This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again. – Alexander McCall Smith, about Edinburgh.
Surely Edinburgh is a beautiful city. Very beautiful it even inspired most of the scenes in J.K. Rowling’s book: Harry Potter (or at least that’s how people of Edinburgh claim it). But, true, J.K. Rowling wrote the book in that city. I went to Edinburgh for the 2016 new year. So, yeah, this post is long overdue. I got another chance to visit the city again on June last year, though. Sadly it was not for a vacation.
There are plenty of places to visit in Edinburgh and also plenty of instagramable corners. Be sure that you don’t look as ugly as I was in my winter outfit. But also be sure that you’re warm enough in a nice outfit as the weather is so cold and dry during winter it could make your skin bleed. It is not much of a difference in other seasons, so get wrapped up!
Old Town of Edinburgh
Economics geek out there, here’s where you will find the statue of Adam Smith. He is Scottish so no wonder why the statue lies in Scotland. As I walk along the Old Town, there are many shops, restaurants, and cafes on both sides of the road. Most of the shops are selling souvenirs and cashmere. I saw many bags and clothing made from tweed as well. It is so Scotland. And don’t forget the skirt with square pattern. The road was full of pedestrians. Every 500 meters or so, there’s a man with Scotland’s traditional cloth entertains people passing by by playing bagpipes.
It was my first castle visit in UK. I was disappointed because all I was thinking about is Disney’s Castle, the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Yet castles in UK are just… castles. More like a fort than a palace. The castle is huge and if you like history, you will have a good time strolling around. I had my favorite part of the castle when I went up a tower and all around me were pictures that illustrate the story of Scotland’s Kingdom. Every once in a while a recording which tells the story related to the picture. So it was very educating and somewhat interesting. I got to see the crown as well!
I don’t quite know the purpose of this hill but the view of the city of Edinburgh from this hill is stunning! I’m pretty sure it’s a walking distance from the train station (it’s been quite long time ago, so pardon me as I’m finding it’s hard to remember every bit of the trip). Climb several steps up, and you’re there at Calton Hill. The steps aren’t as much as Batu Cave in Malaysia, so don’t worry.
I went there at night, for new year’s eve. When I was there all I could see was fireworks (not even city lights). If you like hiking, Arthur’s Seat is a must go place in Edinburgh. I’ve seen pictures of some of my friends who visited this place in the morning or in the afternoon and it is very beautiful (gotta say Peak District is prettier, though). Be sure to follow the right path, not the shortcut. Especially if you’re not a pro.
Harry Potter Tour
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Edinburgh is the city where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. You can even visit the cafe where she wrote the magical story; The Elephant House. It’s located not too far away from the National Museum of Scotland. You can also see the hotel where J.K. Rowling stayed in Edinburgh which is the Balmoral. Even there’s a tour run by locals that takes you to places which is said to have inspired the writer. A grave, a building, a small road, etc. There’s no fixed fare for the tour, but you have to pay the guide a tip. Depends on how much you’re crazy about Harry Potter, you’re going to love this an hour walking tour around the city of Edinburgh with lots of explanation about how the city is closely related to the story of Harry Potter.
And.. that is as much as I could remember about my trip to Edinburgh. It is definitely a wonderful place to visit. 3 days and 2 nights is a plenty enough time for traveling around the city. You will also find various types of accommodation that you can choose. Finding places to eat isn’t hard. There’s a Malaysian restaurant with reasonable price and delicious taste near Old Town. Subway, McD, and KFC are available in a mall near the train station. You can take the hop on hop off bus, if you like. Or simply travel around by walking, it’s healthier and you might find a gem in the middle of your way. Like these ones.
♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia