Hello dear Sparkfriends,
I came back from Edinburgh this afternoon and thought I would share with you today about Edinburgh's Old Town, as it is the most touristy and most well-known part of the city.
This is Edinburgh castle, which can be seen from many parts of Scotland's capital city. I took this picture from the Botanical Gardens (I'll post another blog about these!).
We took the bus to the Old Town, and this man playing bagpipe was our first encounter when we went off the bus! I was definitely in Scotland. :)
We started walking up the Royal Mile...
... all the way to the castle.
From the castle, we admired the view on Princes' Street and the New Town (built in the 18th century), and the estuary in the distance.
As we were about to leave (I didn't want to visit the castle, there was just too much to see, and the weather was really nice!), we were asked to stand on the side for the changing of the guard...
It was fun to watch!
Then we walked the Royal Mile in the other direction, passing by Saint Giles Cathedral (built at the end of the 14th century) and the Town Hall.
A gay march was taking place and it brought lots of fun colors and music to the beautiful old streets!
A few steps further, and the contrast made me smile, we reached John Knox House; the fiery religious reformer lived here in the 16th century. I liked the sun with 'God' written in Greek, Latin and English.
Nearby, a shop sold wools and all kinds of very warm clothes 'with a twist'. If they hadn't been so expensive, I might have bought myself a colorful cardigan for winter!
We continued to walk downhill, all the way to the bottom...
A couple was getting married in Canongate Kirk and a beautiful old car was parked outside.
We passed by the new Scottish Parliament, which I didn't find ugly but not especially interesting either. However, I really enjoyed the verses from various Scottish poets engraved in one of the walls. That was such a great idea!
"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want for my part only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart."
Years ago, I had a Scottish boyfriend, and one day he told me these verses. I remember I wasn't too sure how to take it... I was a French rose, not a Scottish one after all. :) I hope he later found his Scottish rose and now lives a happy life with her!
A fantastic view on Arthur's Seat was waiting for us at the bottom of the street. The climb must be great, and what a view on Edinburgh from the top! That will have to be for another time. :)
Right next to the Scottish Parliament, we stopped at Holyrood Palace, where the Queen lives when she visits Edinburgh. The palace as we see it today was built in the 16th century.
I know some of you will be disappointed but we didn't go in either. There was just too much to see and I wanted to walk, walk, walk until my feet were screaming! :)
But we had a nice sandwich (with Scottish smoked salmon of course!) in the 'Café at the Palace'.
Then it was time to go all the way back up the Royal Mile, looking at little pathways on the way...
I had seen a postcard with some colorful houses so we looked for them. They were in Victoria Street. It was so picturesque! I want to spend more time in that street if I go back to Edinburgh one day.
I hope you didn't think I could possibly post a blog without flowers in it! :) There were many hanging baskets and window boxes throughout the Old Town to look at, and these violas made me happy.
Then we reached the end of Victoria Street where it meets the Grassmarket (but it wasn't market's day - sigh). We followed King's Stables Road to Saint Cuthbert's Church.
Is it possible to fall in love with a cemetery?! I loved it there. French cemeteries are so ugly and depressing (apart from the foreign military ones, like the American ones in Normandy or in the North of France for example), I always love to visit cemeteries in the UK.
Our tour of Edinburgh's oldest part ended on Princes' Street, where we had a gorgeous view of the Old Town before walking back 'home' through the New Town (blog about New Town coming soon!)...
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed sharing the first part of my visit to Edinburgh. I am so glad to be home though and to have several weeks where it looks like I won't be moving much... I'll have much more time for sparking! :)
New Town - Edinburgh Part 2:
Walking by the Water of Leith - Edinburgh Part 3:
A hike on the beach in North Berwick - Edinburgh Part 4: