A City with a Double Life – Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh has been called the Athens of the north because of the Greek styled Acropolis built on top of Calton Hill to commemorate Scottish soldiers who died in the Napoleonic wars. It is a great vantage point if you want to get a better view of the city. Edinburgh is never short of things to do and see. So I decided to ditch the travel guide and explore Edinburgh on my terms.

View from Calton Hill
Relaxing by the grass and enjoying the view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill
Picturesque view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill
Picturesque view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

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The tourist Center of Edinburgh is focused on the area that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Place of the Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Castle is un-missable and the view from Arthur’s seat, one of Edinburgh’s extinct volcanoes is simply breathtaking, especially at dusk when the night sky changes. You can learn about the history of Scotland and its culture but a lot of it is out there for you to see. I indulged in the ale, tried some haggis (which could be hard to swallow if you think too much about what it is actually made of) and saw a man in a Kilt playing the bagpipes.

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Whilst on the subject of Outlander, I had to see the Doune Castle in Stirling, which was featured in the television drama Outlander. This little bit of Trivia came up when I searched for places to visit in the highland regions and there it was – Doune Castle- a popular castle portrayed in shows like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Camelot and even Game of thrones. You can see how a castle like this and actually the whole Highland region keeps being featured in period drama. When you get there it feels like you’ve caught in a time warp.

There are a lot of Loch’s (a loch is a lake – in case you were wondering. I went to Loch Katrine) and a lot of lochside villages in the Highlands area, you may need to plan an entire day out to explore. There are a couple of famous castles that are still standing like Kilchurn Castle and Inveraray Castle built for the Duke of Argyll of the Campbell clan. Here I got to see and pet a real live Highland cattle. When it comes to Scotland, I’ve always ben fascinated by three things, Highland Cattle, Selkies and The lochness monster. I’m glad that one of the three things turned out to be real and I didn’t have that much time to fine the other two and no one was forthcoming with the information of their actual existence.

On my last day in Edinburgh I decided to visit the most amazing steel structure made in the 18th century. The Forth Railway Bridge. They say if not for the Eiffel tower, the Forth Rail Bridge would have been the eighth wonder of the world. I left Scotland with a smile, satisfied with what Edinburgh and the Highlands offered. I still felt that there were more layers to explore and not enough time but at least I could mark it off from the 100 things to do on my bucket list.

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