Edinburgh, Scotland: Old Town, Royal Mile & Princes Street
It had always been my dream to visit Scotland, fancying it to be a land of warriors and knights in shining armour, who rode their horses through mountain wildernesses interspersed with valleys and lakes. Even though I did not meet any knights there, I was completely bewitched by Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Edinburgh was also the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century that transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Later, a friend remarked to me how she felt that Scotland was haunted and wanted to know my own feelings on the subject. Besides the sweet haunting sound of pan pipes that seemed to echo from nowhere and everywhere, I could very tangibly feel the intensely rich Scottish past pervading the Scottish air, making Scotland evocatively haunting.
I was staying at the Hotel Ibis, Royal Mile located in the Old Town, which is also the center of Edinburgh. The window of my room opened onto the Hunter Square with it's historic church and city-center - reminiscent of an era, now lost. Arriving late in the afternoon, I quickly showered and got dressed to take a walk around town. Starting from the Royal Mile, I walked to the New Town of Edinburgh to Princes Street with a view of the Edinburgh Castle. As I passed several shops and hotels and took a quick look at Zara, it somehow felt a little strange to have such a modern shopping center in such an ancient city that took you back in time! I ended my evening with a nice salad and a tall hot-chocolate at Starbucks, located right next to the Ibis hotel. It slowly began to rain, and it almost felt like the rain was further shrouding with mysterious rain drops, the many untold stories of a still to be discovered Scottish past.
The next day I arose early as I was scheduled to travel to Inverness, a city located in the north-eastern part of the Scottish highlands and about 4 hours by train from Edinburgh. Walking around the Old Town and Royal Mile as the rising sun softly penetrated it's rays through the sparse clouds, I said my goodbyes to Edinburgh, concluding my stay with another tall hot-chocolate at Starbucks!
Here is a video of an evening in Edinburgh taken from my Iphone 6S Plus. Exploring the New Town in Edinburgh with the shopping center in Princes Street that has a view of the Edinburgh Castle and Scottish National Library, and ending with a cab drive through Canongate, Edinburgh to Hotel Ibis, Royal Mile located in the Old Town of Edinburgh.