Edinburgh is the showcase capital of Scotland, a well-heeled, cosmopolitan and cultured place which regularly tops the polls as Britain's bet place to live. Scotland has always been one of my favourite country and Edinburgh is probably the best place to get started and get a taste of this beautiful country.
Edinburgh has two distinct parts (Old & New Town). The Edinburgh Castle (Old Town), located on one of the highest points in the city is the core of the ancient capital, where nobles and servants lived side by side for centuries within the tight defensive walls. Edinburgh earned the nickname "Auld Reekie" for the smog and smell generated by the cramped inhibitants of this Old Town, where the streets ran with sewage tipped out of tenement windows and disease was rife. The New Town was begun in the late 1700s with the announcement of a plan to develop farmland lying to the north of the castle rock.
Edinburgh Castle has for centuries been the seat of kings. The castle is thought to have evolved from an Iron Age fort, the sheer rock on which it stands providing formidable defence on three sides. There's a large military museum here and the castle esplanade provides a dramatic setting for the world famous Military Tattoo, staged every year during the Festival.
There is also sentry guards at the entrance of the Castle. Unlike their London counterparts, the sentry guards here wear kilt.
The Castle offers a magnificent view of Edinburgh city. The Gothic Spire along the Princess Street is known as Scott Monument which was decorated with figurines from Sir Walter's novels. The monument was built in 1846 to commemorate the life of Sir Walter Scott.
The 823-foot hill of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags are within the walking distance from the city offer breathtaking vistas of hills and water.
Calton Hill is a hill just east of the New Town is the headquarters of the Scottish Government and home to a few iconic monuments and buildings. The Dugald Stewart Monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher.
Nelson's Monument (also located at Calton Hill) is a commemorative tower to Vice Admiral Viscount Admiral Horatio Nelson for his contribution in defeating French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The National Monument on top of Calton Hill is a memorial to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Originally, the monument was intended to be a full replica of the Parthenon but money ran out midway through the construction and only one side of the structure was completed.
Edinburgh is also home to some of the most haunted places in the world. Among the famous places where active paranormal activity and ghost sighting had been reported are the Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vaults and Greyfriars Kirkyard, all within walking distance from the city.