Saturday, March 15, 2008

Edinburgh

Finally have got some time to settle down and write abit our trip to Edinburgh last weekend.

All my knowledge of Scotland before the trip has been defined by Mel Gibson's Braveheart. Got the impression that the Scots aren't too happy about that. Overheard two of them talking to each other on the streets,


"Yeah right, Mel Gibson is an antisemitic Scot! That's the face of all Scots."

But credit have to be given to Mel in this case. Because of Braveheart, an entire generation has got this romantic idea about the foggy Scottish highlands (and lowlands) and would like to visit it at least once. Well, at least I did.

"As long as only one hundred of us remain alive, we will never on any conditions be brought under English rule."

That essentially sums up the Scots' belief that freedom must be preserved at all costs. Kind of reminds you of Mel Gibson screaming 'Freedom!' just before he was executed in Braveheart, doesn't it?

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, will require two full days to explore. And that's just for the city alone and if you walk very briskly. For museum nuts like me, it can take an entire week.

Once you get up to the surface from Endinburgh (Waverly) station, this will be the first monument along Princes Street that catches your eye. The Scott monument is the first photo opportunity for many tourists and dominates the entire street, perhaps dwarfed only by the Endinburgh Castle itself.

Could't really get a picture of the Endinburgh Castle from the front with the sun behind so had to get one from the back instead.

The guidebook says that the Castle can be covered within an hour. That's bullshit. Though it looks relatively small from the outside, the actual floor area is rather substantial and we spent nearly 3 hours in there and didn't manage to cover everything.

I would suggest that you skip the audio guide as there's loads of information next to exhibits and go for the free guided tour (at the onset of your visit) instead. The lady who did the tour with us entertained us with the rich history of the castle.

That's the abbey of the Holyrood Palace. There's a lonely feel about that place; it's as if it was frozen in time while the rest of the world marches on.

While you're there, look out for the inscription on a memorial stone that a daughter did for her father. It sort of puts life in perspective.

Also, look out for the exhibit on Mary, Queen of Scots, within the palace. Many visitors missed out the precise location where her advisor was slained by her husband.

Other than Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill is the other dominating feature in the city.

Tucked at the corner of the city, it may look imposing and discourages the occasional visitor. In reality, it's just a 10min climb from Princes Street and the 360 degrees view that you get up there is superb.


When Scotland and England initially merged, there was widespead content among the Scots especially the Highlanders. The English Monarch tried to get round the problem by inducting large numbers of Highlanders into the Army.

This is one of the recruitment posters.

"Off to Singapore... the sun, the sand and the sea!"


All in all, Edinburgh is a lovely and inspiring place. Will definitely be back for more. Anyway, it's just a 4.5 hr train ride from London. Why not?

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7 comments:

TripTheLady said...

I would love to visit Scotland and I hope to someday. Nice post and the pictures are great!

C K said...

@tripthelady

Thanks for your kind words. Try to time your visit well. We got it quite bad when we were there... :)

kyh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kyh said...

Scotland is possible the only region I'd love to step my foot on in the whole of UK. Well, ok... London perhaps too. I'm a bit Anglophobic. :P

Dutchie said...

UK, Scotland .. they do built stately homes, castles n forts to last a few life times, dont they ?

I loved films of the costume-era (?), tho life was very harsh n hard for the ppl then.

Todate, we've only visited Pembroke Castle - to get a feel of what life was like then.

C K said...

@kyh,
Nooooo.... you'll miss out lots if you avoid England altogether. Any reason behind your Anglophobism?

C K said...

@Dutchie,
Oh yah, they do build to last don't they? If fact, most castles or forts fall due to lightning strikes...

I've not been to Pembroke Castle... how was it?