Edinburgh From Above: The Best Panoramic Views
If there was one thing I planned for my summer trip was not to rush to see everything (something I am often guilty of) and wander at a relaxing pace in each city. Yet somehow, the first day in Edinburgh was both relaxing and packed with a lot of sightseeing. “Congratulations, you earned a new badge: most steps walked,” my phone informed me at the end of a long, but very exciting day. Apparently I had walked over 23 km that day, although my feet didn’t feel it until I got to the apartment and sat down. Looking at pictures now, it puzzles me how I was able to see everything I did in one day. Surely time must have stood still for a few hours. Whenever I’m in a new city, I like to see it from above and that day, I haven’t just done that, I saw the city from above from five different places! Curious to see how I did it?
Being on a budget, we had to decide between the Edinburgh Castle and Camera Obscura, both quite pricey. We went for the latter (especially for the panoramic view on the rooftop) and I can already hear your shock for not going to the city’s most iconic place, but I’ve seen a lot of castles and wasn’t in the mood for another one. Camera Obscura however was A LOT of fun, even for adults, but the kids were having a blast. I will forever laugh at the memory of the mirror maze, when a little boy turned to warn us about a mirror after running headfirst into it. 😂 The view from the rooftop was worth it, as well as camera obscura itself and I hope my pictures above show how moody the weather in Scotland is. These were taken early in the morning. Pay attention at how the weather changes throughout the day.
The sun came out after we left Camera Obscura, much to my excitement, and it stayed that way for the remaining of our time in Edinburgh. We walked towards the Vennel Steps and yes, it’s not really a “panoramic view”, but it had an amazing view of the castle. Afterwards we stopped for lunch at Fiddlers Arms where we had the best haggis balls in Scotland. We even went back again on another day, since they have very affordable prices for lunch. Eating out in Edinburgh is effing expensive, yo!
While walking back to the apartment after a rather underwhelming Harry Potter walking tour, we decided to stop at the giant Ferris Wheel. We chose it over getting to the top of the Scott Monument, well, because one has 287 stairs and on the other one you sit down and take pictures. Besides, we can always go to the top of the Scott Monument, as it’s not going anywhere, while the Festival Wheel is only there for about a month and a half during summer. While the ride was relaxing and the view is great, I’m not sure it’s worth the £9 ticket, you can get even more beautiful views for free.
We weren’t sure whether to go Arthur’s Seat that day, but the weather was on our side, it was warm and there was a bright blue sky, we were afraid we wouldn’t have the same luck on the following days. So after a quick stop at the apartment, Paul and I were ready to go conquer the extinct volcano. We passed Holyrood Palace, where much to my delight, I saw a lot of adorable squirrels. The climb took about an hour and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought, but the view from the top was simply breathtaking. Even though I wasn’t there at sunset or sunrise as I would have liked, the light in the afternoon (around 7 PM) was beautiful, perfect for pictures.
To be completely honest though, I wanted to go to Arthur’s Seat mostly because it was a filming location for the movie One Day, which is based after one of my all time favorite books, and it’s the place where Dexter and Emma began their beautiful friendship. I’m not crying, you’re crying, shut up!
We reaaally didn’t plan on going to Calton Hill that night, but after dinner at Nando’s (we love us some piri-piri chicken!), while walking home we noticed the moon was huge and the sky had some lovely colors so we quickly decided to rush to the top of Calton Hill. Yes, the colors began to fade by the time we reached the top (easy and quick climb) and I didn’t have the right lenses to photograph the moon, but I wanted to see the city from Calton Hill at night anyway. And I was right, the city looked magical all lit up.
As you can see, I was serious when I said we did A LOT of walking that day. But I don’t regret any of the places we’ve seen, they all had something special about them. Besides, the following day we took it easy and relaxed, while visiting some quiet places in the city. More on this in the next post though. 😉