60,000-79,999 SparkPoints 70,281

Old Town - Edinburgh Part 1

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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."
Hugh MacDiarmid

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:
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1027 days ago
    That was emoticon Claire! Someday I hope to c the world but for now I will be satisfied living vicariously through u! emoticon emoticon
    1459 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing! I'll probably never make it to visit Scotland, so this might have to be my "photo" visit.
    1772 days ago
    I am sure I have told you that my grandmother was Maggie McBain from Skye. My husband and I toured all of Scotland in 1984 on the Britrail Pass...It was such a wonderful trip for me...He, being Italian was pampering me I am sure..but I so loved that wild country....Edinburgh here, emoticon brought many good feelings back to me....Thank you..Doris
    1772 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Thank you for a tour of Old town! I loved it. I could hear the bagpipes singing in the air. I've always loved the bagpipes - most people I know, hate them terribly but I just love the sound. Guess that the Scotch part of me coming through (lol). Enjoyed the photos.Thanks again for sharing a part of your travels with us.
    Ramona emoticon
    1772 days ago
    Claire, I am terribly late reading your blogs about Scotland. I have been trying to get on here for days, so finally! And, just as I knew they would be, your blogs are fantastic.
    I just love all the beautiful places you find when you travel - many of which I have never heard of.
    "Arthur's Seat" is awesome. I can only imagine how majestic it truly appears. And, I love that you had lunch at the palace - ok, at the public café, but still - at the palace!! Love it!
    I am anxiously moving on to the next one. I can hardly wait.

