How sensational when you wake up for the first time in a new country. Scotland was as I imagined it would be – friendly, with gloomy weather, in royal celebration. Edinburgh is beautiful, with elegant Georgian architecture.
Part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, however I felt Scotland has also it’s own diverse identity, ancient history, traditional music and specific accent.
The medieval Edinburgh Castle is the main sight. Everything else from here is in within walking distance, including the main street Royal Mile with centuries-old buildings and St Giles Cathedral, where I was lucky enough to enter during the organ concert rehearsal.
The Old Town, with medieval alleyways, Royal Mile, colorful Victoria Street and Grasmarket square, lined with restaurants, souvenir shops, pubs and cafés. And there is also the New Town, that is far from being new.
The New Town starts with the Scottish National Gallery, plus with George and Rose streets, lined with Georgian style townhouses. And has the Princes Street Gardens, where historic King Charles coronation ceremony was broadcasted this Saturday. Plus, walking in the New Town to the Royal Botanical Garden I realized how green and in full bloom the city actually is.
I can’t decide which part of the city I liked more.
From a culinary point of view, in the first morning was ordered the “Full Scottish breakfast” at Greenwoods in the New Town. Two eggs cooked to order with smoked bacon, sausage, roasted mushrooms, roasted herb tomato, baked beans and a homemade hash brown with toast. Full indeed, but I wanted to try it while I was here.
Second to try separately for lunch at MUMS Comfort Food was “haggis” (Scottish Gaelic: taigeis), the National dish – savory pudding with mashed potatoes. It was tasty and I have to say is really weather appropriate. As dessert goes, I had way to many shortbread and oat cakes to count.
For the perfect energy blend, I think the coffee scene in Edinburgh is as good as in Berlin. I noticed most people ordered flat white and it was also my coffee of choice at the highly recommended “Lowdown” in the New Town, and at “Artisan Roast”, the first speciality coffee roaster of Scotland.
Besides many special souvenirs related to the coronation, there are plenty of wonderful items to get in Edinburgh – cashmere, tartan scarf, a kilt, Walkers Shortbread, or bottles of whisky from Scotland’s famous distilleries. You can get one royal inspired souvenir or all of the above.
Last, but not least – for a dose of magic. Edinburgh is also the city where JK Rowling got inspiration for the Harry Potter universe and began writing the manuscript of the books while teaching at Edinburgh University. Grab a wand on picture perfect Diagon Alley (Victory street in this case). If you know you know. Any Potter fan knows. What is more impressive is that JK Rowling advocated that all movies will be filmed in the UK with British actors only.
Remembered with this occasion my other Harry Potter moments from London and Porto. And I even read a few passages from the second Harry Potter book before the day of departure, as my personal tribute to my magic memories of my childhood.
Feature picture credit – https://sprudge.com/