Elegant Edinburgh (3)

Elegant Edinburgh (3)

To read before: Part 2

Day 4 (16 December 2014)

After 2 days fully exploring the city center, we decided to see another part of Edinburgh. We went to coastal area of this city where there lay “Britannia” royal yacht, a vessel that used to sail around the world by British royal family. My classmate, Lukas from Germany, joined Lely and I for this trip. We met at city center and went together by bus to the Ocean Terminal, a beach-side shopping mall and an entrance to Britannia.

Britannia, apparently was not a huge ship I imagined as Titanic-look like. However, still it looks majestic. It hasn’t been sailing anymore since 1997, and now permanently moored at Edinburgh’s coast, connected to Ocean Terminal. It is now a kind of Royal Museum that become one of the most popular tourist attraction at Edinburgh. An adult ticket to enter Britannia was priced £12.75, but we got student’s discount to be £11.50 (don’t forget to bring your student ID!).

Her Majesty's Yacht "Britannia" (photo by Lely Tri W)

Her Majesty’s Yacht “Britannia” (photo by Lely Tri W)

Before entering the yacht we were equipped with a kind of walkie-talkie that contained audio explanation of Britannia’s each room. The audio was available in several languages (even Thai) but not Bahasa Indonesia 🙁 so we chose English instead.

There were twenty-something rooms inside the 3-levels deck. We went through almost all parts of the yacht, from the forecastle, car garage, royal family’s bedroom, dining room, bar, crew’s room, even the laundry and mini-hospital. All rooms were carefully designed as it was used before. You really can sense the feeling of ‘royal heritage’ here. Well I’m not that into British Royal family things, but if you’re fan of them (like Lely), you will be really satisfied by this yacht original exhibition. You can imagine how Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Harry, and other royal family members spend the past days sailing on this yacht.

The

The forecastle

View from the side

View from the side

 

Front deck

Front deck

Ring the bell

Ring the bell

It’s a coincidence that I went there right on my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. I took this chance by making a short congratulation video in front of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s honeymoon suite (well I don’t know if it’s good choice considering what happened to their marriage–but anyway :p).

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Charles-Diana honeymoon suite

The Queen's bedroom

The Queen’s bedroom

The Prince's bedroom

The Prince’s bedroom

The recreation room

The recreation room

The dining room

The dining room

The hall

The hall

The pretty stairs

The pretty stairs

The old photograph

The old photograph

 

The Royal Deck Tea Room. Enjoy ocean view along with British tea

The Royal Deck Tea Room. Enjoy ocean view along with British tea

 

Cheers!

Cheers!

After exploring Britannia, we walked through Ocean Terminal and try to find something to eat. However, we ended up going back to city center and eat at Yokoco again^^” I felt a bit regret to forget visiting Edinburgh Royal Garden. It was actually near Ocean Terminal, however since the sky is getting darker (and I was starving) we decide to rush back to the city.

I spent the last night in hostel by sitting in the lounge, having some conversation with Alex, a French guy who’d been my roommate along with Sharon. Oh, I also unexpectedly met an Indonesian family in this hostel the morning before (mom, dad, and son). They had holiday while attending their son’s graduation from Queen’s Mary College at London. I was so surprised (and happy) to meet them. We were walking together to the city center but I forgot to ask their contact :/

Day 5 (17 December 2014)

It was a packing day! Lely and I decided to get the most of our last day by taking pictures of some beautiful objects around the city. We will continue our trip to London by train at 11 am. It’s sooo sad to leave Edinburgh 🙁 I have fallen in love to the city. I promise will go back again by the next summer (well I really hope so!)

St Giles Cathedral (photo by Lely Tri W)

St Giles Cathedral (photo by Lely Tri W)

Edinburgh Central Mosque

Edinburgh Central Mosque

To be continued in London (Part 1).

Elegant Edinburgh (2)

Elegant Edinburgh (2)

To read before: Part 1

Day 3 (15 December 2014)

One thing I really wanted to do in Edinburgh was: hiking! Yes, there’s a hill in the middle of city named Arthur’s Seat, where you can see all the city view from this top. It wasn’t really a difficult route, just take around 2-3 hours to go upside down. However, during my 4 days stay I didn’t get a chance to hike this hill 🙁 A bit disappointed but I promise will go back here again. I hope I can re-visit Edinburgh next summer to do these things: reach Arthur’s Seat and watching Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh’s Castle!

