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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Half a capital and half a country town, the whole city leads a double existence; it has long trances of the one and flashes of the other; like the king of the Black Isles, it is half alive and half a monumental marble.

Robert Louis Stevenson

The story of Edinburgh is a story of two cities...and indeed two countries...The Auld Reekie and The New Town. One gloomy, claustrophobic, atmospheric...gothic...the other light, airy, stately, classical. For a long time the city was the centre of Scottish political and cultural life, and one of the most important cities in Europe. But then with the passing of the Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 the parliament and the king decamped to the far away London...And the city went "quiet". Jeered and sneered at by other Scots, Edinburgh stood still in time. The city fathers tried to save the situation by commissioning 26 year old James Craig to build the model new city - New Town - the elegant playground for the rich. But it failed, by 1821 Edinburgh had been overtaken by Glasgow...It wasn't until 1990s that Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting crew brought the city back to the worldwide attention. Rentboy and Spud running down Princes Street reminded the world that Edinburgh was still here, still kicking. And today more so than ever - with the return of the Scottish Parliament, birth of The Fringe and Military Tattoo, Edinburgh is firmly back on the European map.

1. After 8 hours of nearly sleepless night on the Caledonian Sleeper train this was our first glimpse of the city. The gothic architecture and autumn foliage provided for an amazing sight.



2. The view towards the Old Town from the New Town. The building with two towers is Edinburgh's University's New College building, built in 1846. Sorry for the camera shake. :(



3. The imposing Edinburgh Castle - no mere tourist attraction - it is still a working military site and the home of Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is perched on an extinct volcano high above the city. The site has been occupied since the Bronze Age, however current buildings date onwards from 12th century.



4. Edinburgh is easily the most spectacularly located city in the UK. Here's the view over the rooftops of the Old Town towards the Salisbury Crags. Can you spot people making their ascent? ;)



5. Here's the Old College of University of Edinburgh. An imposing Georgian structure completed in 1791.



6. As we can see Old Town is still a place to live and work. Despite it being a UNESCO World Heritage Site there's quite a few modern constructions. Before settling for a hotel we thought of renting an apartment. Some of the ones we saw were quite amazing - bright, airy and modern.



7. The nasty monstrosity of Argyle House...ewwww....



8. The views from the little steps leading towards the Castle, Edinburgh has fantastic topography which offers many different views over the city.



9. The view towards the Grassmarket.



10. View from one of the many alleyways or as they are called in Edinburgh Closes. The massive building in the background is The Balmoral the luxury 5 star hotel built in 1902.



11. Wonderfully old buildings on West Bow.



12. George Heriot's School. 1693.



13. The view towards Castle Hill from the Castle Esplanade. Wonderful view!



14. A bit wider view. Note the mountains. The white building on the left is apartment block. Most cost quite a bit!



15. The view over the old town from the Castle Esplanade.



16. I returned towards the evening and done this 30 second exposure.



17. In the other direction...



18. Zoomed in...



19. Cowgate.



20. The view towards the Castle from Castle Hill. On the left is The Witchery - a luxury restaurant - with a gothic feel inside.



21. The Hub the offices and a performance space for the Edinburgh International Festival housed in former General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.



22. At dusk looking towards the Castle.



23. The Gothic wonderland. The inner-courtyard of the New College.



24. The Lawnmarket and some of Edinburgh's pretty tall tenements. Indeed Edinburgh together with Yemen's Shibam is the home to some of the oldest skyscrapers in the World. Some buildings reach 10 storeys high! I visited one of them. We shall see photos from there later on!



25. The side street at dusk.



to be continued :cheers:
 

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Yonner
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:applause:Great stuff.:yes:
 
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The lawnmarkets are leaning slightly, hauntingly beautiful I'd say.
 
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Beautiful pics! Love the look of the city, really imposing. I also love it when you can see many layers of buildings of different styles and times forming compositions in the slopes of the city.

Fantastic.
 

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The First photo is the view from Princess Street,the main street in Edinburgh!

