Monday, 18 February 2008

Travelogue: EDINBURGH, Scotland

While daydreaming of better days, I thought I'd share some of my travel stories. One special place lives happily ever after in my memory. Edinburgh is a city that delights the mind as well as the eye. It is a city where the past lives comfortably with the present.
If staying in one of the city's central hotels, nothing brings more pleasure than exploring Edinburgh's beautiful historic streets on foot.

Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills. Rising above Princess street (the main shopping promenade), is the castle rock, a volcanic plug where the first defensive settlement was founded over 2,000 years ago, and a landmark to anyone who is lost. To the south,
The Royal Mile, probably Edinburgh's oldest street, runs through the old town, beyond the Flodden Wall and towards the parkland of Hollyrood.

The Royal Mile:

"The largest, longest and finest street for Buildings and Number of Inhabitants, not only in Britain, but in the World..." (Daniel Defoe, 1723)

As the name suggests, the Royal Mile is approximately one
Scottish mile long, and runs from Edinburgh castle at the top of the Castle rock down to Holyrood abbey. It is said to be referred to by locals as "High Street", but properly, this is the name of only one stretch.

Calton Hill is one of city's main hills, set right in the city centre, overlooking Princess street. It is often compared to the Acropolis of ancient Greece. Edinburgh is known as the 'Athens of the North' and this monument was supposed to add a Parthenon-like building to the skyline.Building began in 1822, but the funds ran dry and the city councillors went to Glasgow to ask for funds. Glasgie said no! so the partially built replica remains on top of the hill. It was dubbed "Edinburgh's shame" at the time, but it's now a popular landmark and it's a lot of fun crawling up and down its giant steps.

While walking up the Princess street, I spotted an opening in the wall and old stone steps leading to what I thought would be a good spot for some panoramic shots of Old town. But all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by an old cemetery, where the air was filled with a notion of awe and mistery. Old Calton Cemetery was split in two by the construction of Waterloo Place in 1818, some graves were moved to New Calton Cemetery, whilst this small section was cut adrift on the other side of the road. Today, many of Edinburgh's citizens walk by, some 15 feet below the level of the graveyard, completely oblivious of its existence.

A shrub of a lovely Japanese aucuba stood in my way
of getting that panoramic shot...
or maybe, after decades
of living in the shade
of a Godforsaken cemetery
it just wanted some attention...

... flowers of Edinburgh ...

3 komentari:

chica40208 said...


kathryn/ said...

Viooltje--does your name mean "little violet"??
Thank you for the insider view into lands I have not yet visited. Appreciated! Kathryn

Viooltje said...

It does actually (in Dutch it means violet /little violet). I'm glad you noticed. ;-) You're welcome and thank you for sharing those wonderful photos of spring intoxication with the world. What a treat!

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