Edinburgh, my Valentine

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Friday, February 16, 2007

The first day here I did a lot of walking, seven hours of exploration and whimsical wandering.  It was Valentine's Day and a very sunny warm day as well.  I can feel myself falling deep in love with this beautiful city and country. 

I took a lot of pictures of the castle and the big volcanic rock that it sits on.  The scottish 'mountains' are very beautiful, coloured with pastel sort of shades in yellows and purples.  I spent a few hours at the the portrait gallery, meandering and daydreaming.  I also went to the Storytelling Centre and joined the "Scotland Reads" event (taking on "Kidnapped" by the amazing Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson).  I've also been to the georgeous national library, located on George IV bridge - so ornate and beautiful inside, it could almost be a museum itself.  I love where I'm staying too, Brodie's Hostel. It is aweomse.  Right next to The World End pub (a marker to where the old city limits used to be). Albeit, no longer at the edge of civilization, it was a little hard to find on foot in the dark from the bus station after a 17 hour ride.

Walking everywhere (as Charles Dickens rightly said 'it's the best way to see a place'), I climbed up to the Edinburgh Castle.  At the top, I got a great view of the surrounding area.  I went to the St. Giles church just a little ways down from the castle. The church is 900 years old and breathtakingly beautiful.  St Giles, the man, was born in Greece but lived in France as a hermit.  He is the patron saint of cripples, beggars, and lepres.  The stained glass was awesome (my jaw literally dropped!) I especailly liked the window of Jesus 'calming the tempest' and walking accross the sea, there were such deep purples and blues.  There were about 4000 pipes in the cherry wood organ, playing ethereal music. 

To give my walking legs a rest and gain some distance around the city, I bought a day pass on the bus and rode from one end of the city to the other.  I was surprised at the Ocean, it was actually quite industial where I landed. I was expecting more beach, so I took the bus towards the Portobello beach.  I saw a lot of the city and a great view of the hills from the outskirts. 
I consulted a map and readily found no less than fifteen nearby golf courses!  How much better could this place be?...   Yes, I am falling deep in love with Edinburgh. 
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Where I stayed
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