Eventhough didn’t manage to hike Arthur’s Seat, we did reach one of Edinburgh’s highest point: Calton Hill. It wasn’t even actually a real hill, just a fancy park that located in higher place. But from there, you can enjoy a very very dramatic scenery of Edinburgh. It was sooooo pretty!

Welcome to Calton Hill

Welcome to Calton Hill

Dugald Stewart Monument and Edinburgh city center (photo by Lely Tri W)

Dugald Stewart Monument and Edinburgh city center (photo by Lely Tri W)

 

Edinburgh and its sea shore

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Princes Street view from Calton Hill (photo by Lely Tri W)

We got new friend accompanied us here, Mas Salam, an Indonesian student at University of Edinburgh. He became a ‘tour guide’ for our trip to Calton Hill and brought us to some recommended food place at Edinburgh Old Town. It was always nice to have ‘local people’ to show you some hidden gems of the city you travel to 🙂

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Edinburgh and its sea shore

Undescribably beautiful

 

Try to climb this pillar and feel the heavy wind!

Try to climb this pillar and feel the heavy wind!

View from the top of pillar (photo by Lely Tri W)

View from the top of pillar (photo by Lely Tri W)

 

Still at Calton Hill

Still at Calton Hill

Calton Hill view from below

Calton Hill icon from below

 

Selfie time! ;)

Selfie time! 😉 (photo by some random Chinese guy)

Calton Hill is definitely a must-see tourism object at Edinburgh. Eventhough the wind at the top was unbelievably strong and freezing, the splendid view was really worth it! It’s also a perfect place for people who want to enjoy Edinburgh’s top scenery without heavy-hiking (eventhough still, I want to hike Arthur’s Seat). Oh, and the good news is, it’s free 🙂

At the afternoon Mas Salam brought us to Yocoko Noodle Bar, a small Japanese restaurant in Old Town which is incredibly tasty (and not costly). After having the late lunch, we continued our walk to University of Edinburgh. It’s one of the oldest University in Scotland (not to be confused with St Andrews University, the Prince William almamater) and currently rank World’s Best 20 Universities.

One of the University's building

One of the University’s building

At the evening, after accompanying Sharon went back to Manchester at Waverley station, Lely and I again visited Princes Street Chrismast Market. For me I went here three-times in a row and never get bored! We decided to enjoy the night view by taking a ride on “Edinburgh’s Eye”. Perfect scenery from above 🙂

Standing near Edinburgh's Eye

Standing near Edinburgh’s Eye

One thing I admire about Edinburgh is its city design. It seems like this city actually had a wavy-bumpy surface formed by natural hilly contours. Whoever the city designer was, he succesfully changed the wavy contours to be exceptional architectural masterpiece. You can feel it especially when walking around the city center. The roads were upside-down, but somehow the bridge, the buildings, the castles, the hills, everything was just placed accordingly to create breath-taking view anywhere you look. And still you have that ancient buildings which are well-preserved, make it feels like walking through Medieval Ages anywhere you go. See? Great combination of nature and history. It’s like getting two of my favorite things in the present of Edinburgh 🙂

Well, the story hasn’t yet to be ended!

Places Visited & Budget Spent

Calton Hill

Entrance ticket = free

Edinburgh’s Old Town

Well it’s just streets with old buildings, gift shops, and nice restaurants, so it’s free! Yet so pretty!

Princes Street Christmas Market

Edinburgh’s Eye = £6 (student’s concession)

Food

Yokoco’s stir-fried duck = almost £5

Yokoco’s fried rice = £2.65

It came with big portion so I shared both of the meals with my friend so we just pay half each 🙂

To be continued in Part 3.

Elegant Edinburgh (1)

Elegant Edinburgh (1)

Day 1 (13 December 2014)

As I walked down the street in that biting cold evening, the shrilly sound of bagpipes vaguely reached my ears. I speeded up my steps to look for the source of the sound, and surprisingly found a young man wearing that traditional tartan kilt in front of a hotel’s gate. Few people flocked up around him while he continuously play the bagpipes. By that time I realized that I’ve already arrived at Scotland, in its capital city of Edinburgh 🙂

Typical Scottish man with tartan kilt and bagpipes

Traditional Scottish man with tartan kilt and bagpipes

I got 4 days and 4 nights to explore this stunningly wondrous city. Edinburgh is like an elegant lady. She has that perfect combination of everlasting beauty. Her amazing natural landscapes and fascinating antique buildings were beautifully wrapped up by impressive city design. She’s just simply magnificent!

