A city? spectacular and fairytale landscapes, a journey that remains in the heart!
We arrived in Edinburgh the previous evening and started the visit the next day. We stayed in a kind of dormitory near Holyroodhouse and from there. we went up along the Royal Mile until we reached the first stop, the St. Giles Cathedral, which is definitely worth a visit. Leaving the church we looked for the Heart of Midlothian mosaic and then we continued along the Royal Mile, what? full of very picturesque views. We then went up to the castle (17?), Which offers a spectacular view. From? we went down to Princes Street Gardens and stopped for lunch in one of the many typical Rose Street pubs where, contrary to the fame of British food, we ate very well.
Passing through the Grassmarket we arrived at Greyfriars Kirkyard, from which we have an interesting perspective on the city, and we saw the statue of Grayfriars Bobby, the little dog who has visited his master's grave for years.
The next stops were on the trail of the places that inspired Harry Potter: we took a look at the Elephant House pub, where JK Rowling started writing her novels, and Victoria Street, which seems to have inspired the creation of Diagon Alley. Victoria Street? extremely particular and one of a kind, with clubs and shops arranged on different levels. We then went up to Victoria Terrace to enjoy the view from the top and, after a short visit to the Wirters' Museum, we returned to the Royal Mile to reach the palace of Holyroodhouse (12,5?). We certainly liked the gardens more? of the palace, especially the abandoned abbey and the view of Arthur's Seat. On leaving we took a look at the Parliament and then returned to our accommodation around 18 pm.
Given the beautiful sunny day, after a short rest we decided to go up to Calton Hill to see the sunset. The view is definitely worth the effort to climb, we have seen the whole city? illuminated by the last rays of the sun.
The next three days we dedicated to a tour of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. We had thought about renting a car, but we gave up intimidated by driving on the right. We were a little unsure about the option of the guided tour as we had never tried trips of this type and we usually prefer to travel on our own but, after having considered the various proposals, the tour we? it seemed the one that allowed us to visit the greatest number of places in the short time available. We chose the tour operator Discover Scotland and were very happy overall.
We left Edinburgh early in the morning and, after a short stop in Glasgow, headed to Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. We continued through the Glencoe area, with a couple of stops to admire the most? evocative and listen to the tales of bloody battles between clans. One of the memories that I? remained more? in the heart it concerns the landscapes of lush green hills dotted with purple expanses of heather.
For lunch we stopped in Fort William, where we tasted some tasty haggis meatballs. After lunch we reached the Glenfinnan Viaduct, where the Jacobite Steam Train passes, made known by the filming of the Harry Potter films. We went up to the viewpoint from which you can admire both the viaduct and a suggestive view of the lake.
Our trip ? continued to the Isle of Skye via Morar beach, known for its white sand. In Mallaig we then took the ferry which, with a crossing of about an hour, took us to the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Skye? one of the most? fascinatingly desolate I've ever seen, where the sheep population? definitely more? numerous than the human one. After settling in a guest house directly on the sea we headed to the beach to admire the landscape in the last moments of light.
The next day ? started in pouring rain which, at least initially, made exploration a bit difficult. The first stage (whose name unfortunately I don't remember)? it was a river whose waters, according to legend, would guarantee eternal beauty. Unfortunately, the rain did not allow us to go far, but the green and purple landscape was certainly very impressive.
Later the program included a boat trip from Elgol, but bad weather conditions forced us to fall back on Dunvegan Castle (10?). From the castle? It is possible to take short boat trips to see the seals (7,5?), but unfortunately due to time constraints we were unable to participate. We visited the gardens where all kinds of flowers grow and we took a very quick look (again for reasons of time) inside the castle, pausing on the panoramic terrace.
After having lunch in Portree we stopped at the island history museum, we for? we did not go in and we preferred to walk around and visit the grave of Flora MacDonald, national heroine.
We then stopped at Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr, but unfortunately the visibility? it was scarce due to bad weather. On the other hand, Kilt Rock is very suggestive, a waterfall that enters directly into the sea with a particular sound of the wind in the background.
On the third day we left the Isle of Skye by crossing the bridge that connects it with the mainland. The first stop of the day? was the castle of Eilean Donan (7,5?).
The castle from the outside? very impressive, but the interior is also worth a visit. Unlike the many castles that I? happened to visit, pi? that a visitor to a historic home I felt like a guest in the home of Mrs. MacRae, the owner of the castle. The castle gives the idea of still being inhabited, with furnished rooms, lit fireplaces and family photos hanging. Mi? really liked the kitchen, where? The preparation of the inauguration dinner for the reopening of the castle in 1932 after the restoration work has been reconstructed in detail, complete with a recipe book, table set and landlady who supervises the work.
We then had lunch in Fort Augustus, on the shores of Loch Ness, in whose black waters I don't find it hard to believe that the famous monster is hiding.
The last stop on our trip to the Highlands? was the quaint town of Pitlochry, which boasts a very distinctive church.
Back in Edinburgh we decided to take a tour of Stirling, mainly attracted by the William Wallace monument. Stirling? easily reachable by train from Waverly Station (about 50 minutes journey, 20? round trip). To reach the monument? You need to take bus 63A which leaves from the bus station and the ride takes about 10 minutes. The climb to the top? of the monument (10?)? quite tiring and inside the tower there are several exhibits that tell the story of William Wallace. At the top you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
After having lunch in the city? we headed to the castle (15?), stopping at the church of Holy Rude which is worth a visit. The interior of the castle seemed a bit bare to us, but does it have a nice view over the city? and on the William Wallace monument.
We then returned to Edinburgh around 15:30 pm and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the center. We then decided to get tickets for Mary King's Close (12,5?) Intrigued by the history of the undergrounds that cross the Royal Mile.
The last day we started by climbing the Scott Monument (5?). The climb ? rather tiring, but the view of the castle and the Old Town? fantastic. We then continued walking in the gardens and visited the churches of St. John and St. Cuthbert. We then headed to Dean Village, what? it was a great surprise. The houses are built on the banks of the river and it is enough to go a little bit into the vegetation to forget that you are in a big city.
Returning to the center we stopped at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and then stopped for lunch on Rose Street.
In the afternoon we visited the National Museum of Scotland and, after a last stroll through the streets of the center, we headed to the airport.