Exploring Edinburgh, UK

I didn’t really expect to fall in love with Edinburgh – before the start of our trip, I thought that I would moon over London, but that wasn’t the case. Edinburgh was the first stop on our trip; as our flight arrived at 8 in the morning, we immediately got to explore Edinburgh, as well as made a quick stop at Rosslyn Chapel. We were only able to stay in this beautiful city for a day, but I think that we at least saw some of the important sights to be seen here like Calton Hill, the Royal Mile, and, of course, Edinburgh Castle. Too bad though that we weren’t able to go to the Elephant House, where Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, wrote the books while enjoying the cafe’s coffee and cake.

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So as soon as our plane landed at Edinburgh Airport, after getting through customs we were fetched by our coach driver and we headed into the city to start our tour. We first fetched our guide, and then we were off to Rosslyn Chapel, which was quite a drive (around 30 minutes) from Edinburgh, and after staying there for a while, we drove back to the city, went to Calton Hill, and then had lunch. After lunch, we went to Holyrood Palace (which I’ll probably have a short post about it up sometime soon!) and then Edinburgh Castle – on the way, we were greeted by this.. This creature. Haha, I honestly don’t get what it’s supposed to be! 🙂

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A shot of the castle I took while waiting for our tickets. The structure is massive! Images of Game of Thrones popped out unbidden in my mind when I finally saw it for the first time. It doesn’t help that Edinburgh Castle stands on Castle Rock – Castle Rock.. Casterly Rock? Lannisters! I don’t even know anymore, haha.

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Finally received our tickets! This is my attempt on taking an artsy photo.

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The entrance to the castle. Edinburgh Castle has been a royal castle since at least the 12th century, during the reign of David I, and it continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From the 15th century, its use as a royal residence declined, and by the 17th it was more or less used as a military barracks with a large garrison. It was in the early 19th century when its importance as a part of Scotland’s national heritage was recognised, and various restoration programs have been carried out since. As it has been one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, it has played a part in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence way back in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. There has been a lot of research done on the topic, and one research that was done in 2014 identified 26 sieges in Edinburgh Castle’s 1100-year-old history, and it has been dubbed as “the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world.”

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When we entered Edinburgh castle, I expected the place to be, well, flat. But that wasn’t the case. It was an uphill walk to get to the main part of the castle.

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There was a coffee shop and whiskey brewery thing inside, as far as I recall. Haha, we didn’t go inside though so I’m not sure about what you can see inside the place. They also have a gift shop near the entrance.

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Facade of the Scottish National War Memorial, which can be found on the north side of Crown Square. This memorial commemorates Scottish soldiers and to those who served with Scottish regiments, mainly to those who died during the two world wars and in more recent conflicts. Photography is prohibited inside the memorial.

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There’s a small square here and that’s where you can see the Royal Palace, and it comprises the former royal apartments which had been the residence of the later Steward monarchs.

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Standing opposite to the Royal Palace is I think, a small cafe. Not really sure about it though! When we went, there was an event going on. It seemed to be a wedding from the looks of it.

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Look at that little kyutie! ❤

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This is the entrance to the Scottish National War Memorial.

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I love the architecture of the place! Too bad I wasn’t really able to explore it since at the time I wasn’t feeling too well and didn’t have the strength to explore, huhu. I ended up sitting on a bench outside the memorial for the most part. \crying

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There was this guy wearing a really loud get-up when we were there – his jacket was a red military style one, and I can’t help but be jealous, I also want one for myself, haha! 😀 Anyway, there’s only one restroom in the castle grounds and its located downstairs near David’s Tower.

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The Castle Keep, which dates back to 1615. If I’m not mistaken, this is where some of the royal jewels are kept.

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~fashiown~ blogger pose, haha!

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A view of the city. You can see part of the sea, the Hub, and even Calton Hill from here!

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There are several cannons here but I have a Canon of my own, if you get what I mean, haha.

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Pretty view.

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Honestly, I can probably just stay here and stare (and take photos!) at this view all day and not get bored.

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One last glimpse of the castle’s entrance before we head to town!

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There are various statues outside the castle’s entrance of important men, mostly from the military/army.

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Photo of the Hub, which sits at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. This is our designated meeting place for our group.

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I love Edinburgh and its picturesque streets!

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Sooo pretty! A portion of the Royal Mile.

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A glimpse of St Giles’ Cathedral.

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A bagpipe player! In a kilt! How Scottish can this get?

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A closer look of St Giles’ Cathedral, which we unfortunately did not get to go into, and also.. See that familiar figure there? No? That’s Adam Smith, the famous economist! Invisible hand, anybody? Lol I couldn’t help but fondly remember (and sorta miss) the Economics classes that I had when I was still studying.

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As we had some time to kill still, we ended up in one of the little coffee shops near St Giles’. Waffle! It was really good.

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Premium hot chocolate. What makes it premium, you may ask? Apparently, the marshmallows do lol.

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Our last glimpse of the castle on the hill as we headed off to dinner. Haha, not only did Game of Thrones pop into my mind, but also Ed Sheeran’s song – Castle on the Hill. 😀
Out of all the cities we visited in the UK, I think that Edinburgh stole my heart with its architecture and beauty. Definitely one of the cities that I want to go back to someday, hopefully in the not so distant future, haha! 
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