Friday, December 27, 2013

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

If you're still looking for a last-minute idea for New Year's Eve let me suggest you Edinburgh and its Hogmanay celebration. Three years ago Boyfriend and I decided to spend our first New Year's Eve together in Edinburgh and though tickets for the party were already sold out, we had a great time there while getting to know the lovely capital of Scotland. The days were short and freaking cold, yet the city welcomed us so warmly that I wished we could have stayed forever. And we are still looking for any excuse to visit Edinburgh again.


Hogmanay is the traditional name for the New Year's Eve celebrations in Scotland and Edinburgh goes crazy with a large street party and great concerts. There is also a street fair with many rides along Edinburgh's main streets - and if my memory and orientation sense don't fail me, three years ago it was located on Princes Street. On the evening of 31st December thousands of people gather on Edinburgh's street party to count down and celebrate the start of a new year all night long. And even if you fail to get tickets, or don't want to spend money on them, you can still join other cheery fellas on the streets to enjoy a superb display of fireworks and sing Auld Lang Syne out loud right when the countdown for the new year is over.




Edinburgh has plenty to offer, besides the biggest midnight moment of the planet (at least according to the Edinburgh's Hogmanay site). There are two different parts of the city, the Old Town and the New Town - though the new town is not as new as its name may suggests, dating back to the 18th century. The Old Town main street is what's known as the Royal Mile, a concatenation of old streets starting from Edinburgh's Castle and finishing at Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the UK royals in Scotland. This side of the city is full of historical buildings, small boutiques full of personality and cosy pubs. Another historical sight to admire along the Royal Mile is St Giles' Cathedral. However, not everything is antique here and just opposite Holyrood Palace is the brand-new home of the Scottish Parliament, a shiny and irregular building, designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles, that defies the stillness of the Old Town. New Town is home to many of the museums and art galleries of Edinburgh. Its principal street is Princes streets and there you can find many UK high street retailers and department stores. And if there's something you cannot find there, it may be well hidden in the adjacent streets or nearby shopping malls.







Another interesting site is the very photogenic Carlton Hill, which is located to the east of Princes Street and can be easily reached by foot. Carlton Hill offers great views of the city and also has its fair share of monuments on it. Among them, the National Scottish Monument, the Nelson Monument and the Robert Burns Monument stand out. But if it is views of Edinburgh what you're after, then Edinburgh's Castle will provide you the finest views. Edinburgh's Castle stands proudly on top of a hill between the Old Town and the New Town and it can be seen from most parts of the city.




That was our trip to Edinburgh in a nutshell. To make it even better, we stayed at a The Point Hotel which used to be a factory and boasted about having had a young Sean Connery among its workforce (how cool is that?!). Even though it's already been three years since we were in Edinburgh, I still have very vivid memories of this particular trip. As I already told you, I would love to go back there some day and explore Scotland further and I can only recommend this charming city, be it for New Year's Eve or any other moment of the year. And if you're still not convinced, Lonely Planet has also chosen Scotland as one of the top ten countries to visit in 2014, so what a better time to visit Edinburgh?

p.s. You might notice that these photos are slightly blueish - with slightly being a big understatement. I don't know why but I seemed to have some trouble with the white balance of my camera back then and most of the photos I took at that time are blue. When I was choosing and editing some photos for this post I decided to leave them as blue as the original, not perfect but this is the way my Edinburgh memories are painted in my head. And if you think these are already too blue, wait until I show you Lichtenstein some time!

12 comments:

  1. Haha, I also remember Edinburgh as being slightly blue..depends on the time of year!

    I lived in St Andrews for a couple years so I am pretty familiar with Scotland and have some good memories there. I have only been back once for a wedding but one day I want to go hike around the highlands again and maybe spend some time on the Isle of Sky which is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehe I had to laugh when I read that you also have memories of a blueish Edinburgh :)

      I have only sene Edinburgh but I think that Scotland must be really wild a beautiful, would love to go back sometime and explore it more calmly. Three cold days are not that much time to really appreciate all that Scotland has to offer - not even Edinburgh!

      Delete
  2. Tengo muchas ganas de visitar esta ciudad, pero mejor en verano para el festival que celebran en agosto. Seguro que ahora hace bastante frío y bastante mal lo paso yo en invierno aquí como para irme a otro sitio incluso con más frío. Bsazo enorme, Irene:) muchas gracias por tu felicitación.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sí, la verdad que el festival de Edimburgo tb debe ser muy interesante. Y lo del verano es una buena idea, porque yo doy fe de que en invierno hace frío :)
      Un beso y buen finde!

      Delete
  3. It does sound like a great place to see. Hanging out at the pub enjoying the traditional cuisine after exploring the streets filled with beautiful architecture sounds perfect. I have no doubt why memories of Edinburgh holds dear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we had a really lovely time there :)
      And the architecture of the city wasimpressive, to say the least! It was really interesting to walk around the two different parts of the city and encounter so many different architectonical styles. That's one of my favourite things about doing trips in Europe!

      Delete
  4. I heard Scotland was awesome. What a wonderful place to celebrate it Irene. It definitely sounded magical. The entire atmosphere was gorgeous.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had always heard that Scotland was breathtaking but I was never really interested - I was always more into England and London. However, I was totally taken by Edinburgh during this short trip and I would love to go back to Scotland sometime and spend more time exploring other cities and its wild nature :)

      Delete
  5. This sounds delightful! Sigh, so many places to see- I wish I could do it all right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh, way too many places to see and too little time! Hopefully 2014 will be a year full of travel opportunities :)

      Delete

Thanks for your comments!
I appreaciate your love and reactions.
I'll take a look at your blogs and I'll try to reply as soon as possible
Feel free to follow if you like :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...