Scotland, Day 10: Edinburgh – Along the Royal Mile

Note: This will be the last post describing our days in Scotland. We technically left the next day, but we had to be at the aiport at 12:00 and we just did some shopping in the morning. There are no pictures from the last day nor anything interesting to write about. So, without further ado..

Our last day in Scotland, when we were congratulated for eating a huge ice cream dessert!

Morning

On our last day we stayed in Edinburgh and basically enjoyed the amenities of the Royal Mile. In case you don’t know, the Royal Mile is one of the most well-known and main streets in Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament is located at one end and as you go up the street you find St Giles Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle at the top. Walking along the street takes about 25 minutes.

St. Giles Cathedral
St. Giles Cathedral

We began the day by visiting Edinburgh Castle. Although I don’t remember much from the visit itself, I do remember that it was very crowded and a bit stressful. I did like visiting the castle, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as it would have been if there weren’t so many people. The views of Edinburgh from the castle, though, are wonderful.

At Edinburgh Castle. You can see the crowd behind me. I wasn’t looking very pleased with the situation.

After the visit to the castle we went back to the Royal Mile to find somewhere to have lunch. We settled on Bella Italia, an Italian restaurant. The food was good, and our waiter congratulated us on finishing a huge dessert (most likely the Godfather, or something similar to it, check their menu on the website), which we shared.

Manel looking very happy with our dessert at Bella Italia

Afternoon

After lunch we decided to go somewhere we hadn’t initially planned to visit: the Camera Obscura (adults £15.50, children £11.50). I can’t remember why we decided to go: it may have been some information on our AirBnB or that we saw it on our way to Edinburgh Castle and looked interesting.

Manel and I as seen through an infrared camera.

We loved visiting it! It’s full of optical illusions, light and colour attractions, among others. One of them is the camera obscura on the top floor: it shows what is going on on the streets below the Camera Obscura without any modern technology. There is also a terrace with great views over the city.

One of the many illusions in Camera Obscura. Manel is only about 5-7 cm taller than me, although you wouldn’t be able to tell from this picture, he looks huge (or rather, I look very small).

Night

At night, after a very light dinner, we decided to join another tour of the “hidden” city. This time we chose Mary King’s Close (adults £14.95, children £8.95). Like the previous tour from Mercat Tours it was very interesting and enlightening, but our guide wasn’t as good as the other. She lacked enthusiasm and sometimes it seemed like she was forcing herself to do a bit of acting. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as great as the other.

Summary and Recommendations

The best:

  • Camera Obscura
  • Eating dessert at Bella Italia

The good:

  • Edinburgh Castle, but try to avoid the crowds
  • Mary King’s Close tour

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