Edinburgh. Castles, kilts and ugly stations.

_MG_1432lr

After a quick wander this morning through some of the areas of York that I missed yesterday I jumped on the train and we blasted our way, well not so much blasted but leisurely reclined our way though the English and Scottish countryside on the way north to Edinburgh. As far as destinations go Edinburgh was high on my list.

I heard that it’s a great city and well worth checking out ( yes I have a lot of well travelled friends ) so I made the trip. At first my impression of the city was quite bleak. As you step out of Haymarket station you are greeted by a very nice vista of the city behind you and with the winter sun kissing the horizon gently it was rather scenic. The only scar on this scene is the steel roof of the train station, an utter blight on the landscape. The man that chose this roof and it’s finish should be tried for a crime against the eyes. The buildings were also bleak, grey and dark. I didn’t fall in love with it immediately like to did with York and it’s golden leaves and city wall.

_MG_1377lr

_MG_1355lr

I spent this afternoon familiarizing myself with the place because I have two nights here and tomorrow is going to be a big day. I figured out how to get to Edinburgh Castle, walked along the Mile and did a lazy lap around the city center. Then hungry and tired I decided to have a look at the map and figure out how to get to where I am staying. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I am staying very close to the station and that I could have a look at Calton Hill on the way there.

I had spotted the column and observatory from the other side of the train lines and knew it was something that I should see but I wasn’t prepared for the awesomeness that I was about to stumble on to.

_MG_1409lr

Calton Hill and the observatories at the top have a commanding view of the city. I was stunned. At first I thought the city was just the Castle, Mile and their surroundings, but as I crested the hill I was treated to the sprawling city below. I had to catch my breath. That was the moment when Edinburgh secured it’s place in my mind as somewhere I wanted to be. The views from the top of the hill are breathtaking and as you look back over the older city your eyes are filled with a feast of awesomeness that words and photos can only hope to offer a pallid flavorless taste of. The winter light setting over the city, as the silhouette of Edinburgh castle licks it’s way through the mist is something that has to be seen in person.

So it looks like I have found another place I am going to enjoy exploring, add a little Kilt shopping and I think we are on to a winner.

Tomorrow I’ll be spending most of the day exploring Edinburgh Castle and checking out a few other choice spots. I might even try another Ghost tour is I can find one.

_MG_1433lr

_MG_1375lr

_MG_1339lr