    1790 days ago
    Love the colorful houses! And I think you made the right choice to keep walking. Such marvelous views and so many grand buildings and streets to see! now on to the next installment - emoticon emoticon
    1794 days ago
    1795 days ago
    I love how much I learn anytime I read your blogs... I really think you should consider a travel book... magazine... blog... you are so talented Claire... I can't wait to go to Paris next year!!
    Love ya'! emoticon
    1795 days ago
    I loved your blog. I live in Edinburgh and work on the Royal Mile and I love this city. It'c not my home town but I've been here about 9 years.
    I loved seeing it through visitor's eyes - thanks for the wee tour :)
    1795 days ago
    A beautiful tour! Thank you for sharing. I have some Scottish heritage, but I've never visited Scotland so this was just great. I'm on to Part 2 next!
    1796 days ago
    Oh your photos brought back wonderful memories! I spent a week in Edinburgh back in 1979, and di all of those wonderful things! Spring in Scotland is gorgeous! I was there in the Fall, and was lucky to have good weather. I stayed in a B&B just across from Arthur's Seat. That was my view every morning! As dear as the price of woolens may seem, Scottish wool and cashmere will last you the rest of your life. Don't pass up the opportunity! Are you going up to the Highlands at all? Enjoy the trip, and thank you again!
    1796 days ago
    Seems like I'm always late to the party, but as long as I make it, I'm happy. Thanks so much for this peek at Old Edinburgh. It's definitely on my list to visit! Off to read your installments.
    emoticon emoticon
    1796 days ago
  • ZOE13O
    1796 days ago
  • CAROLJ35
    Great blog! Thanks for refreshing my memories of Edinburgh! Been quite a few years since visiting there, but the one thing I remember is the temperature was 95 that day (unusual) and there was no ice to be served in our water and no air conditioning in our hotel. But it was still a great trip!
    My nephew just completed 3 years of living there while getting his doctorate.
    1796 days ago
    Love the photos - but I think my fave is the one with the wool!!!!! Can't you see that framed and hanging in your house? Especially in a study/work room/guest room!!
    1796 days ago
    emoticon so much for your beautiful pictures and wonderful descriptions. You make it feel like we are right there with you. It is every bit as beautiful as I thought it would be. emoticon
    1796 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/20/2013 8:36:26 PM
    I was there about 35 years ago. I didn't go into the castles either! Thank you for the photos - very nice to have a visual remembrance.
    1796 days ago
    What a wonderful blog. I've been there and you've really taken me back. Thank you so much!
    1796 days ago
    Thank you for once again transporting me to another wonderful spot on this green planet. I always love the flowers as well.
    1796 days ago
    Thank you Claire!
    1796 days ago
    So beautiful, I need to re-visit!
    1796 days ago
    1796 days ago
  • THOMS1
    emoticon Another great blog. Thanks for the tour. emoticon
    1796 days ago
    I saw your blog featured and had to read it. We took a trip to the British Isles last month and spent time in Edinburgh. It was one of our favorite cities on the trip. Thanks for posting this. emoticon
    1796 days ago
  • JULIE700
    Love the pictures!
    1796 days ago
    Beautiful pictures! My husband and I never made it to Scotland while we lived in Germany but we definitely want to make a trip there someday. I'll add Edinburgh to our list! Thank you!
    1796 days ago
    WOW! Thanks for sharing your day!!!
    1796 days ago
    I also had to sneak back to read this entry. The photos are really beautiful and your descriptions make you feel like you are there.
    1796 days ago
    So beautiful!! I can never get tired of looking at flowers. I bet the smell of them is just as sweet as their beauty.
    1796 days ago
    I had to sneak back to this entry since I didn't see it previously - got to admire your pictures - that's the Edinburgh that I remember. how wonderful.
    1796 days ago
    how very cool!
    1797 days ago
    my grandmother was born in Edinburgh, never set foot in Scotland myself though. I see what i'm missing, thx!
    1797 days ago
    Some lovely shots of a city I know well. Of course - the inevitable bagpipes too emoticon
    1797 days ago
    It brought back memories I lived in Edinburgh off and on most of my teens I have occasionally been back for the day hoping one day to visit for longer my family still live in and around the area looking forward to tomorrows blog Hugs Carol xxx emoticon
    1797 days ago
    Thank you for posting these pictures, Claire. I visited Edinburgh in 2005 and these pictures took me back. I was reminded how the stonework was much darker than London, and gave it it's own unique feel. It is a beautiful city.
    1797 days ago
    Beautiful, Claire! Loved these photos.. I too like to check out old cemeteries... some of the stonework and statuary can be quite lovely. emoticon Karen
    1797 days ago
    I love these photos. Scotland is high on our list of places to go, especially because my husband is of Scottish heritage. These wonderful photos make me want to go very soon. Thank you for sharing these very beautiful photos! What a wonderful journey!
    1797 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I cry over beautiful things and so there I am now...!
    1797 days ago
    So beautiful! Can't wait for the next blog!
    1797 days ago
    what a beautiful walk one I have done many times, yes please next time climb Arthur's Seat you will not be disappointed!!! Beautiful pictures
    1797 days ago
    Thank you! Loved the trip!
    1797 days ago
    I learn something new with your every post. I grew up in Western Washington State and the state flower is the Rhododendron. Never thought you could find that beautiful bush in another part of the world. So many new flowers to enjoy and architecture to admire. Many thanks again for sharing. emoticon
    1797 days ago
    OH, WoW, Claire !!
    I think I want to start buying lottery tickets... Praying that GOD will pick me a winning ticket. A ticket that will afford me the opportunity to travel, travel, travel. Your blogs have me bitten by the "travel' bug!! I know, there is the remote chance I could afford some little trips; but it would be so very nice to have the finances that allowed one to stay in one place to really see all there is to see before moving on to the next place. Maybe I will just have to settle for reading tour guides that have lots of pictures of what I could/maybe might see if .... Well, enough of the day dreams.

    Have you guessed by now that I truly love your blogs... emoticon Thank you Thank you ever so VERY much for sharing your travels... YOUR pictures and narratives are "SPECIAL" to me.

    Rest up and take care of yourself!! I am waiting with bated breath for your next blog.
    I am giving you a couple of hugs to help your rest to be complete
    emoticon emoticon
    1797 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Just wonderful! You make me see the world in a beautiful light! Thank you so much Claire emoticon
    1797 days ago
    Thanks for the wonderful tour of Edinburgh it is my father's home town. I think about going there from time to time. I'm not much of a traveler so I really love it when you take me places. You make travel possible for this homebody!
    Your photos are spectacular!
    Sending you a big hug.
    1797 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Sigh. So beautiful. The violas are so pretty. They're one of my favorites. I had to pull mine out, they were suffering from the heat and I needed to plant the garden for the summer. Old town is fantastic! I don't know how you resisted the yarn. I would have had to buy some for a scarf, at least! I hope you got in a good walk without your feet getting too sore.
    1797 days ago
    What a joyful trip! Thanks for sharing.

    1797 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!!
    1797 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment
    Member Comments Page (96 total):  1 2 Next >

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.