After you hop off the train in the Waverly rail station, the first thing that struck us was the charming buildings all around lit by the evening sunshine. Hopping on the Hackney carriages (cabs) from the station en route to the hotel near the airport, and indulging in a deep conversation about Scottish lifestyle with the cabbie was a sign that the trip is going to be a good one. We went through the charming narrow roads with cute colorful houses in the outskirts of the city while going up and down the slope.
From the bus stop, we crossed the bridge overlooking Waverly, we started walking along the Royal Mile. The mile-long stretch of cobblestone road between the Castle and Holyrwood palace is great for people watching, eating and checking out a few sights in a leisurely pace.
Taking a sneak peak into the historic St. Giles Cathedral and the lobby in front where a number of street artists entertain the visitors with their melodies in the saxophones, bagpipers while you shoot for your favorite angles to capture the glimpses of the Scottish city. The cathedral is a good place to see stunning glass paintings and Gothic architecture.
On your walk along the Royal mile, you can peak into thousands of little alleys and plazas that offer amazing pictures to save for your trip memories. The medieval flavor of these alleys sometimes coupled with narrow staircases will surely bring some haunted memories. There are multiple haunted tours offered by numerous tour companies here. Apparently the spirits of the King Charles II and others who were captured and tortured here in the Dungeon still roam the city after dark. If you have to take a haunted tour anywhere in the world, this is the place to do so.
Finally the Edinburgh Castle offers an interesting perspective on the history, cannon fire, and panoramic views of the city. While you are here, do not forget to taste some Scotch in one of the fancy restaurants here. We tried out quite a few Scotches ranging from the highlands to the valleys, and smoky to flavorful ones in The Scotch Whisky Experience very close to the Castle.
Apart from the Royal Mile, the numerous eateries and pubs around this area provides a nice experience for your Scottish gastronomic adventures. If you are around here during late afternoons, feel free to sip on some English tea in the Elephant House, where JK Rowling documented the magical journeys with Harry Potter.
The best thing about this city is that it is not swarming with tourists, yet provides a visitor interested in Art and History enough material to spend a couple of days in their Scottish adventures.