Athens of the North

Okay, the first question, how long have you been living here in Edinburgh?

M: Quite long, since 1980 so that’s 36 years… 37 years.

And what is your favorite part of the city?

M: My favorite part of this city is an area near my house called “Blackford Hill.”

Why do you like that place?

M: Because it’s wild land, it’s one of the 7 hills around the city and you can go up there and it’s lovely and peaceful.

Oh right, so can you tell us just why Edinburgh is such a pleasant tourist attraction from tourists from all around the world?

M: Edinburgh is very good for tourists from all over the place, first of all you have very good transport links to get to Edinburgh, and then when you get to Edinburgh itself, you have a very compact city center, so you have the old town and the new town linked by the north bridge. both the parts of the city are very accessible so it’s very easy to get around as a visitor.

Alright. so Edinburgh has been super lovely so far as the eyes can see, how would you like to describe this city yourself?

M: Okay, how many words do i have?

Um, it’s completely up to you actually. *laughs*

M: Okay, describe the city. I think it’s a city of two halves, with the old town and the new town. we have this historic city center but it’s also a very modern outwith looking city with a large international population and a very exciting place to live.

Oh that’s very fascinating. So, tourists come from all over the world every year to visit this grotesque historical town. can you tell us which part of the world often visit here the most? And what are the things they usually prefer to see or do here?

M: I think the most visitors are probably from the North America, it’s the largest contingent and a lot of people visit the castle. 

So, you mentioned several novel writers and poets that once lived here in these very streets. Now would you personally think that Edinburgh is a city that highly regards and appreciates the art of literature?

M: Yes, definitely. We still have a lot of modern writers that live here, people such as Ian Rankin who writes detective novels, we have Alexander McCall Smith, we have J.K Rowling who wrote Harry Potter. there are certainly a lot of writers and a lot of very good talent here in Edinburgh.

Any good local food recommendations?

M: If you haven’t tried haggis, you should try that.

Alright, what do you like most about Scotland?

M: Most about Scotland, I love the landscape most about Scotland.

Landscape, just because like it’s surrounded by nature.

M: Yes.

And is it ever not cold and chilly here in Scotland?

M: Yes, we get some lovely summer days.

When exactly is that?

M: Oh, well we have two seasons; we have may in winter- no, we have proper seasons. So, we have four different seasons. Can be changeable weather, and sometimes lovely and sunny.

I’m going to ask you quite a very political question here if I may. in your defense now, what are your thoughts on Brexit? Feel free to elaborate your answer.

M: I think Brexit is a bad idea for Britain.

Why do you think so?

M: I think it gives us a lot of advantages being part of the European Union, and I think it’s going to be a huge change to come out of the EU, and particularly for the younger generation, not to have the links with Europe that we’ve enjoyed over the last few decades.

I see, so you don’t support this movement?

M: Um unfortunately, I think Brexit is going to happen. I don’t think there’s any way out of that.

Oh right so thank you very much for your time, i really appreciate it.

M: Okay, okay. Are you gonna put them up on your blog?

Yeah, yeah I will. How do you spell your name again?

M: Do you want to send me it when you’ve done it?

Of course I will, I would love to.

M: I’ll give you my email, then.

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Marion J. Rodger, Member of Scottish Tourist Guides Association.


I had the idea of interviewing Marion just right after several minutes of picking up the many fascinating things she said during our tour around town. Then I simply thought to myself, “Hey, why not interview her and see how she thinks of this beautiful city? It’d be nice to look through the eyes of an actual local.” Long story short, I asked her if she minded that I took around 5 minutes of her time before she left our group, to answer a few questions I prepared quite spontaneously before then, and being the nice Scotland lady she is, the answer was yes.

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Fair disclaimer before we move on, most of the pictures that are to be shown here are going to be in forms of slideshows like this because I just had THAT many to share with you guys. Hope you guys won’t mind. (: Happy scrolling!

