A Travellerspoint blog

Traveling North, within the Border of UK

Scotland – Glasgow and Edinburgh

all seasons in one day -2 °C

Feb 4 – The Gales of Glasgow

Waking up at 4am, we got ready for the 5-hour train ride to Glasgow. The train arrived one hour later than the scheduled 10:30am. The first mission is to find nourishment for our starved stomachs. An attraction on the map, Willow’s Tea House, became our designated Scottish brunch venue.
The serene interior

Derek sitting in the Scottish Mackintosh Chair

Jane and her Haggis Neeps & Teets - Scottish meat pate

Stephanie and I ordered this delicious Beef Chili and a giant Meringue

With our stomachs filled with delicious Scottish delicacies, we marched towards the Lighthouse – an architecture exhibition housed in an ancient printing house. The exhibitions were extremely unconventional and interesting. Themes included sustainable architecture, participating works for V&A in Dundee museum design contest, childhood play games.
{Stephanie gazing at people’s reminiscences about their childhoods}

{mackintosh chair}

One thing very worthy of noting is the storm that we got stuck in. The winds blew our umbrellas inside out, rain drenched our heads and clothes, the sky ominously showed no colors except gray and black clouds. Our spirits were dampened just a little. After a day fighting the elements, we relaxed in the hippiest club in town - ABC. The experience was extraordinary, in the sense that we were the only Asians (plus two other) in a sea of blondies and brunettes, dancing to energizing Scottish bands. Very exotic.

Feb 5 – Exotic Edinburgh
{The sun painting the streets with orange and warm hues}

{Jane and Christine’s happy smiles as we arrive in Edinburgh}

The rugged majesty of Edinburgh castle humbled us at first glance. The breathtaking view on top of the mountain, overlooking all of Edinburgh’s spires, alleys, galleries, streets…

We climbed the cobblestone paths, passed under sever arched gates (each added to strengthen the castle’s defense), and came to an opening where canons lined the wall, above the sprawling city below. The tour guide later told us Queen Mary introduced the canons for decoration – dangerous beauty.

{Romantic backdrop on top of castle ground}

{The Royal Spanish Crest}

{The imposing front of the Memorial Hall for soldiers died in WWI. The scroll of all the honored names slept in a metal chest on top of the highest rock of the mountain – held in highest honor}

{Side view of the arch}

{Inside this sturdy construction lies the most precious stone of Scotland – the sacred Stone. The first king of Scotland was crowned on the Scone, which since then has been named the coronation stone. When Coronation takes place in the future, the Stone would be transported with the greatest care to Westminster Abbey.}

On another side of the courtyard, we entered a monolithic hall with a high ceiling made of oak, no nails, just glued together (Super Glue’s ancestor).
{The incredible oak ceiling}

{Ornate lamp}

{Military display – which one do you want?}

{Our choice was made. We are ready for battle!}

In the Scottish streets, we often come across narrow alleys with various difficult-to-pronounce names, such as this one.
{they call an alley a “close”}

For brunch, we indulged in a big 90-minute meal.
{Starter – Haggis Fritters}

{Bangers Mash – yummy salty sausages}

{Scottish tradition in its perfection – Haggis Neeps Teets (second appearance!)}

The Giles Cathedral marked the climax of my day. The national Church of Scotland, we were honored to absorb its beauty and majesty at our liberty. The Decorative Style ceilings, from the second Gothic era of the 14th century, put us in awe. The rose windows told stories of the saints and led our hearts to pure admiration.
{The Cathedral’s interior}

{The rose window}

{Cher and I sat in our best posture on the steps in front of the Cathedral}

When we stepped outside the Cathedraw, the sun had dipped below the horizon. The faintly illuminated blue skies gave the city a fairytale ambience.
{The misty and magical streets}

{Cher and I enjoying our moments in the stroll}

{The architecturally avant-garde Scottish parliament }

{The ghosty and dark close, which we gratified our wanderlust}

We went to Mary King’s Close, a renowned underground attraction and learnt about the Edinburgh’s social history through taking a walk into history itself. The 14th century marked the pandemic that killed thousands and instigated a citywide reconstruction – all the multi-storey buildings had their top layers “chopped off.” Imagine a sword slicing through a sand castle horizontally in the middle. (The reality was much much slower than this swift imagery. Hands and animals were the only tools available at the time.} The Edinburgh we know today sits on top of the buried remains of the 14th houses, where many dead souls sleep and ghosts roam.
{Our group picture in the underground. Mighty intriguing stuff}

Time to board our bus. Taking a last look at the amazing city, the buildings glow in the evening lights.

Tired from overnight bus, heart and mind rejoicing with the architectural miracles we witnessed from Edinburgh Castle to the Giles Cathedral, I want to daydream for a while at my leisure. Yet Father Time tallies for no one, now it's time to go and prepare to tomorrow's early class.

Posted by Ceci's Cre 14:26 Archived in Scotland Tagged glasgow edinburgh

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Your stories were amazing. While reading the blog, I felt that I am traveling in the same place too. Its well described, organized and the story line were realistic. Thanks for sharing the experience.

I like the photos so much!

by elhombre81

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