Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh Castle’

over-the-hills-and-far-away

It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. And I’m truly sorry about it. Life has been truly hectic and I haven’t found the necessary time to write. But at least now I am again writing. In the beginning of July I went to Scotland again to visit my brother there. And I had a really good time there. That’s why I thought I will bring out some places to definitely visit while in Dundee and Edinburgh, Scotland. There are loads of places to visit and things to do but it’s just a small choice by me. And I also made some observations about the way of living I found to be funny.

  1. Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh – when you arrive in Edinburgh old town it’s probably the first thing you see because its so big and just catches your eye. And it’s definitely worth a visit for anyone, not just for people who are interested in history, because inside you can see the crown jewels of Scotland, the One O’Clock Gun, Scottish National War Memorial Museum, Royal Palace and just enjoy the magnificent views.
  2. The Edinburgh Dungeons – Edinburgh –  The Dungeons brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walkthrough experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel. It’s hilarious fun and it’s sometimes a bit scary. I didn’t have the “balls” to visit the dungeons this time but it was something I thought about doing next time I visit Edinburgh 😉
  3. Princess Street Gardens – Edinburgh – just take some time, sit on the bench and look the nature around you and relax. And if you’re lucky one of the many squirrels there might come to you ask for a bite to eat 😉
  4. Royal Mile – Edinburgh – it is in the Old Town, the historic heart of the city, and guards the secrets to Scotland ‘s past. The best way to explore is on foot, although it is steep in parts, but there are also plenty of bus tour options. The Royal Mile, which is actually a little over a mile, boasts Edinburgh Castle at the very top and the Palace Of Holyroodhouse at the bottom.
  5. Scotch Whiskey Experience – Edinburgh – the hour-long tour remains the main attraction. Visitors are guided through a series of displays, exhibitions and finally a theme-park style ride, which together chart the history of whisky production since the 15th century. Scotland’s national drink is shown in all its constituent parts, with the tastes, smells and noises of its production cleverly intertwined in an educational (if light-hearted) sensory journey. If you’re over 18, the charge includes a dram, designed in part to entice drinkers down to the well-stocked bar below the exhibition.
  6. Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh – Edinburgh – it’s not actually a place to visit, rather just a restaurant to dine in. It has memorabilia of famous rock stars and they play rock music there. Sadly the day I was visiting it they were playing quite old time rock, I would say soft rock music. But I guess this restaurant chain is not meant to be for hard rock fans, even though the name says so. But the service was impeccable and very friendly. Only the prices are not very cheap. So, if you just want to eat something and not to pay a very high price for it then it’s not the place for you. But if you want to go out, relax, enjoy a different atmosphere then it’s definitely a place for you. I had mixed feeling about the place. I was satisfied with the food/drinks and the service and yet the place wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. The music and atmosphere was all too, how shall I put it, “mainstream”??? for me. I thought it would be hard rock cafe/pub but it was really like a family-oriented-come-all-restaurant. When I asked about the waitress about the directions where to find some cool rock/metal shops in Edinburgh she looked at me asked if I was looking for rock (stone) gift shops. I felt like I didn’t fit in there at all.
  7. Discovery Point – Dundee – at Discovery Point you can check out the ship what Robert Falcon Scott used to travel to Antarctica with. A trip to Discovery Point is an adventure in its own right as audiovisual shows, computer-based multimedia and displays of the actual artefacts of the crew transport you to Antarctica. A great gift shop is also there.
  8. The McManus Gallery – Dundee – contemporary art museum, very much worth a visit.
  9. Broughty Castle – Dundee – it’s an historic castle in Broughty Ferry. It was completed around 1495, although the site was earlier fortified in 1454 when George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus received permission to build on the site. The museum contains fascinating displays on the life and times of Broughty Ferry, its people, the local environment and the wildlife. And it as magnificent views. And it is said there that with very clear day one can spot bottle nose dolphins there. I went there and unfortunately I didn’t notice any dolphins swimming around there. Sadly. I would have loved seeing one 🙂
  10.  HM Frigate Unicorn – Dundee – HMS UNICORN, of 46 guns, was built as a sailing frigate for the Royal Navy in Chatham dockyard and she was launched in 1824. Unicorn is now preserved as a historic ship and visitor attraction.  She is one of the six oldest ships in the world, is Scotland’s only preserved warship and is the most completely original ship in the entire world to have survived from the golden age of sail. It is definitely interesting to see it and worth a visit. Plus the scenery there is again very beautiful.
  11. Dundee Science Centre – Dundee – it is the only UK science centre based on the five senses. It brings science to life in dozens of imaginative ways. Especially interesting was the robots part. I loved visiting it. Again, worth a visit.
  12. Howff – Dundee  – Dundee’s 300-year-old graveyard used to be a garden in Grayfriars monastery, which was a gift to the town by Mary Stuart. Up until 1778 the Howff was the meeting place for the town’s nine craft guilds and the tradesmen’s marks and symbols can be seen on many of the gravestones. Interesting place to visit.
  13. Verdant Works – Dundee – Verdant Works is a jute textile museum and is a tale of two cities, both of them Dundee. For thousands in the 19th century it was a city of long working hours, poor pay and ill-health. For the privileged few it was a city of opportunity and wealth. At Verdant Works the rattle and roar of the original restored machinery, the juteopolis film show and computer displays transport you back over 100 years to an era when jute was king and Dundee was its realm.
  14. Battlefield Live Dundee – Dundee – this is something I haven’t tried but I think could potentially be interesting. Battlefield LIVE Dundee is Scotlands premier indoor combat simulation experience.  It’s modern laser tag with an environment that makes you believe you truly are  entering a combat zone.
  15. Just walking around in both cities because I have found many interesting places by just walking around.

