Monday, September 8, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland.

I must say, out of everywhere I've been, Edinburgh was the most surprising. I was ecstatic to be visiting Athens. I knew I would fall in love with Venice. But for some reason, the U.K. was never a dream destination for me. Don't get me wrong - I was never actively disinterested. I just never thought of anywhere in the United Kingdom as a "must-go" destination (with the exception of maybe London). 

However, the history, the people, and the scenery quickly changed my mind. 

The first thing I did in Edinburgh (after a nap) was a visit to Edinburgh Castle. It might be because I like to pretend I'm a princess sometimes, but I love visiting castles, and this one did not disappoint. It has held up to the elements very well, and provided a good lesson on history as well. If you're going to visit, plan to attend the one o'clock gun. The presentation is both interesting and informative.

If you would prefer to spend some time in nature, Arthur's Seat cannot be missed. It's quite the hike (note to self: start going to the gym) but so worth it. The city and farmland views are stunning, like nothing I have seen before. And lesson learned the hard way: there's actually an easy way to get up. You don't have to take the side that is all stairs!

View from the top.

Taking a break at the top of Arthur's Seat.
And if shopping is more your style, Princes Street is not a bad option. Here you'll find quite a few big chain stores such as H&M and the U.K.-based Primark, where I found myself buying a cheap rain jacket. Oops. There's also a few local stores and souvenir stores. 

As for restaurants, I have found a couple of good ones on Rose Street, a walking street with a variety of pub food and other fare. 

Whatever your plan or reason for visiting, I'm sure you will enjoy Edinburgh as much as I did.

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