Dec 19, 2007

Scotland is for me! Edinburgh in Pictures

Ah, Edinburgh. I returned from Scotland filled with a strong desire to read Sir Walter Scott, Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson, or any other book set in or related to Scottish history and lore. Thanks to Dewey, I realized that Outlander by Diana Gabaldon might just be the thing for me. Also, there is an anthology of Scottish Speculative Fiction called "Nova Scotia" that I saw there that looks very promising. I want to read more stories in the vein of Neil Gaiman’s “The Monarch of the Glen”, stories in which the land’s scenery and history and folktales are very present. I’m sure there are whole novels like that out there. I just need to discover them.

Anyway. Edinburgh is my new favourite city in the world. I completely fell in love with it. I went to the Castle, to Calton Hill, to the Winter Wonderland on Princes Street Gardens, to the Writer’s Museum, to the Royal Museum of Scotland. My favourite place within the city was the Greyfriars Kirkyard. It was just across the road from my hostel, so I got to go there more than once. It’s an old graveyard full of history, and supposedly haunted, and it’s just so creepy and beautiful and cool. It has a fabulous view of the Old Town too. Also, it’s home to the world-famous Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who sat on his deceased owner’s grave every day for 14 years.

My favourite place altogether was Holyrood Park. This Natural Park, just east of the Old Town, is a miniature version of the typical Scottish landscape. It’s really close to the city, and if you climb Arthur’s Seat you get a stunning view of all of Edinburgh, but if you walk through the glen the mountains cover the city and it feels like the middle of nowhere. It’s easy to forget you’re anywhere near civilization. And everything is quiet, and the scenery is so overwhelming and vast and breathtakingly beautiful. It was one of the few times in my life when I was actually moved to tears by landscape. I loved it. I can’t even imagine what actually being in the Highlands must be like. But hopefully I will find out soon, because my boyfriend and I are already plotting a trip to Inverness in January or February. There are really cheap flights from the East Midlands airport, and I just need to return to Scotland while I have the chance.

Anyway, without further ado, the pictures. Bear in mind that I am not much of a photographer, and these don’t even begin to do the place justice. For more (many, many more) just click here.


  1. Wow, those pictures are breathtaking! I can't imagine how overwhelmed you must have been actually being there. I love the last photo you posted of the Christmas tree and the sunset. It's beautiful. This is officially a place I want to go now! Megan would love it. The castles and the landscapes just blow me away. I'm so glad you finally got to go! Now on to look at the rest of your many, many photos ;)

  2. Lovely photos. My favourites are the one of the church with the fairground ride lit up in front of it, the skeleton/death on the wall, the rearing stag and the tree in the cemetary. I keep meaning to go for a weekend with Alex but haven't gotten around to it yet. I have only really spent time in Glasgow which I really like.

  3. Oh my goodness, what do you mean you're not much of a photographer...those photos are stunning!

    My husband took a class to England (a sort of sister-college sort of thing), and one of his very favorite parts of the whole trip was when they headed up to Edinburgh. He's talked about taking me there ever since. Someday, I hope...because now I want to go more than ever!

    So glad you had such a lovely time!

  4. These pictures are beautiful and that scenery is just amazing. What is the one of the skeleton on the wall? Very spooky. I think my favorite though is the one of the cathedral with the flying chairs (I think that's the ride) in front. I love carnivals so this picture has so much atmosphere to it.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  5. Chris: I think Megan would love it indeed, and so would you! It's hard not to fall in love with the city. I hope the two of you get to go!

    Rhinoa: You and Alex really need to go! I've never been to Glasgow, but I've been told that while it's not as picturesque as Edinburgh, it has a lot of character. I want to make it there sometime too.

    Debi: Believe me, at a place as beautiful as this the pictures are bond to turn out okay. But they could have been much better! They really don't do the place justice. It didn't help that even at midday the sunlight was so faint. I hope you get to go there with your husband. It's an unforgettable place!

    Iliana: The skeleton represents the Danse Macabre, and it's at the Greyfriars Kirkyard. That place is just amazing. The thing behind the flying chairs is actually a huge monument in honour of Sir Walter Scott. Impressive, isn't it? I went on the flying chairs, and while it was fun, it'd have been better if halfway through I hadn't started imagining what would happen to me if they went loose :P

  6. Wow! Fabulous, fabulous pictures! All of them!! You are so lucky! I can't blame you for wanting to go back!

  7. What lovely pictures! I love the skeleton on that wall -- I HAVE to go to Edinburgh now! :)

    Thanks for posting these.

  8. Oh my gosh!!! What a beautiful place. And your pictures are excellent. I can imagine living there. What a reader's paradise. I could imagine hunkering down with a good book and a nice glass of wine in all those locations!

  9. Fabulous photographs! I'd LOVE to visit Scotland! Many, many years ago I read Antonia Fraser's Mary Queen of Scots, and became fascinated with everything Scottish. Your photos take me there!

  10. Great pictures! They definitely bring back some memories! I went to Edinburgh a few years ago and would love to go back. My friend and I only happened to be there because it was the jumping off place for a bus tour to the Highlands (which was so absolutely fantastic, too!), so we didn't get to see nearly as much of Edinburgh as I would have liked. Ah, but I'd love to go back and *really* see Edinburgh and go to the Highlands again. :)

  11. Edinburgg and St. Petersburg are my two favourite cities in the world! The pictures brought it all back. :)

  12. It sounds like you had a marvelous time, Nymeth. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous photos with us.

  13. Deslily: I really hope I make it back there soon. It's my new favourite place.

    Dark Orpheus: You have to indeed!

    Carl: It does seem to be a reader's paradise. And don't get me started on the AWESOME bookshops that city has. Unfortunately I couldn't buy anything, because I was dangerously close to the luggage weight limit, so I couldn't fit more books in my bags :(

    Lightheaded: I'm glad you liked them :)

    Robin: I saw copies of that book at the Edinburgh castle's bookshop. I'd really like to read it some day!

    Megan: Oh, the highlands! I hope I make it there soon. I can only imagine how fantastic it must be!

    Eva: St. Petersburg must be wonderful too! I'd love to go to Russia someday.

    Literary Feline: I really did :) I'm glad you liked them!

    Petunia: Thank you :)

  14. The photos are great! I especially love the ones of Greyfriars Kirkyard and Convenanters Prison- so atmospheric! We only saw a bit of Edinburgh when we were there and you've made me really want to go back!! No chance for awhile I'm afraid though. :(
    BTW, did you go to the coffee shop, near Greyfriars Bobby, where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book? ;)

  15. Tanabata: Argh, can you believe I completely forgot about the coffee shop? And I must have walked straight past it! The hostel I stayed in was in Candlemaker Row, so I was in that area every day. Ah well, maybe next time!

  16. Your photos are great! Scotland is one of the places I hope to visit someday.


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