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1 August 2016

PHOTODIARY: EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND / PART 1

"Let's make memories" my bestfriend, Hinu, told me. So even though I don't have much money in my bank account, I started searching for flights, hotels and a new city to explore. We were looking through anywhere in Europe, and slightly leaning towards Paris or Italy. Along the way, I realised I don't have enough resources even for just a 3 day trip. We kind of settled for Scotland which would be hassle free especially for me because it's within the UK and I won't be needing to apply for a tourist visa. I booked an airbnb especially because it's a cheap option, booked a flight and we were off. 


I didn't really have any expectation for Edinburgh, but it gave me a lot. I mean a lot. We entered the city from the airport through a tram. I was eagerly looking out the window with my mouth open amazed with the streets of the city. I felt like I entered a time warp back to the past. We were greeted by the most welcoming airbnb host. He picked us up from the tram stop and drove us all the way to the house we'll be staying in. We lived in a victorian house for the whole 3 days, and we had the best experience.



Our host was kind enough to drive us around the whole of the city to show us the major sights and for us to be familiar with the place. I really got the impression that Scottish people are kind people. After we got dropped off right at the middle of the city, we started exploring. Our main target that day was to visit the Edinburgh Castle. Then, we walked around for hours to see all the interesting things that Edinburgh had to offer. It was only our first day, but we weren't disappointed. After a tiring productive day, we went home to a very comfortable room and called it a day.

It may seem that I settled to go for Scotland at first, which was so wrong. Because Scotland should be on your list of places to visit.



ARCHITECTURE
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I am no expert when it comes to architecture, but it doesn't take one to realise that Edinburgh's architecture is beautiful. It's old, rustic, and I just instantly knew there are thousand years of history hidden behind these walls. 


What I love about travelling is meeting locals who will give you a feel of what the city is truly like and will show you places that not a lot of tourists know about.


As my friend and I were struggling to find our way to the high street, a lady must've noticed our lack of map reading skills and initiated to tell us where to go. Before she left, she told me to spot the cat on top of the roof of one of the buildings. According to her, the architect of the house put it there because the children in the neighbourhood loved cats. 
Not a lot of people notice it.






ARMSTRONG'S VINTAGE SHOP
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Did someone say vintage shop? I'll be there.

Armstrong's was huge and contained a lot of vintage everything. It was quite overwhelming because I didn't know where to start looking. I could spend hours going through the clothes and admiring little trinkets.







THE ELEPHANT HOUSE
WHERE J.K ROWLING WROTE THE FIRST HARRY POTTER BOOKS 
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I consider my self a Potterhead. So when our airbnb host told us about this place, I was instantly excited. The cafe itself was nothing extravagant, it was a homely little cafe who serves tea and coffee, chicken pies and baked potatoes. But because of one special lady a lot of people flock over here to see where the books, that became part of their lives, have been created.  







THE ROYAL MILE
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This has got to be the busiest street. There's so much going on. On one end of it is the castle, the other is Arthur's seat. As you walk through it there are a lot of street performers, tourists buying souvenirs, locals going for their shopping while music from the bagpipes is playing on the background.





EDINBURGH CASTLE
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It is not hard to recognise which is the Edinburgh Castle. It is very evident as it stands high up on the hill of Castle Rock. 
We cannot pass on visiting something so old and historic. 

We mazed through the massive castle. Went up Arthur's Tower, saw the Crown Jewels of Scotland, visited the National War museum, the Scottish National War Memorial and the great hall. We also had the feel of the castle during the many wars it withstood. We visited military prisons, and of those of prisoners of war. 


The view of the city from the castle.



HOWIE'S RESTAURANT
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We had a very long first day, towards the end all we could think of was a hearty hot meal. We stumbled upon this Scottish restaurant, and because it was raining we went straight in. I'd like to think it was fate who brought us to this place because we experienced the best tasting food. I think I died and went to heaven for a bit.


Scottish chicken breast with tarragon, wild and chestnust mushrooms served with garlic beans, crushed new potatoes and pan jus




Howie's famous banoffee pie

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