After the interview, we were immediately left on our own to explore the Edinburgh Castle and witness the historical vibes it resonated alongside the beautiful, beautiful architecture it possessed. I thought about Ed Sheeran’s “Castle On the Hill” and hummed it numerous times that even several strangers heard and sang along with me that time, because the song somehow genuinely reminded me of where we were at the time.

The castle had the most breathtaking view of Edinburgh that caught me off guard. I just couldn’t stop staring at how glorious the city looked from up the hill above. The wind, on the other hand, were also playing its part that day, and despite how beautiful it all looked, I’d still love the idea of staying anywhere indoors that could provide the lack of warmth and solace I was getting.

There was this telescope that allowed us to zoom in so close to look upon the busy streets where people were walking from here to there, scavenging themselves in stores, cafes, and restaurants. It only lasted for a few minutes though, it could’ve lasted longer if we added another 30-pence coin in there. Likewise, the overall view was a complete knock-out for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Aside from its magical landscape, the castle had offered several museums to visit, it showcased a lot of true historical exhibits of what happened during the earliest centuries in Scotland, being related to affect the rest of the world as well. The castle also had very intricate prison cells that was made to look like the actual ones they had back in the old days. Oh, how I enjoyed the visit to this remarkable site.

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I am going to remind you that these pictures I’ve shown are nothing compared to what I’ve witnessed. You should really be seeing it on your own to really understand how amazing it felt standing there with the view before your very eyes.

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After which, we managed to head downtown and had lunch. We ended up parting ways, I went with my dad because we apparently shared the same trait, being more of an explorer than a shopper when it really comes to opportunities like this.

We spent the entire 3-hour given time walking around town, taking pictures. Enjoying every second of it like it was going to be our last, and taking our time to suck in the brisk weather while we could. This was therefore, my favorite part of the entire trip. You could say that we resonated ourselves pretty well with this so called Athens of the North city.

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After tirelessly touring ourselves around town, grasping on everything we could with our cameras, we decided to stop by a gorgeous cafe called “Fortitude”  that provided specialty coffee, being the coffee lover that he is, I’d say he made the most out of it. There was a photoshoot going on during which, and spacious might have not been the perfect word to describe this aesthetically pleasing joint, but all in all it was still a pleasant visit. The barista was kind enough to provide us a couple of spare seats despite how crowded the place were, her service was super nice, as she brews the coffee my dad ordered passionately.

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We managed to also drop by Waverley Station, and witnessed our very first Britain train station at hand. Witnessing the locals hurrying from here and there, or simply waiting for their train to arrive allowed me to feel like as if I were one of them. The thing I love most about European stations is that, the feels it provide, despite it being crowded and busy, there will always be a lot going on here that felt a little more regional than being at an airport.  I guess that says a lot remembering the fact that I adore being in airports as much.

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It was a shame that we had to leave for St. Andrews the next morning. The aura, the weather, the street musicians and art performers, the breathtaking vintage view you get no matter where you turn your head around to, and the mobility yet stagnant imagery it portrayed. I’ve never imagined any of it to be this refreshing and enjoyable after experiencing the city on foot myself. I wouldn’t mind spending a whole other week staying here if I were given the chance. And I’d stay here forever if I could, but hey. There are still over a million more beautiful cities that’s waiting for me out there. Pictures and words can never describe how I adore this city, and you bet I’ll come back one day.

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School had took little to plenty of my energy to actually put myself into writing stuff here, and it sucks. Taking bits and pieces of my trip and putting them altogether would certainly be best if I got the knack and mood for it, because you just can’t rush slightly ~refined~ quality, now can you? Kidding. I hope it’s still worth the read, though you guys.
You can tell by the amount of pictures I took that this was a city that I found myself immediately fell in love with. Although there were a few struggles regarding the uploading process that made me delay publishing this post.
It’s said and done, then. My undying love for Edinburgh all piled up in one chunky heck of a blogpost. Thank you for reading so far! Do look forward to my next post revolving around St. Andrews, the founding father of the fanciest sport there is out there famously known as golf.
To Marion, thank you, thank you , thank you for your time and answers regarding the city of Edinburgh! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I adored writing it. (:

Cheerio, then!

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