And now for the observations I made

  • B000UNW8XY._V401595704_ British Faucets – I just don’t understand why they have to make bathroom facets like this. Why can’t the water come from just one place? Why does one side have to give totally hot water and the other side only totally cold water. It’s just silly. You can’t wash your hands there.
  • 5499050801_c7ffaf9190 Pull-cord switches in bathrooms – what is the deal with that? Why can’t there be normal light switches which I can turn on and off. This cord like thing is usually already used and dirty and disgusting to touch. Ours didn’t have that knob in the end that one can use for pulling, it was just the cord. And then the light didn’t turn on right away but about 10-20 seconds later.
  • Using no doorbell – that is something I don’t understand. Again. They just knock on doors. The mailman knocks on the door. But say that you are living on the third or fifth floor of the house and you just don’t hear the knocks on the first floor/ground floor? That’s why door bells were invented and should be used.
  • When trying on clothes in stores you get help from the shop assistant – the assistant immediately asks you how many clothes you want to try on and gives you a number and directs you to the changing room and after you can just return the clothes to the assistant. That is something I found quite interesting and refreshing. Not a bad idea at all.
  • When you want to get onto a bus you need to signal the bus driver by rising a hand or waving and you need to line yourself next the sideway so that the bus driver sees that you want to come onto the bus. I missed the first bus because I did not do so.
  • Pedestrians don’t follow the traffic lights and whenever the cars are not around the just cross the road. At first it seemed strange because here we do follow the traffic lights and can’t just cross the road “just like that” but after awhile I got used to it. The drivers were used to it also. And what’s more important – the drivers had respect for pedestrians!
  • People go to bars even during the day time – I saw people, mostly men, sitting in bars even at 01.00 pm already. And it made me think that don’t they have jobs or what’s going on, why are they in the bar so early? I know that the Scots and English have a great pub culture but I thought that it meant that they go there after work but it seems they go there whenever they have free time. That was interesting to see.
  • And regarding pubs and pub culture. Here when you go to a pub when you eat something the waiter comes to asks what you want and serves you. But there you select your seat, choose your things from the menu and then go to the bar counter and say your order to the bartenders. And go back to your seat and then the bartender comes with your things. But the pubs there are very cosy and people there very friendly.
  • Finally I wanted to say that the people still are very friendly. When looking around in Edinburgh we went in the wrong direction and were just looking at the map. And already a local man approached us and asked if we were lost and gave us the correct directions. Also in the shops, pubs, streets and etc the people were very approachable, friendly, compassionate and nice.

Again I had a great time there, I saw my brother, I saw Dundee and Edinburgh and I saw the Scots. And I’ll be back 😉

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