought it best that he would hold onto his promise and let the old lady be the first one to cross the bridge. So on the day of the opening of the bridge, the Mayor guided by the women's coffin crossed the bridge! What do you think the people thought of the north end then!

After the bridge we made our way to one of Scotland cemeteries. It was interesting to the who was buried there and some stories; however, I cannot recall them at this time to write them down.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh


After the cemetery, we went towards Calton Hill. I was absolutely surprised to see that the area was pretty clean! Especially considering there was the Beltane Fire Festival the night before. I think there were one or two more stops, but I don't really have anything else to add.

Overall, the walking tour was taking more as a pass time. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone unless you didn't really have anything else to do.
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The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinb…
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The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinb…
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I think thats city hall
I think that's city hall
Different picture of city hall
Different picture of city hall
Walkway or close I think they call…
Walkway or close I think they cal…
Gotta love bagpipes!
Gotta love bagpipes!
View from Calton Hill at night
View from Calton Hill at night
The Scottish Cemetry
The Scottish Cemetry
Scottish Monument
Scottish Monument
View of the city from Calton Hill
View of the city from Calton Hill
Edinburgh
photo by: vances