Armin's World Tour of Scotland

You are here: Edinburgh :: Home :: Tour :: Contact :: Sitemap

Facts of the Day:
Date: 19/August/2002
From: Carronbridge
Via: Edinburgh
To: Carronbridge
Miles: 17 (car) 70 (estimate, train)
Midges: 50 (Estimate)
Weather: Sunny and warm, some clouds
Mood: Excellent

Picture of Princes Street GardensWhat a difference a day can make: After all the rain the previous day this was a glorious day with fantastic sunshine. I took a train from Stirling to avoid the traffic and arrived at Waverley Station late in the morning. My first destination was the famous castle, overlooking Princes Street Gardens.Picture of Edinburgh Castle I walked through Princes Street Gardens to approach the castle, then "climbed" up the mound to the entrance.Picture of the entrance to the castle As I had expected it was brimming with tourists, partly due to the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Tattoo taking place at this time of year. All the other tourists I had largely managed to avoid the previous weeks seemed to have descended on Edinburgh. I had a look around the castle and enjoyed the views over Edinburgh while waiting for the One O'clock Gun. First a view over the Edinburgh Tattoo site in front of the castle over to Arthur's Seat, then a view over Princes Street Gardens to Calton Hill:Picture of the view to Arthur's SeatPicture of the view to Calton Hill

Picture of the gun being firedPicture of the smoke liftingAn old ritual with a practical background is taking place every day at precisely one o'clock: The One O'clock Gun is fired. When exact timekeeping started to become important people needed something to ensure they could set their clocks correctly (televisions and radios, not to mention the telephone didn't exist yet). So the One O'clock Gun was implemented, which is fired at exactly one o'clock. As sound travels fairly slow, there were even maps showing how many seconds had to be deducted to set a clock correctly if you weren't close enough to the castle.

Picture of the Royal MilePicture of the TolboothFrom the castle I made my way down the Royal Mile, trying to avoid the leaflets for hundreds of Fringe events people tried to give me constantly. I stopped at Canongate Tolbooth to visit "The People's Story", an interesting exhibition about the everyday life and work of the people of Edinburgh through the centuries.

Picture of the Scottish Parliament construction sitePicture of the Palace of HolyroodhouseAt the other end of the Royal Mile the new Scottish Parliament is currently being built. A visitor centre gives an overview about the history, the plans and how the construction is progressing. The best view over the site is probably from the Salisbury Crags at Holyrood Park. Next to it is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Official Residence of Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland.

Picture of Arthur's SeatPicture of the view over EdinburghIt's hard to believe, but the picture on the left is taken from a spot may be 200 yards from the Scottish Parliament Building. Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano just a short distance from Edinburgh City Centre. I decided to make the climb up to it's 250m/820ft summit to enjoy the views over the city and the Firth of Forth.Picture of the view over the Firth of Forth The climb is not too strenous and it's worth it, the views are fantastic. The weather was fairly clear and I could see as far as Fife on the other side of the Firth of Forth or the Forth Rail Bridge. I spent quite a while at Arthur's Seat and in Holyrood Park, just enjoying the views and the sunshine. In the evening I made my way back to the station to take the train back to Stirling.

Advertising section:

<- previous :: Tour :: next ->