December 09, 2006

Edinburgh Part 1 (25-Nov-2006)

It has been a while since I've blogged and I do apologize for my inability to do so. Work has caught up with me and so, I only have time to blog during weekends, if possible. ^_^

Anyway, I've decided to blog about my Edinburgh trip, short though it was, but I managed to capture some of Scotland's beautiful city and countryside.

The Edinburgh trip started off really early as we were looking at almost 1000 miles worth of road. That is, a roundtrip of going to Edinburgh, the attractions and back to Derby.
We started off from Derby at about 7:30am, heading towards the M1 to go up north towards Leeds, and onwards towards the city of Edinburgh. We had directions taken from, which provided comprehensive information for the long road up North.

The weather was not too good as it was drizzling and at some parts raining a little heavy. When it did rain a bit heavy, we had to drive a little slower. The route took us from highways to small country roads and eventually back to the main highway. We even managed to pass by the coast of Scotland just as we were entering the border of Scotland.

Colleague driving the car (near Manchester)

Half-way through, we managed to switch drivers. I didn't drive as I wasn't insured to drive the car and so, I acted as navigator for the trip. The trip up to Edinburgh took about 5hrs. By the time we reached the city, it was about 1pm. However, we got lost around the city and so, we managed to reach our hostel by 2pm.

The first thing which strikes us about Edinburgh is how hilly the city is. This means that most of the city is built on hills and thus, we need to be able to walk uphill ALOT! I would suggest that if you intend to visit the city to get some good walking shoes as the roads are mostly cobbled/concrete streets and thus, if the streets are wet, it will be slippery.

Castle Rock Hostel

After checking in and taking a short break, we decided to visit Edinburgh castle which is just situated on a hill above our hostel. It is accessible via a flight of stairs (YES!! MORE CLIMBING!!) and the castle is situated right at the top of it. Once there, the first thing which greeted us was a huge gust of wind which nearly knocked us off our feet. The wind made our hands jerky and it is difficult to take photos.

Edinburgh castle (yes! It's on a hilltop!!)

Edinburgh castle served as a fortress and residence for the royal family of Scotland. The fortress was also the birthplace of King James I who unified England with Scotland to form the United Kingdom after the death of Queen Elizabeth I. The castle also included a memorial to all the Scottish soldiers who have fallen since the Great War (WWI) up til this day. The crown jewels of Scotland were also hosted at the castle. It had been returned 10 years ago by Queen Elizabeth II.

It's awfully C...CCCCOLDD & windy!!! Thank Goodness I'm prepared for it!

Great Hall

Apartments where the Scotland Crown Jewels are kept

We stayed around the castle, taking some photos until it was close to closing time. After that, we decided to walk the streets of Edinburgh. We managed to pick up a few souvenirs and stuff. We even walked to Princes Street to look at the Christmas fair there. The fair was very busy with many stalls selling goods and food. There was mulled wines and even stalls selling some Christmas foods. I was feeling rather cold as the weather in Edinburgh was cold and windy. So, a good cup of hot chocolate was very much welcomed to warm a cold body.

Edinburgh Castle at night...

We continued to walk around the city until it started to get a bit late for dinner. During the course of our walk, we got lost in the city. However, pressing on, decieded to get to Greyfriars Bobby's pub for dinner to have some pub eats. When we got there, there was no room and so, we had to go on to search for another restaurant. I regretted not taking a photo of the statue while I was there but all of us were tired and wet, looking for a place to recuperate. In the end, we found this pizza place to have dinner. We had to wait for a good 20 minutes before we had a seat. We had forgotten that Edinburgh, being a cosmopolitan city, was very active during Saturday nights and so, many places were full. Besides that, there were a few rugby matches, that night, being New Zealand played against Scotland. New Zealand won of course and the afternoon before, Australia had won their match as well.

Anyway, after dinner and getting warmed up in the restaurant, we made our way back to our hostel. Taking a hot shower and getting to sleep before having to wake up the next day at 5am (!!!!!!) for our trip to Uruqhart castle and subsequently making our way back to Derby.

I was freezing my butt off. Frankly, I don't think I was able to feel my hands and feet after all that walking in the cold... If this was autumn, I can't imagine what winter will be like.. (o___0)

Next up... Scotland's rugged countryside...


  1. Ma read your blog and viewed your pixs commenting: Still so big (even bigger with the extra paddings)and I reminded her that it was only about 2 weeks ago that you have arrived in the UK... don't expect a change so soon. When I asked her to sit down to type her comments, she walked off saying she has ironing to do. See...always have an excuse as she is afraid of the computer.

    Good to chat with you and Nopey appeared confused hearing your voice but not body evident.

    Last Sat I went for a talk on dressing for success and I was told that I look better in cool colors and I think you are definitely better in warm colors...

    See Geline, the advantage of being there will give you a chance to travel and see the world a bit. As I have said, visit the lake district which will be beautiful as the place inspired so many English poets notably William Wordsworth and his poem on the golden daffodils.

    Lina has to work till 2am tonight to move to a new shoplot and still have to go back to work the next day. What a lousy boss who has no consideration for the welfare of his staff. I think the Brits are more humane in this aspect. Keep showing promise and talent and I am sure you will be assigned some responsibility when a new project comes through.

    Malaysia won a gold medal in doubles badminton and the country is pleased as this is the first time for 36 years a gold was won for the sports.

    The pair is new to each other and it goes to show that experiment can pay off if one is bold enough.

    Take care and we look forward to seeing you on Dec 21. We will take you to eat roti canai and tosai when you arrive!


  2. Hi Pa,

    The weather had been very cold when I went to Edinburgh but then, it was good training for us as it would make us appreciate the "milder" Derby weather better. :)

    Anyway, I'll probably go visiting again when winter is over as now, the weather is bad and we have very little sunlight to explore a place. :(

    Thanks for your comments.. Miss you guys and Snoopy alot too.


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