Friday, August 4, 2017

Edinburgh 1

Mike and I met up in London and then jumped on the train to Edinburgh the next day.  As much as I enjoy London, I've been a few times so it was just our starting and stopping point - easy to get a direct flight from and to Los Angeles.  The train ride to Edinburgh was quite pleasant.  It took about 4 hours and we got into town midday.  After checking into our room, which was just outside the city center, we found a city bus and rode around for a couple of hours just to get the lay of the land.  While I'm not a big fan of bus-type tours, I do like an overview of new cities to get a better understanding of where I am.  For this trip, I don't know how much it helped though, as I was pretty much directionally challenged the entire time in Edinburgh.  That's unlike me, but it was strange to not quite have my bearings.
Although it's quite touristy, I did really enjoy the Royal Mile.  The Royal Mile is made up of the main roads in the Old Town.  It starts at the top of the hill at Edinburgh Castle and runs down to Holyrood Palace (Queen Elizabeth's official Scottish residence).  This is the view of the area from the train station down below.  I liked the Victorian architecture.
Holyrood Palace

On one of our stops that day, we had this great view of Arthur's Seat which is a tall, flat peak in the hills of Edinburgh.  We climbed up to Arthur's Seat the following day, but the sky was so pretty during our first day.
 The Scottish Parliament moved into this new Parliament Building in 2004. While it opened to mixed reviews and some controversy, I quite liked it.  It's different, but quite calming. It was designed to demonstrate a link between Scotland, its people, and its culture.
The offices of the MSP include "contemplation spaces" or big pop-out bay windows.
Because we got a late start, dusk came quickly that first day.  The city was quite pretty when the sun went down.  

As I mentioned in the past post, the sky stayed light (even after the sun went down) until about 10:30/11PM.  It was on odd feeling, especially that first night as it was some what of surprise.  We went back to the hotel earlier that first night as traveling takes it out of you.  With light peeking through the curtains it made us chuckle that it didn't feel like bed time.  
Two more days in Edinburgh to share next time.
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11 comments:

  1. That is perhaps my favorite thing about living up north. The summer nights last forever! But we pay for it in winter with those months that we essentially live in the dark. Living in Iowa seems to be a good compromise!

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    1. Yes! It was fun to have more day time while traveling. At home, when it's 110 degrees we just want dusk to come at 8:00/8:30 to cool things off. But there it was a pleasant surprise.

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  2. It's been decades since I visited Scotland, but I do remember the oddness of the length of the days.

    I'm not so sure about that modern building. I'm not against modern architecture at all, but there are features to this one I'm not sure I like.

    This is fun and I look forward to all your vacation posts! :D

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    1. It was definitely out of place amongst all those older structures. Every time we passed it, it grew on me a little more. I appreciated all the "green" features that were included.

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  3. That city is odd even to us here. I think what turns people around until they get used to it is that it's built on the south side of the inlet of the sea. Here towns were built on the north side. And while you may not have taken that in in a aware way it remains backwards. Of course it could also be the hills looking alike and being north and south of the old town, so when you get a glimpse flips your direction in your head.

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    1. Yes! I thought it was just me, but the water, when you could see it, was not where I expected it to be. And we went over bridges, beautiful ornate bridges, only to look down and see the train station instead of water. I was definitely discombobulated in Scotland. Normally I'd have worked very hard to fix that situation, but I didn't really have the energy to care. I was a good follower this trip. :)

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  4. Oh--your pictures are so nice!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing these--I am desperate to visit London (and many other places in the UK)! I'm shocked I've never heard of Holyrood Palace! I will have to research it more, I love all of the UK castles and palaces. Looking forward to the rest of your photos!

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    1. I love the castles and palaces too. Beautiful places. Thanks!

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  6. Great pictures and narrative. My wife and I are off to Ireland next week and I am really looking forward to it. Our friend Vince was kind enough to give me some pointers.

    I am like you about "touristy" places. I suppose they are like that because, obviously, they are worth seeing. And even though I might complain about crowds, I'm adding to the problem by being there!

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