Edinburgh Travel Diary – Day Two

Following on from my Day One in Edinburgh, Sunday was set to be a beautiful day. The night before we decided to watch the sunrise at Calton Hill. For us this was under 15 minutes away from out hotel. Plus Sunday was set to be the better day for seeing the sunrise. So with an alarm set for 4am we got up and got ready to see the sunrise.

The sun was due to rise at 4.38am, however on Google maps the route it took us, part of it was shut. So it took us longer to get to the hill. We arrived at the top of the hill just as the sun rose. It was beautiful. The sun rose over the water and turned the skies a pinky red. At Calton Hill there was also Nelson’s Monument, a view of Arthurs Seat and the National Monument. So we decided to make the most of our early start and view what else is on Calton Hill, it was quite a climb to get there at 4.30 in the morning!

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The sunrise on Calton Hill at 4.41am

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The sun rise and National Monument

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Nelson’s Monument

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National Monument

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Dugald Stewart Monument

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View of Arthurs Seat

After seeing the sun rise we went back to bed for a few hours before starting our day again. We had booked to go to Edinburgh Zoo as they have Giant Pandas, plus I enjoy going to zoos. So we hopped ono the bus and went to the zoo. When we got there I was super excited to see what the zoo had to offer. I do get a little conflicted with zoos as they can have small enclosures, but Edinburgh Zoo was beautiful and the animals had loads of space compared to other zoos I have been to. I was super excited to see the Giant Pandas, Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the UK to have Giant Pandas. I also didn’t realise they had Koalas too until I saw on the zoo map, so I was super excited to see them too!

We found the zoo to not be too busy, it was fairly large so plenty of space for visitors. The zoo is very hilly and our legs were like jelly, even half way through our second day! We really enjoyed exploring the zoo, I loved seeing the koalas, sun bears being fed, Scottish wildcat, wallabies, penguins and of course the giant pandas!

 

After the zoo we decided to go on a bus tour! There were 4 different tours that can be done around the city, each going to see different parts of the city and what it has to offer. There was the Majestic Tour, Citysightseeing tour, Edinburgh Tour and the bus and boat tour. We chose the Edinburgh tour as it was a guided tour. It was so nice to be able to sit down and explore Edinburgh!

Initially when we got on, the tour guide had a very thick Scottish accent, making it difficult to soak up the sights as well as listen to all the facts. We hopped off at Holyrood Palace, mainly because it was Mary Queen of Scots palace and I love a good castle or palace to explore! However when we hopped off we didn’t realise we had to pay before we could get in, and it was late afternoon and didn’t have time to properly explore the palace, finish the bus tour and make it to our dinner reservation. So we hopped onto the next tour bus, this time our guide was easier to understand.

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Palace of Holyroodhouse

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The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse

There was so much to learn about Edinburgh, such as;

  • It’s law for any new buildings to be made to look old so they fit in with the rest of the city
  • Greyfriars Bobby costs the Scottish Government around £60k a year to re-blacken his nose as for some reason people rub his nose (I was totally guilty of doing this) therefore taking away the black paint
  • the Scottish national animal is the only country to have a mythical animal: a unicorn
  • Arthurs Seat used to be an active volcano thousands of years ago and it also used to be around 4x bigger than it is now.

The tour was really insightful and I got to learn so much about Edinburgh. After the tour we went back to our hotel to freshen up and get ready for our dinner at Jamie’s Italian. After dinner we wandered around the city a bit before going back to our hotel. Our legs ached so much from going up and down hills, stairs and from having two early starts!

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Scotts Monument, Prices Street Gardens

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Date night attire. As you can see our hotel room was small but we had everything we needed

So that was our second day in this beautiful city! I was officially in love with Edinburgh. It’s so beautiful and there is so much more than I anticipated there to do. Online it doesn’t list everything and seeing things in person is so different!

Thank you so much for reading out second day exploring Edinburgh, Day Three will be up soon! Thank you so much for reading, until next time

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