On Edinburgh

Although Edinburgh’s human roots date back to 8000 BC, the city along the Firth of Forth became chartered in 1125. Today, it is Scotland’s political, cultural, and commercial hub. We journeyed into Edinburgh twice – first on a bus trip from Greenock (on the west coast) for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (previous post) – then several days later after our ship set anchor in nearby South Queensferry for encountering more of this Scottish jewel.

To me, Edinburgh was the most captivating of the cities we visited on this trip. The grand old stone buildings, the charm of Old Town, the Georgian and Victorian architecture of New Town, and being a city bustling with activity; – let alone the highly visible Edinburgh Castle sitting high on a hill above it all.

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With 5 major festivals in progress during August, the streets were not quiet – plus two cruise ships in town. I wonder how many of the people we saw were Edinburghers? But cheers to the many street performers!

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The Royal Mile (High Street) is Old Town’s main street. It’s loaded not only physical charm, it’s a vibrant area filled with shops, eateries, and establishments featuring adult beverages. Taking the long walk up the hill from our bus to the castle was a great introduction into Edinburgh. The feast continues by wondering nearby streets.

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As usual, our fee touched Edinburgh’s pavement many times on this day. This city is a visual feast – let alone filled with history. Greyfriars Bobby is an interesting story – a dog who faithfully stayed at his master’s grave for 14 years. Various people took care of Bobby during this time, and yes – he is buried a short distance from his master.

We loved Edinburgh and would like to return during a less-crazy time. We missed going into Edinburgh Castle because we chose to forego the long lines. Atop Calton Hill provides outstanding 360-views of the city, but I’ve shown enough pictures in this post. Besides the video shows it. Enjoy this 2-minute drone video tour giving you a taste of this fabulous city.

For those wanting to see more of Edinburgh, click here for a longer tour.

Next stop: Normandy France

For other posts about our time in the British Isles, click here.

On the Proud One

Upon arriving it the main train station, one can easily notice why the city is nicknamed The Proud One. Do you know where we are? (This isn’t easy, but I’ve the feeling Aussie Debra knows … Pssst … Don’t tell, Debra.)

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Here’s another hint: This monument honors one of the cities most-favorite sons and his house.

Alright – one last hint: It’s actually Italy’s sixth largest city, a port city (I actually sailed in and out of this port in 1958 with my mother), and it has a noble history.

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Before going to Italy, my wife asked me where I wanted to visit … and I always listed the Old City section of Genova (Genoa). So one day, we boarded the train to fulfill one of my requests. For those who may want to visit this city by train, Genova has several train stations, so select Genova Principe.

Blogger Debra did this post about her trip to Genova, and her pictures captured my attention and remained stuck in my memory bank. The Old City is well-preserved and we loved it.

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We also took the hop-on, hop-off tour bus for a broader view of the city outside the old wall.

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Notice anything odd here?
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To top off this day, we even saw The King.
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On Malaga

Welcome to Malaga, Spain!
Malaga View Dock

Malaga (MA la ga) is a popular stop for cruise ships. After all, it’s the capital of the Costa del Sol and the port taking travelers inland to Granada and its famed La Alhambra. This city of over 500,000 residents has much to offer because it’s cosmopolitan – thus fusing the new with the old.

Malaga a resort city with nearby resort towns.


Atop a hill, the Alcazaba is a sign for Malaga’s past ties to the Moors …
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While being just below a protective fortress (Castle of Gibralfaro), Alcazaba overlooks an older structure from Roman times.


The Old City is right there with the newer parts of the city in the distance and on the other side of the hill.


Predictably, a grand cathedral towers over the Old City.

 

We loved the other sights as we walked the narrow streets.


Yes – Malaga was a good port on its own – and to think I was going to cover Malaga with a handful of images in the next catch-all post.

On a Visual Feast

I loved Barcelona … vibrant, charming, eclectic … so much to see … so much to do. We used our time well for the portion of 3 days we had there, yet I am confident we could spend another 3 days and see all new things – and still no museum time.

Barcelona is a continuous visual feast. The eyes never stop moving, thus always finding something that is striking to the eye.

No matter if in the Old City ….


… or in the portion of the city that grew during the late 1800s and early 1900s

… or in the unique forms of the Modernist architects of the early 1900s …

.. even in the more recent designs …

Barcelona is a visual feast. Although I loved the diversity of its architecture, its balconies continually captured my heart.

On North American Europe

I imagine a few long-time readers where wondering my whereabouts during my blogging break – so, here’s the scoop.

Quebec City may be the only city in North America that has a strong European ambiance. French is the main language. People look French and dress in European style – and the city has a distinct European presence in its architecture. Have you ever been there? For us, it was worth a second trip!

With its lower town along the waters of the St. Lawrence River, the walled upper town sitting on the bluffs, then to the modern city outside the wall, Quebec City is extraordinarily charming. History, art, boutiques, cafés, and more await visitors …. and walkers are in for a wonderful treat. We walked many miles, so here are a few pics. Enjoy, and do you have any favorites?

Chateau Frontenac (a Fairmont hotel) appears as a crown as it sits high atop the bluffs

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The boardwalk leads visitors toward the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham

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Lower Town is bustling with tourists and old buildings

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Two Lower Town murals

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Outside the wall, walking Rue St. Jean gave us a wonderful street for the locals which enters the old city gate
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We enjoyed the fountain near the train station
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The lit crown of Chateau Frontenac … Good night

Nighttime.

Our vacations continues here.