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Old August 9th, 2011, 05:40 AM   #1
Sweet Zombie Jesus
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Edinburgh, Scotland

(It's the one with the castle!)

A few pictures taken last week, hopefully the start of a longer thread.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are Scotlands two largest cities, but with considerable differences. My home city, Glasgow, has built itself over the years in a fairly catyclysmic manner (the city evolved over the years by destroying previous versions of itself... medieval town destroyed for Victorian city, itself almost destroyed for Modernist utopia... a practice hopefully dead for the foreseeable future with much saner approaches to urban planning)... and is a city of industry and trade, metal and grit, always attempting to haul itself out of some previous quagmire into the future.

Edinburgh on the other hand, measly 50 minutes away by train, developed far more organically, and is much more recognisably 'Scottish' in terms of its architecture. (especially the Old Town) It is a city where ideas and politics and culture flourished, and today thrives on its past while still sticking to its twin guns of education and politics (good universities and the home of the Scottish Parliament) as well as being the only UK city outside London to have a real 'financial' industry.

Glasgow's still better though

I'll shut it now, and just show some damn photos.

The Old Town is probably the best looking urban area in the country. From the castle at the top of an extinct volcanic plug, the old medieval heart of the city follows the Royal Mile down the hill, with narrow alleys known as 'closes' splitting off either side.

Note that these were taken just before the start of the festival, so even quite late in the day the city was buzzing with people... if you want the sense of history, that your echoing footsteps are following those of great thinkers centuries before, it's probably better to visit another time of year, when it's less busy.

From 'outside' the Old Town...






Going in


and up to the Royal Mile, which snakes down from the castle




The old markets, taverns, and stores sinced replaced largely by tourist traps, the place still holds onto its character.









Old and new...






Victoria Street, a '2 level street' shows excellently how the city has over the years built around and over itself.















Saw loads of these guys around, no idea how they survive the hills!






















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Old August 9th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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And now the New Town.

The New Town was laid out in the 18th century. Overcrowding in the Old Town had reached breaking point, and the city fathers wanted a new enlightened city to suit the great thinkers of the time. The grid plan with its wide streets and squares was incredibly modern for its time, and so succesful it was extended greatly in the next century.

Looking back to the Old Town...





In the busiest and most commercially succesful parts of the New Town the original townhouses were replaced by grander (though less architecturally harmonious) buildings.



Looking up toward the National Monument





View toward the Firth of Forth


And back to the Old Town


St. Andrews Square












The original townhouses of the New Town


































Edinburgh Castle, viewed across the Princes Street Gardens. This depression in the land once had a loch in it. This was originally to be remodelled into a canal, but was drained entirely, and the railway lines leading into the city were laid along the bottom.





A building which always catches my attention for some reason.




National Gallery of Scotland


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Old August 9th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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beautiful city, everyone whos been i know falls in love with the city! Thanks for the pics
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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Thanks, Cardiff!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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Great thread....I like reading a bit of history while looking at the beautiful pics....thanks.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #6
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Old Town and New Town look very harmonious together. Fantastic pictures.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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Amazing and very nice shots from Edinburgh
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Old August 11th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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Thats not a guy on that contraption!

Lovely pics, Edinburgh is a cool place and Id really like to visit it.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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Thanks guys!

Greco: Ya know what I mean.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:09 AM   #10
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Thumbs up for the UK's most consistently beautiful city I was gonna visit at the end of the summer but I want to wait until I get a new camera first instead.
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Old August 12th, 2011, 01:46 AM   #11
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It'll still be there waiting for you! Thanks man!
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Old August 12th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #12
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Edinburgh is simply gorgeous. Everyone I know who has visited it has been dwarfed by its beauty and charm, both in buildings and natural setting.

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Old August 13th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #13
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Lovely city. I especially like the new building between the old ones, nice to see some variety as well as the gorgeous old buildings.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #14
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Thanks guys! The new buildings in amongst the old are mostly fantastic little hidden gems.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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Incredible architecture. But why oh why were they so keen on building everything in grey stone? Not a winning receipe considering the weather up there..
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Old August 14th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #16
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As in all towns and cities at the time, the stone was quarried locally. The types and colours of stone differ around the country... Glasgow got honey/blond and red sandstone, Aberdeen has its grey granite. Edinburgh just happened to get lumped with the beigey/brownish sandstone although I wouldn't say it's grey (look at Aberdeen!) but lucky Edinburgh gets generally more clear, dry days than us on the rainy west coast.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #17
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What I ment was, had they not heard of paint.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #18
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OMG, beautiful pics, isnt Scotland the country with most castles in the world?
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Old August 14th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #19
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Mr Bricks: Haha, it's not that popular in urban areas here for some reason, (although many rural villages take on a bright white, or occasionally colourful tone for reasons I ain't particularly sure of.) indeed many architectural 'purists' would tell you that to paint over natural stone is akin to blasphemy, and destroys the harmony of the townscape. I for one share this view.

Sky devil: Thanks! I'm not sure about how many castles we have in relation to other countries, but it is a lot.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 03:13 PM   #20
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I need to investigate
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