Its also taken about 100m from the Balmoral Hotel,where J.K.Rowling wrote most of her Harry Potter books!
 

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Bike It!
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I always wanted to visit this northern pearl. Great stuff, looking forward to more pictures. :cheers:
 

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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Discussion Starter #15
Beautiful pics! Love the look of the city, really imposing. I also love it when you can see many layers of buildings of different styles and times forming compositions in the slopes of the city.

Fantastic.
Thank you!

Definitely. I liked that as well.

The First photo is the view from Princess Street,the main street in Edinburgh!

Its also taken about 100m from the Balmoral Hotel,where J.K.Rowling wrote most of her Harry Potter books!
What of The Elephant House? I thought that's where she wrote them?

I always wanted to visit this northern pearl. Great stuff, looking forward to more pictures. :cheers:
Do it.
 

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Its also taken about 100m from the Balmoral Hotel,where J.K.Rowling wrote most of her Harry Potter books!
Pretty sure she finished the last chapter of the last Potter book in a suite in the Balmoral, but she was far too skint when she started to be able to afford to stay there. And seeing as she lives in Edinburgh, she only booked in to the Balmoral to make it a 'thing' that she finished the book there.

What of The Elephant House? I thought that's where she wrote them?
The Elephant House is certainly the now-accepted venue of where the early stuff was supposed to be written but I'm pretty sure the first few times I heard the story of how as an impoverished single mum she used to sit in a cafe writing it was supposed to be a place on South Bridge that I can't remember the name of. I dare say it's entirely possible that there was more than one cafe she liked to go to...
 

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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Discussion Starter #17
^ Thanks for the insight, very interesting. My wife and I went to the Elephant House for lunch (we had lasagne :D). The place was packed with Chinese and American tourists as well as local hipsters. The view from the windows is lovely as well, unfortunately someone was sitting just by the window with the best view, so I didn't take any photos as I didn't want to shove my camera in her face. Next time.

Lets continue.

26. After the lunch at the aforementioned Elephant House we want for a little walk in the neighbourhood. Here we have The Central Library built in 1890. I was studying old maps of Edinburgh and while most of the city has changed beyond recognition (thanks to those interfering busy-body Victorians), some places have remained more or less unchanged. This street - Candlemaker Row is one of them. The church spire we see here belongs to St Mary Magdalene Chapel built in 1544. It was financed by a certain Janet Rynd. It included accommodation for a chaplain and four poor men who's job was to pray especially for the Mary Queen of Scots.



27. Continuing down the Candlemaker Row. Wonderful skyline Edinburgh has. Very few cities have such great views from the street level.



28. Levels and levels. Fantastic. Candlemaker Row is famous as a home to the spooky and haunted (oh yeah!) Greyfriars Kirkyard. We will see photos from there later!



29. A nice modern addition. Sadly we didn't go up there. Next time I guess..? In the same courtyard I found an ancient doorway with Latin inscription (can anyone translate it?) - "Sedes Manet Optima Coelo 1638".



30. The building on the left is City Chamber built in 1761. Although I bet it incorporated much older structure. It stands at whooping 10 storeys high. I went inside.

 

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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Discussion Starter #20
31. City Chambers. 10 storeys (one hidden from view at the bottom) + two storeys worth entrance. How many is that? 12? Pretty impressive! :nuts:



32. Inside City Chambers. Looking down from the top. Sadly the top windows are all stained glass so can't see the view of the city at all...



33. Warriston Close leading up to the Royal Mile.



34. There are many narrow stepped alleyways in the Old Town, here's Milne's Court.



35. Random closes.



36.



37. In the old days these alleyways heaved with activity as many entrances to the buildings were located off them. The tall tenements themselves housed all classes. There were poor in the basements or the garrets, the well off in the middle.



38. Advocates Close. You can see the hotel we stayed in on the right.



39. At night.



40. Milne's court again. It was built in 1692 by Robert Mylne, Master Mason to the King and soon became a fashionable place to live. Today it is a university hall of residence.

 
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