Monday, August 22, 2016

Part TWO of Enigmatic Edinburgh with Judith

Here it is, part two of mine and Judith's adventures in Edinburgh.  So, I believe I said it already but I absolutely loved this city.  It was exactly as I hoped it would be.  Gothic, dark, slightly creepy, totally charming, beautiful, Celtic.  I was smitten within a day.  I could also see how this city would be even lovelier in the fall or winter.  Cozy cafes would be even more inviting.  The dark, gray, slightly haunted looking architecture would fit perfectly with the scene of chillier weather. 

Anyway that aside, Judith and I wandered the Royal Mile which was INSANELY packed with tourists.  As mentioned in my previous entry, unbeknownst to us at the time, we had booked our travel to Edinburgh during the Fringe festival, a world-famous, month-long, party and unlimited amount of shows, both free and for varying entry fees and of all different genres and topics.  So the city was even more overrun with tourists than it might otherwise be.  We shouldered on through though and got over that slight bummer quickly and had a total blast.

We took to the incredibly narrow, winding stone stairway of the Scott Monument, climbing our way up which, upon finishing gave us phenomenal, sweeping panoramic views of Edinburgh below.  This was awesome.  Well worth it.  I highly recommend it.  For only 5 pounds, this was a great deal.

Fun house mirrors on the Royal Mile.  Getting some giggles over this ;-)

Walking The Royal Mile.

Edinburgh Castle.

Oh my gosh, I LOVE the architecture of this city.  The colors, the style, I felt like I had walked into a darkly glittering but enchanting fairy tale.

Cool street market!

Heading through the main gate of Edinburgh castle :-) (we elected not to go inside as the entry fee was steep, around 20 euro.  But we were happy to have made our way up there, nonetheless).

American style breakfast at Mums.  The food wasn't anything special, it certainly wasn't high quality or gourmet but that aside, it was tasty enough.  Fatty, rich, satisfying diner food.  And fairly priced.  I enjoyed my pancakes :-D

Where it all began ;-) this is where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book, and I believe possibly the second and third one as well (or maybe just parts of the 2nd and 3rd, I am not totally sure).  
We didn't go inside the cafe as, get this, they charge you 1 euro simply to look inside!!!  Ludicrous, I thought.  But that aside, it was fun to walk by.  Try and soak up some of the Harry Potter energy/atmosphere ;-p

Harry Potters birthplace ;-)

Oh my gosh, I LOVED this little bookstores storefront.  So cute and inviting.

I didn't find this out until a few days after the fact but apparently this is the street in Edinburgh that inspired Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books!!  There is a fun fact/a great "did you know" for ya!  When Judith and I first saw this street though, I had no knowledge of that.  I just thought it was absolutely gorgeous so I started snapping lots of pictures!  

I just cannot get enough of the architecture in this city.  I love the dark stone and brick.  I love how it looks Gothic and creepy.  I love the slightly charred/sooty look to Edinburgh.  It looks old, haunted, while also being totally gorgeous.

The Scott Monument, which we climbed and which I highly recommend.
All of the follow photos are from our climb to the top of the Scott Monument.  The views were incredible, as you can see.  And I have to say, the view of Edinburgh as a city panorama might be one of my favorite city views out of all the cities Ive visited.  Florence, Italy might rival it, but that's it.  There is something distinctive about Edinburgh that I loved.  I don't want to keep on like a broken record with these describing words, but old, historic, Gothic, creepy, beautiful, all of them fit.  I just loved it.  Breathtaking.  I imagine Judith got tired of my raving about how much I loved this city. ;-p

How cool is this little car!?

Making a stop in a cute little cupcake shop.  Cupcakes are some of Judith's favorite sweets ;-)

We had dinner in Lucano and Ross, a super tasty and really cozy little Scottish/Italian restaurant close to our hotel.  This day in particular was drizzle, gray and chilly, so the restaurant was a welcome respite from the weather outside.  We cozied into our chairs and enjoyed pizza (Judith), a warm goat cheese and red beet salad (myself) and brownies for dessert.  Mmmmm.  The food was great.  I would recommend this place.

The area we were staying in was awesome.  We were within walking distance of a number of absolutely delicious restaurants, cute cafes, and one of Edinburgh's most HAUNTED places!!!!!  SO cool!!!

We had a fabulous brunch at a cute little French cafe in the old town.  This was one of the better breakfasts we had.  Really delicious, fairly priced, the bakery was inviting, charming and oh-so-French.  Definitely come here if you are in Edinburgh and was something delicious but other than Scottish food for breakfast.

Stay tuned for Part THREE coming up within 48 hours.  And after that, photos from my solo trips to SWEDEN which took place just last week :-D  lots of awesome entries coming along for ya!


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