In this episode of Amazing Scotland series, we invite you to join us on this scenic drive to Isle Skye from Edinburgh. There are several routes to Isle of Syke from Edinburgh. We have travelled through some of those highlands roads during our previous visits. This time, we decided to take the most scenic routes of them all which will take us through Cairngorms National Park and Snow Road. You can see the video of our trip here (if you liked what you saw, please subscribe the channel and show your support)
Sunday, October 11, 2020
The 90 mile stretch of Snow Road is said to be an amazing sight in the winter. We read that it is no less beautiful during the summer as well. As we are never tired of beautiful sights, we jumped at the opportunity to see new sights and explore new routes.You'll see that our decision was right. As we left Edinburgh behind, we were treated with some amazing scenery - it was literally feast for our eyes and soul. We couldn't have asked for more (except, perhaps a better weather :) ) On the way, we passed through some lovely towns and villages. Stopped a couple of times to enjoy the views of Cairngorms National Park. Breathing in that fresh crispy air felt heavenly. The heart was filled with joy.
We drove on through the valleys, enjoying the sights of small rivers and rivulets flowing by, clouds kissing the mountains, rains making it all disappear and sunshine bringing rainbows. It was a rollercoaster ride of a different kind. Nature can be such a good entertainer... We stopped near Balmoral Castle gates and enjoyed some views befitting the royals. We knew we couldn't get a view of the Queen's private residence even from afar. We would've loved to get a glimpse of it at least from far. But her majesty was in residence there at that time and so there was no way we could have managed that.
Spending some time by the side of River Dee was refreshing. It felt really nice to be able to see and feel nature up close. It was both a poignant and relaxing moment at the same time.
Friday, October 2, 2020
If someone asks us 'what to see in Edinburgh Scotland', we would say 'Royal Mile without any hesitation. Well, you want to know why, check out the earlier blog here.In this second part, we continue from where we left off last week- we bring sights from the Edinburgh Castle (https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/). Although we didn't go inside this time due to the pandemic situation, we had been inside a couple of times and so we know what's inside.
If you are in Edinburgh and go in, make sure your time your visit to see the daily gun shot which happens precisely at 1 PM. This happens daily, except on Sundays, Christmas and Easter.
The other attractions include the Scottish Crown Jewels - the crown, sceptre and sword used during the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots. There are several towers, museums and a small chapel. A detailed visit will take 3-4 hours. The view is fabulous from the top - a rewarding sight once you climb up the small hills.
Once you've seen everything the castle has to offer, it is time to walk back. As you go down Castlehill, you may try the Scotch Whiskey Experience (https://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk) to understand how whiskey is made. Enjoy the tasting session and you can even buy some whiskey if you liked what you tasted.
|The Harry Potter connection|
As you walk down the castle hill, you will see and hear the bagpiper stationed at the bottom of Castlehill playing the bagpipe. Listen to him and enjoy the Scottish music to your heart's fill. At Lawnmarket, take a diversion towards the George IV bridge for some unique views of the city. marvel at the architecture of this elevated street. It is really awe inspiring to see the buildings on the so called bridge, including the Scottish National Library. And as you walk past the Scottish National Library, you'll find a small cafe painted in red. Harry Potter fans, that's elephant house (https://elephanthouse.biz) for you - J K Rowling spent many a days writing Harry Potter in this small cafe. If you go in, don't forget to visit the toilet - the graffiti on walls by Harry Potter fans are said to be very interesting.
If you walk further on towards the candle makers row, you will see the Greyfrairs Bobby. Somewhere in the vicinity is the graveyard from where J K Rowling is said to have got inspiration for the names used in Harry Potter series.
|Adam Smith's Grave |
Walk to the opposite direction, towards the Princes Garden. There, a tall structure would attract your immediate attention. That's Scott Monument, dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. This 200-feet tall structure is said to be world's second largest monument dedicated to a writer. (https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/scott-monument) Back on Royal Mile, pause to look at the Heart of Midlothian. It was the site of a prison in the old days and so don't be surprised if the locals look at it with disgust. One you look around the place again, enjoy the stroll back to Canongate - this might be a good time to remember all those famous Scots - Alexander Fleming, Alexander Graham Bell, James Watt, Arthur Conan Doyle, R L Stevenson, Adam Smith, Sir Walter Scott and others.
At Canongate church, you can visit the grave of Adam Smith. Further down the road is the house he lived in.
Soon we will be back at Holyrood after experiencing the unique sights and sounds of Edinburgh. There is more to see in this beautiful city. We shall leave those for some other time, shall we?
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