Edinburgh is one of those old cities that most people have a clear image of even if they never visited it themselves. It invokes images of stoney towers, of castles, princes, of green hills, of a fairy tale city. And indeed, walking in the medieval Old Town makes these images lingering in your mind, from becoming reality. A vibrant reality, because the Old Town of Edinburgh is certainly not merely a historic city centre, but a lively collection of broad streets, turning alleys, closes, steps, and old houses. The Old Town still has its medieval city plan, but also modern shops and restaurants.
Arriving at the base of the extinct volcano on which Edinburgh Castle is built, I could only see the contours of the castle high above me, because the hills are so steep. After climbing the staircase from the Grassmarket area up to Edinburgh Castle, I found out that there was a huge podium right in front of it on the Esplanade. I decided to turn and walk down the Royal Mile. This is actually a broad street on the ridge leading down from the rock on which the castle was built, down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other, lower end. While the street actually changes name several times, it is referred to as Royal Mile because of this royal connection.
The Royal Mile is imposing in itself, with buildings like St Giles Cathedral, John Knox House and the Scottish Houses of Parliament, and other historical buildings. Walking down the Royal Mile has the added advantage that you can peep into the alleys leading down from the mile on both sides of the street. Some lead to closed courts, others lead to stairs going down the hill, but they all add to the picturesque feel of the Old Town of Edinburgh. Taking one of the side streets down offer the opportunity to see the skyline of the Old town from a distance.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Edinburgh Old Town (United Kingdom). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Edinburgh Old Town. Read more about this site.