Travel: Edinburgh – April 2009

Edinburgh

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Heading into Scotland along the North East Coast by train – a beautiful journey

Oj and I were in Newcastle. Up early, we headed to Newcastle Central Station and grabbed a train to Edinburgh. It’s the first time I’d ever done the trip by train and it’s a beautiful journey and should certainly be considered a part of the holiday. This was a day trip.  There and back again between morning and night.  The train line hugs the coast most of the way giving you epic views of the rugged coastline.

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Edinburgh – David J Rodger at the head of the Royal Mile

Leaving the train station, already in good spirits from the lovely journey, I was overwhelmed by the sight of the city as it opened up before me… so utterly medieval in every stone, and yet modern and vibrant and just well… fantastic. Limited by time we stuck to cherry-picking the key “tourist” bits of the city.  Heading up the Royal Mile towards the castle.

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Edinburgh. Statue of military officer on a horse

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Edinburgh. Statue of a medieval king.

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Edinburgh – a 17th century building

At the heart of Edinburgh is this fantastically visceral sense of its ancient mist-shrouded history.  Yet the city doesn’t rest on decaying laurels. It thrives with pride and the desire to constantly reinvigorate the damp stones of the past to bring life and laughter, tempered by the stoic Scottish nature, into the present.  We spent much of the day just walking around soaking in the amazing atmosphere of the place.

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Edinburgh. En-route to Arthur’s Seat

One of the first things Oj and I did when we arrived was jump on a City Tour bus. A bit cheesy but, it did provide an excellent overview of the city and its main features. At one point we drove past the edge of the city with a view of this amazing natural feature… a vast cliff and a mighty rugged peak towering over everything like some aspect of a H.P. Lovecraft tale of terror and such locations as Kingsport.

After doing the walk around the city, Jo and I made the trek out of the city on foot towards this magnificent thing.

If you look closely at the peak in the background you can see the ant-like spread of human figures.

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Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat from a zoom lens view.

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Edinburgh. View from the top of Arthur’s Seat.

It’s a bloody enjoyable climb. And the views of the city and the surrounding countryside make your face stretch with a wide smile, eyes-narrowed in the wind blowing across the rocks.

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Edinburgh. Medieval castle city that reaches out to the future.

I was hugely impressed by Edinburgh. It has to be one of my all time favourite places to visit. The people are lovely and the surroundings are divine. It’s an easy place to spend time.  More so for me when I was based in Newcastle.  As for the rest of Scotland: Edinburgh should be considered a gateway to an entire world of delight.  Scotland is the hidden gem of the West.  Always worth the effort it takes to get around the tiny roads and rugged landscape.

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David J Rodger – DATA

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