Weekend in Edinburgh

A little while ago around the Christmas time a friend and I traveled for a weekend trip to the lovely capital of Scottland – Edinburgh.

It was an unfortunately really badly organised trip with a student travel group. The trip started on Friday with the choice of taking the bus at either 6am or 6pm. With the 6am bus we would have been able to also visit Glasgow, but as it wasn’t possible for us to get the earlier bus, we had to take the bus at 6pm and skip Glasgow. The normally 6-hour journey, after which we would have arrived around midnight at the hostel, took two hours longer because of snow on the road. As we finally arrived at the hostel the actual disaster just started. The house was really messy, noisy, strange and fully booked. Some of the other students still got relatively proper rooms, but as they tried to get us into a room there was none left. Finally, they lay some mattresses in an actual community room with no doors or beddings, so other people could just walk in as they wanted to. Hence, one of the other students was robbed.

However, after maybe 4 hours of brief sleep, as we had to get up early to join the “guided tour” around the city center, we all met in different groups to start the trip. The first stop of the trip were the Prince’s Street Gardens which are right in the center of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

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Prince’s Street Gardens – Church
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Prince’s Street Gardens

Moving on, the next stop was the huge and impressive Edinburgh Castle which is Scotland’s world famous icon and part of the Old and New towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It is really impressive and has a beautiful view over Edinburgh.

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Edinburgh Castle
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Edinburgh Castle – view

The next stop was the National Museum of Scottland which we actually visited. Afterwards, we went to the St. Giles’ Cathedral which is also known as High Kirk of Edinburgh and is dedicated to Saint Giles, who is the patron Saint of Edinburgh. The distinctive crown steeple dominates in the city’s skyline. The present church dated from the late 14th century until it was extensively restored in the 19th century. Now it is protected as category A listed building.

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On the Way to St. Giles’ Cathedral
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St. Giles’ Cathedral

Moving on and passing the North Bridge, built between 1894 and 1897 linking the New with the Old Town, with the tower of the Balmoral Hotel behind, we made our way to Calton Hill.

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North Bridge and Balmoral Hotel
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Waverley Railway Station under the North Bridge

Calton Hill is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and located at the east end of Princes Street. It is the headquarters of the Scottish Government and carries many iconic buildings and monuments such as the National Monument of Scottland, the Nelson Monument, and the Dugald Stewart Monument.

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National Monument of Scottland
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Nelson Monument
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Dugald Stewart Monument

The hill offers a beautiful view over the city skyline. One of the biggest eye-catchers is Arthur’s Seat, the main peak of the group of hills in Edingurgh. It has a high of around 251m and is very popular for hillwalking. The name might come from the myriad legends of King Arthur.

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Arthur’s Seat
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View of Edinburgh’s Old Town with the North Bridge

The top of the hill was the last station of the “guided” tour. Afterwards we could explore the city our selfs and we decided to head back to the City Center to get some lunch, and then visit the beautiful Christmas Market.

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New Town site
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Christmas Market Edinburgh
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Christmas Market at night

For the next day, which was only half a day befor getting back with the bus, there was actually a treasure haunt planned, but we decided to again explore the city center on our own, having a little shopping tour and some food at the Christmas Market.

 

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Scottish flag
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Part of the Christmas Market
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North Bridge and Railway Station
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Old Town Skyline
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Allan Ramsay statue in the Prince’s Street Gardens

The travel back was again really adventourous, as after half of the way one of the four buses was broken and the passangers somehow had to be brought back home with the remaining three buses. But we made it finally home safely and looking at the trip after a while, it was really funny and interesting. Edinburgh is a great and lovely city with a lot of charm. The Christmas Market was beautiful delivering the Christmas feeling and inviting to try different culinary dishes or strolling arount the booths.  It was a really special time and Edinburgh is definitely worth visiting again!

 

 

 

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