Two Days in Edinburgh

After the Railway Museum in York we drove to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The four hour drive was thankfully uneventful.

Now a little detail that we missed when planning our visit to Edinburgh was that it was smack dab in the middle of the Fringe Festival. Unknown to us but the Fringe Festival is the world's largest festivals. It spans over a month with thousands of events and performances and an attendance of over 30,000 people!! Our hotel was in the Grassmarket area, which is a busy busy area.. we had to drive around in circles multiple times because of road closures until M was able to find a spot to stop while D and I unloaded our luggage and walked to the hotel while M went further to park the car. 

We stayed at the Grassmarket Hotel which was terrific. I'd highly recommend it. We started a little later than planned.. but oh well. 

We walked up W Bow St where we found more Harry Potter stuff..

Along Victoria Street, right behind us was a staircase that took us to the Upper Bow which lead to Lawnmarket and eventually the famous Royal Mile. Because of the festival there were blockades everywhere and swarms of people, street performers and flash dancers. 

The entire castle area was blocked off.. after walking around a bit we were feeling hungry.. we came back down the stairs and had dinner at Mariachi. Good food.. great drinks!

With our bellies full we decided to head away from the festival crowd and made our way towards Princes Street Garden. 

The Edinburgh Castle behind us. FUN FACT - the Edinburgh Castle sits on a plug of an extinct volcano. We ended the night with a stop at Ross Fountain.. and then the boys spent some time playing in a nearby playground. 

The fountain was oddly light blue and gold.. and seemed less Scottish and more Indian to me.. very blue Hindu god themed. 

The next morning we started with a light breakfast at La Barantine Victoria. 

Next we headed to Edinburgh's second extinct volcano.. Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat is part of the Holyrood Park. Arthur's Seat is often mentioned as one of the possible locations for Camelot. The hike up did take my breath away.. literally but it was absolutely worth it..

From Arthur's Seat we headed to Calton Hill but first stopped for a quick bite to eat at Vivo Cafe. Calton Hill was granted World Heritage Status in 1995. 

Calton Hill is a bit of a mishmash of monuments.. The Nelson Monument towering to the right, the National Monument of Scotland aka Edinburgh's Shame to the left. Why Edinburgh's Shame.. well the committee ran out of money and were not able to finish the Roman inspired monument.. hence the shame :( But it didn't seem to bother most of the people around us who climbed upon it and enjoyed the warm day.

After Calton Hill we walked towards Dean's Village. We walked along Rose St. which I'd add to the must list.. it was full of eateries and great shops. 

Along a wall there were a series of panels created by artist Astrid Jaekel illustrating a verse of George Mackay Brown's The Beachcomber 

We stopped at Hotel Chocolat for some cold treats..

 and then continued towards Dean's Village, a former village immediately northwest of the city center of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was known as the "Water of Leith Village" and was the center of a successful grain milling area for more than 800 years. At one time there were no fewer than eleven working mills there, driven by the strong currents of the Water of Leith. It remained a separate village up till in 1826 John Learmonth, a future Lord Provost of Edinburgh, purchased the Dean Estate from the Nisbets of Dean.

And then back towards the hotel and a very bland meal at O'Oliviero Italian Restaurant. 

While roaming the streets of Edinburgh we saw many colorful laughing man statues.. turns out they were part of the Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail. Scotland's first ever national public art trail with the aim of raising awareness and funds to support children's hospital charities. The boys loved these and insisted to pose with each one they spotted.

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Sasha said...

Such gorgeous photos, Hena! What a great city! You all look like you're having such a great time!:) Hope you have a wonderful week! XXX

Jennifer said...

Looks like such a fun time!

Effortlessly Sophisticated

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Looks like a good time, Fringe and all! And good weather too -- no rain?

Kelly said...

Lots of great scenery, especially on your hikes outside the city. I love those drinks in the skull mugs!

simply styling said...

Such fabulous photographs of your trip ! It looks like a fabulous place to visit !

