I love my London. But I’ve been having yearly love affairs with Edinburgh. Ssh.. don’t tell.
For two years now, in the month of August, when the festivals are roaming wild in this lovely city of Scotland, when the whole city comes alive and the streets are full to the brim with performers, street or stage, or just people in weird costumes doing weird things, I hop through Edinburgh, up and down (for it is a hilly city) like a happy bunny.
Not just Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Book Festival would be there too in August, featuring authors from all around the world in Charlotte Square garden. Alongside the festivals, the Military Tattoo performance goes every night on top of the castle hill. I haven’t got a chance to see it myself but I could see the fireworks at night.
And oh the castle! The imposing castle in the middle of the city, high on the hill, the backdrop of Edinburgh, the landmark that earns the city its nickname “Athens of the North”, teasing you at every corner, and the spires of the city dotting the skyline. The other two hills: Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat compete for attention.
Then the stories! A city full of stories and storytellers. We’ve got the largest monument in the world dedicated to an author, straight bang in the middle of Edinburgh: Scott Walter Monument (Have you heard of Ivanhoe? Or Robin Hood?). We’ve got the real-life-true-character who is the inspiration for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — Deacon Brodie, and pubs named after him. We’ve got Hare and Burke the gravediggers, Greyfriars Bobby (Scottish version of Hachiko), and lots of ghosts (many of which were the inspiration for characters in Harry Potter — oh and you do know that J. K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in Edinburgh?).
Scottish people are natural storytellers and it shows.
Don’t even get me into the accent. Love! If you think Scottish accent is hard to get, that’s most probably Glasgow accent. I can’t get it either, almost feels like it’s language from a different planet. Not so with Edinburgh accent. It’s English but with a nice ring to it.
So there you go. I’ve shared with you some of things that make Edinburgh so attractive to me. The rest I’ll let you find out for yourself when you get to this corner of the world.
For me, I hope to see her again next year. And so the affair continues…
Old and New Town of Edinburgh was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage in 1995.