Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Edinburgh

We're halfway through the first week of the A-Z Challenge and it's going well.  Today is day five and it's dedicated to the letter E.  For me, E will always be associated with:

Edinburgh, Scotland

I remember the first time I saw the beautiful skyline of Edinburgh.  It was spring of 2007 and I was celebrating the end of a year-long teaching stint in Austria by taking a week long vacation to an English speaking country (or three) with my roommate, Lindsey.  After stopping in London for a few days, we boarded the train at King's Cross Station (the very place that Harry Potter departs for Hogwarts) and set out headed north along the coast.  It was an absolutely stunning train ride.  Then we arrived into Waverley Station and headed up to street level...and WOW!
View of the Castle from Calton Hill (May 2007)

Nothing really prepares you for the city that greets your eyes.  You can look at pictures, but they never do the actual place justice.  It's a stunning medieval city.  There is such a spirit hovering in Old Town that cannot be explained.  It's history and mythology rolled into one giant tapestry.  Amazing.
Heading down the Royal Mile away from the Castle (May 2007)
Divided roughly in half, Old Town and New Town coexist with entirely different atmospheres.  Old Town is ancient, dark, historic, and haphazard, while New Town is bright, well planned, posh, and streamlined.
A view of New Town from the Castle (May 2007).
A view of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens in the spring of 2008. 
After that fateful trip with Lindsey, my sights were set on moving to this beautiful city, nicknamed the Athens of the North.  And I did just that.  In the fall of 2007 I relocated, yet again, to Edinburgh and embarked on a Masters program.  Having spent a wonderful year living in Old Town, wandering down the closes, cobblestone streets, and intermittent churches and cemeteries, I can honestly say that it is one of the most enchanting cities I've ever been to.  The people are incredibly welcoming and, despite what some people think, they can easily be understood.  They don't all dress or sound like Mel Gibson and his incredibly inaccurate portrayal of Braveheart.  Edinburgh has become, by and large, one of my all time favorite cities and I wouldn't change anything about my experiences there...despite the cost ;)
Dancing on a cement ball in Leith (April 2008)

6 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures, thank you for a tour

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  2. yes the pics are great, you are very adventurous it seems. I remember seeing Europe when I was in the Navy and some places were as you say, a mix of old and new, enjoyable post.

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  3. probably the only way i will see it--beautiful--thanks!

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  4. A great tribute to a wonderful city, I've been there several times, and love it.

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  5. Those are some beautiful pictures and I hope that someday I can see Scotland. There are not enough places in America where you can see such wonderful buildings like that. :)

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  6. Scotland is on my list. Thank you for the photo show

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