Edinburgh

Previously, Aberdeen, Sheffield, coming soon: Newcastle.

Though I had lived much closer to the Capital of Scotland in my first 22 years it is not until I live 150 miles away that I seriously have to visit the city. As a Glaswegian, I suppose I have a coloured opinion of the other side of the country – I am predisposed to say that Glasgow is better, and that Edinburgh is just for the English and the Americans. I would say that it is exactly what I would have imagined it to look like, but in actuality, it left a bit of a better impression than I expected it to.

Unlike Sheffield, Edinburgh survives because of it’s national importance. Not as a capital city, in which it is only in name, being the more important and larger city on the other side of the country, it instead survives as a remarkable tourist attraction, almost exactly as a theme park of what Scotland is like. You get the windy streets, the sandstone buildings, the notorious weather and importantly, the landscape. On the doorstep of Edinburgh there are some pretty spectacular vistas, mountains encroaching on the cityscape and even, in the centre, a large hill upon which there is a castle.

A castle in Edinburgh? Surely not… but it, looking over the shopping street of Princes, and on the other side sloping down the Royal Mile, you would be a hardnosed Glaswegian to not note the beauty of the city at this point.

It comes as a pretty obvious point why tourists head through to the Capital – when asked recently “What is there to see in Glasgow” I struggled to come up with an answer, save for the shops, the river and the University and Museum district. It was a tough one – maybe because I had lived there for long that all touristy parts of me had been cynically washed out, but being in Edinburgh I could see the point – the views are really marvellous and the castle, clichéd as it is, still is impressive in it’s proud plot at the top of the city.

Confined to a small room out at the airport for most of my time there I never really got to see “Edinburgh”. We drove through it in some horrendous “worse than Aberdeen” traffic due to the building of a Tram way (see Sheffield) a decision I heartily applaud. In the small moments of being in Real Edinburgh™ I had some nice beer, watched a good football match and nice food.

I don’t know if I’d like to live in Edinburgh though – being so close to Glasgow would make much more sense to just live through there. Also, being filled with English and American’s can only be a bad thing.