Edinburgh, Scotland (part 1)

Trip date: December 2017

It was a spontaneous trip with no concrete plans what to do. A simple thought one day and the next thing we knew, we were taking the train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh the next day. A little bit scary, a little bit exciting– our first out of the country trip together though this was my second time in Edinburgh, a first for Date.

The trip took about 4 hours 20min but it was difficult to get bored as the countryside offered panoramic views of the towns we passed by. It was snowing the day before and these blankets of snow greeted us as we were travelling further north. It was beautiful and calming to see white fluffs covering the ground like marshmallows.

β€’ A man playing scottish music surely entertained a lot of tourists.

The weather was slightly gloomy when we arrived but it wasn’t raining so it was okay at least. As we got out of the station, a familiar feeling came over me as I saw old and eccentric but beautiful buildings everywhere I turn. My last trip here was in 2013 with my ONP friends. There were 7 of us and a toddler. This time, it’s just me and him.

We were both starving when we arrived so we hunted for food and had a buffet at a Chinese restaurant called Saigon Saigon near Princes Street–as usual, chinese food to the rescue.

Feeling full and warm after a meal, we went to check in at Travelodge, a nice hotel at St. Mary’s Street. It’s just a walking distance from Waverley station, Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street.

The city has this magical feel. The Edinburgh Castle on the hilltop overlooking the town looks like Hogwarts and stories about witchcraft isn’t far from history as well. The infamous witch trials in Scotland over 200 years from the 16th century persecuted hundreds of accused witches by either drowning or burning at the stake– not really like the J.K Rowling book. It was said that witches were lighter than humans so if you float in the water, you will be strangled and burned. If not, you will be given a Christian burial. But either way you end up meeting your creator; not a win-win situation. Nuh-uh.

The mission of the day was to explore the castle but unfortunately, it was only an hour and half before they close and suggested we go the next day instead so we can explore the grounds properly without rushing.

We just lingered around the Castlehill and the old town, taking pictures here and there. But it was just really me doing what tourist usually do– taking pictures πŸ˜…. Date was already happy to have the experience engraved in his memory. I’d love that too except I also want physical memories, hard copies πŸ˜‚. I’m greedy that way.

β€’ This is Castlehill going towards the Royal Mile. The white tower on the left is the Camera-Obscura and to the right is the Scottish Whisky Experience. The tower in the middle is The Hub.

β€’ The views from both sides of the Castle Esplanade.

β€’ The 5th Duke of Buccleuch statue in front if St. Giles Cathedral.

β€’ St. Giles Cathedral

β€’ The Hub, an old Victorian Church which now being used as an information service for festivals and other functions. Also, it is the highest point in Edinburgh.

β€’ Still part of the Royal Mile, the tower is called the Tron Kirk which used to be a parish church but now used as a marketplace.

On our way to the Christmas market, we passed by these distorted mirrors on the wall outside Camera Obscura. Date, a science geek, got curious and wanted to explore inside.

I had been in the building before and I’ve always loved to come back. They are six floors in the building. The very top is the camera obscura where you can virtually explore the the town that projects to this round table in the middle of the room. But we didn’t have the chance to get in as it can only be used when there is still daylight. The bad side of winter is that the sun sets early πŸ˜”. So we just stayed on the terrace to view the town from the top and it was amazingly beautiful even at dusk.

The lower floors of the building have a lot of interactive activities and illusions for the youngsters and young at hearts to enjoy.

β€’ Thermal camera, my hands were green. I was really cold πŸ˜…

β€’ Shadow Camera πŸ‘«

β€’ The young at heart playing shadows πŸ‘†πŸ½.

β€’ My head as the main dish in the video 😁.

β€’ Probably like my transition when I get hungry πŸ˜‚

β€’ Me somewhere in the galaxy far, far away.

β€’ There is a mirror maze before this last part. This is the dizzy star tunnel. You have to walk through the bridge to exit to the the shop. The tunnel constantly spins that makes you think everything moves with it. This made me feel like to vomit big time.

After having fun at the Camera-Obscura, we had a bit of dessert at the Christmas market which filled the Princes Street Gardens and few amusement rides stood beside the Scott Monument.

We had mulled wine and mini pancakes πŸ‘Œ.

After going around the market, we went back to Travelodge and planned our next mission for the morning.

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