Tag Archives: Edinburgh
Although Toronto summers are when the city comes alive, it’s also when the humidex goes off the charts. After a lively and vibrant Pride week and a scorching Canada Day, it was time for a quick break. Since the mister lives in the UK, I decided to jet set to beautiful Edinburgh for a weekend getaway. As inconvenient as the distance is, it does give me an excuse to travel to Europe more often than not. I have wanted to visit Edinburgh for quite some time to wander the historical streets and buildings. After some research (and very little persuasion), I made my way across the Atlantic.
There are a few things one must do when in Edinburgh: go to Edinburgh Castle, walk through the Princes Street Gardens, visit the National Museum of Scotland and drink a nice glass of Scotch.
Before making our way to the castle, we wandered through Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While we roamed the streets, we spotted a few of the historical landmarks including the Scott Monument (pictured above), a Victorian Gothic monument to author Sir Walter Scott, and the St. Giles Cathedral (pictured below), a Scottish church along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. One thing you can’t miss along the streets are the storefronts selling various garments in tartan including scarves, ponchos, kilts and even sweaters for you and your dog. I managed to hold off on the tartan, but within minutes I found myself at the foot of Edinburgh Castle.
For many of the locals, it’s just another landmark along the skyline, but in my mind, there’s something magical about castles. Edinburgh Castle currently houses crown jewels, a 15th-century cannon known as Mons Meg, the Great Hall, the Royal Palace and the Scottish National War Memorial. I easily lost a few hours roaming around this royal fortress.
I must have worked up an appetite because after we toured the castle, I was ready for a bite. Across the way from the Edinburgh Castle is Castle Terrace. This Michelin star restaurant boasts British cuisine combined with French cooking techniques and Scottish produce. Our meal was delightful and started with an adorable amuse bouche, which included a deep fried ravioli, the smallest burger ever made and jellified version of a caesar salad.
Did I mention the baked potato in a cup? Yes, the cup you see above is their version of baked potato. It wasn’t your usual variety but it was delicious nonetheless.
Once we finished our three courses, our appetites were satiated. We figured it was time for some enrichment, so we made our way across the Princes Street Gardens to the Scottish National Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland. When we arrived, my jet lag set in. It was about 4pm and I was ready for a nap. But before returning to the hotel, I was dragged to the rooftop terrace in the National Museum. I didn’t realize what I would’ve missed until I stepped foot outside. Once you walk up the staircase, you’re enveloped in Edinburgh’s skyline with spectacular views all around. It was well worth the last bouts of my energy for the day.
This was my first visit to Edinburgh but I guarantee it won’t be my last. Even though I managed to fit in quite a bit within the weekend (Day 2 isn’t mentioned here because it was spent shopping along Princes Street – yes, another essential while in Edinbrugh), there is still more to do. With gothic architecture, medieval buildings and historical landmarks, its no wonder these hills and castles attracts visitors from all over the world.
– Chenessa Lam