Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is a city of possibilities. Possibilities that lurk within the narrow winding roads, usually waiting around the corner to tempt you to wander up to them and continue on. Possibilities of bumping into a memorable moments, of discovering something that you didn’t even know you were looking for. It’s the city of effortless romance that materializes in the vaults of Old Town, sudden glimpses of scarlet crags and the blue sea and the ever-present hills that surround the city in a cozy green embrace.

Stroll on to the magical wynds of Old Town along the “Royal Mile” for a guaranteed mental trip of historical nostalgia. Together with New Town, this area forms the part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site offering towering views of the Edinburgh Castle and other notable buildings including the ornate St. Giles’ Cathedral and the current Scottish Parliament. Underlying are a number of vaults and hidden passages which remain as relics from the construction period of the area. Despite the apparent humility of the district, there is plenty of grandiose buildings to bump into, boasting of the exemplary extravagance of the times.

From historical extravagance, to contemporary hedonism. Edinburgh is famed for its chic cafes and indulgent bars that are frequented by the city dwellers with panache. At night, the whole city transforms into an epic party with live music jams springing up left and right and young crowds herding to the gig of the moment, dressed to the nines. Alcohol flows like water, often into the wee hours when streets wake up to the last of the revellers stumbling home.

For the foodies, Edinburgh’s renowned imaginative culinary offerings, including five Michelin-star restaurants, is a major draw. Endowed with bustling farmers markets and local fresh produce, neither the restaurants nor the restaurant-goers have anything to complain about.

A trip to the seafront in Cramond reveals the calmer, earthier side of Edinburgh. River Almond weaves through, flowing by the ruins of mills and cottages that constitute the rural heritage of Edinburgh. Several moored yachts frame the scene beautifully as the river merges into the seafront.

Edinburgh’s festivals demand worldwide attention as the city explodes with bursts of color and vigor. If you can handle the energy, visit Edinburgh during the month of August. The weather is prime, and about six concurrent festivals take over the city’s venues. The Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, Military Tattoo, the International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Mela. August in Edinburgh is a no-brainer.