Edinburgh: castles everywhere, just like a Harry Potter world in real life

Edinburgh: castles everywhere, just like a Harry Potter world in real life

I spent the first evening to enjoy night view of Princes Street (princes not princess). It’s pretty easy to explore Edinburgh since most of tourist attractions are located in this city center area: Edinburgh’s Castle, Scottish National Gallery, Princes Street Christmas Market, Old Town, and all the shopping centers. Even Scottish National Museum, University of Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat, and Calton Hill are also located in walkable distance from city center. I think walking is the best way to explore Edinburgh. Every single step taken was worth it because every road and building is just a perfect photography spot 😉 Still, you need that full-set of winter outfit to brace yourself: it’s Scotland!

Princess Street Christmas Market, stunning view at night (photo by Lely)

Princess Street Christmas Market, stunning view at night (photo by Lely Tri W)

Day 2 (14 December 2014)

I stayed in a hostel dormitory room with 16 beds inside. It was the first time of my life to stay in a hostel, and I was actually a bit worried (I mean, you slept with 16 strangers!). However, I guess I’m lucky to meet nice people there. I met a nice Taiwanese girl and we soon became friends. For two days she joined me and my friend to explore Edinburgh. Sharon, Lely, and I were walking around the city center together.

Three of us

Three of us

In the morning we started our tour by exploring Princes Street Christmas Market. I have never heard of Christmas Market tradition before, and I think it’s something very European. Apparently it was originated in Germany (Wiki said)–no wonder you can find many traditional German culinaries in most Christmas market. Actually it’s very similar with Indonesian “pasar malam” (night market), where people sell food and drinks in open stalls, accompanied by some games and toys (merry-go-round etc). However, this one was incomparably pretty!

A group of street musician playing Christmas carol at Princess Street Christmas Market

A group of street musician playing Christmas carol at Princess Street Christmas Market

Just beside the Christmas Market it was Scottish National Gallery. Many European historical paintings are exhibited here, including special gallery for Scottish art. To be honest I don’t really understand the History of Art (and all those paintings), but sometimes it can show you some surprising piece of historical information.

Painting about the beheading of St John the Baptist

Painting about the beheading of St John the Baptist

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Just about 10 minutes walk from Scottish National Gallery, we can reach Edinburgh Castle on top of the Castle Hill. However, it was a bad weather that day. Strong wind and heavy rain kept coming as we’re trapped in a souvenir store near the castle. As a result, we didn’t have time to explore the castle as the night started to fall (4 pm is almost sunset). Besides, it costs £16 per person to enter the castle and my British housemate said it wasn’t worth it (well for us that’s quite huge money for a castle view).

Just a shot of picture in front of castle is enough :)

Just a shot of picture in front of castle is enough 🙂

After having late lunch, we continued our walk to Scottish National Museum. It’s just few minutes walk from University of Edinburgh. I liked the tunnel design of museum receptionist, and also the main hall beautiful interior. It’s just wow! They have quite many interesting collections there to explore, eventhough not as much as British Museum of course.

Breath-taking Scottish National Museum design

Breath-taking Scottish National Museum design (photo by Lely Tri W)

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The museum was closed at 17.00 so we’re quite in a rush. After that Sharon and I went back to Christmas Market to enjoy the night view (I ended up visiting this market 3 times, never get bored :D). We walked home to the hostel together and buy some food in Tesco. Hostel is a perfect place to stay for low-budget backpacker like us. Aside from its cheap rate (I paid only £31 for 4 nights stay, the same price can’t even pay for 1 night hotel stay), it provides complete kitchen so we can cook our own meal. That night we bought some raw food in supermarket and cook it for dinner and breakfast–save a lot!

Places Visited & Budget Spent

The Hostel (accross Haymarket Station)

Charge per night = around £7.75 in my case. The cheapest one I could find around Edinburgh. Prices may change depend on booking time and staying time.

Princes Street Christmas Market

Entrance ticket = free

Scottish National Gallery

Entrance ticket = free

Edinburgh’s Castle

Entrance ticket = £16 (I didn’t get in though)

Scottish National Museum

Entrance ticket = free

Bus Ticket

One way = £1.30, Day rider = £3.50

Food

Taco Mazama Mexican Kitchen = £4 for small burittos

Tesco’s raw food = just like normal supermarket anywhere. Consider buy raw food and cook yourself! (another friend even brought a rice-cooker for 6 people traveling around Scotland)

To be continued in Part 2.