Laura B said...

Edinburgh is a beautiful city! It looks like you all had so much fun while there! Your Hotel Chocolat treats look amazing!

Elephant's Child said...

We have a friend who performs in that Fringe Festival (when finances allow him to get there). Thank you so much for showing us another side to this fascinating city.

Veronica Lee said...

I am adding Edinburgh to my bucket list! Love your photos, Hena.

Sami said...

What a great view from Arthur's Seat!
The laughing statues would have been great fun for the kids.

Julie | This Main Line Life said...

It looks like such a great trip. We have a Fringe festival here in Phila every year. I'll bet it's modeled after that one... of course ours is only a week, ha.

Emmylou said...

The boys are too cute with that laughing man:) Would love to visit Edinburgh someday. They have a yarn festival every year that I really want to go to someday!

awhite said...

Such a fun family getaway- and I had no idea the Edinburgh castle sat on top of an extinct volcano!

Le Stylo Rouge

Debbie said...

you are really just the cutest family!! i have 2 sons, they are 36 and almost 37 and i remember this time in their lives like it was yesterday. why is it they pose for pictures this goofy way?!?! but then that last one, that was awesome!!

you keep a nice, fairly detailed catalog of your trips, i'm sure the pictures help with that!! i am happy to see pictures of you mixed in, i always took the pictures and there are very few of me. i look back with regret on that now!!

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

We went to Edinburgh in the fall and absolutely loved it. It's fun seeing it from your perspective! We did a lot of the same things but different too!

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Wow the views from atop Arthur's Seat are really spectacular! I'm totally adding Scotland to my travel wish list.

Red Rose Alley said...

What a fantastic trip you had. Scotland looks awesome. My children are part Scottish on their father's side. The buildings look so old and historic. The ice cream with chocolate looks Yummy. And I like the photo of your little one overlooking the city. I wish I had one of those desserts to go with my coffee right now. ; )


Christina said...

I have to admit that after 20 years in Scotland, I have never visited Edinburgh as you have. Arthur's seat looks great, must do this next time I cross to the East coast. I went to a wedding once at the Grassmarket Hotel, what a small world eh? Thanks for sharing your trip, it is nice to see my chosen home country with your eyes.

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

Wow, the views from your hike are truly stunning. I'd really love to visit Scotland some day and if I do, I'll definitely have to make Edinburgh one of my destinations.

karen said...

Oh! This is a wonderful post about everything I would like to do if I was there :)

Doused in Pink | Chicago Style Blog said...

What a fabulous trip! Love seeing your photos! I would love to visit Edinburgh one day!

Jill - Doused in Pink

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

LOVE the Harry Potter stuff and those mugs are so cool!


white and vintage said...

I have never been in Edinburgh, but it looks really nice. Your boys are so lovely!
Have a nice week

NotJessFashion said...

What a fun trip indeed! The kids look like they're a good time at the museum.
Jessica | notjessfashion.com

Mica said...

You managed to fit so much into your time there! I wish we could have visited Calton Hill and Dean Village when we were in Edinburgh earlier in the year - we did get to tour the castle, do the Royal Mile and Arthur Seat though. The views were so worth it, and if we ever go back the playground in Princess Street gardens is on our list, it was just too wet the day we had planned to go!

Hope that you have a wonderful weekend ahead of you!

Away From Blue

Starshine Beauty said...

So much fun! I am a huge Harry Potter fan! :)

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Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

Love this! Beautiful place,beautiful pics and beautiful family :)


Polyester Princess said...

What a treat, especially as I've never been in Edinburgh and have been longing to visit it. xxx

Ruth Josey said...

What a wonderful trip! It looks like the boys really liked this segment of your travel - they're just so precious! The photos are beautiful and those views! I love your honest opinions about some of the less-than-stellar places and meals, too. Thanks for sharing - makes me wish I were there!


Paola Lauretano said...

Your sons are growing up so fast! beautiful pics!
Kisses, Paola.


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