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Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh’

Ghillie Dhu – design pub in Edinburgh

Posted by dan on February 10, 2011


Beer is on the way

Beer is on the way

Located close to the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, just below the Edinburgh Castle, it looks just an ordinary old stone-house characteristic of the New Town area.  However, as soon as you enter a different atmosphere awaits: the old features like wooden beams and exposed stone walls nicely blend in with the contemporary design. There is a big area in front of the bar to take standing crowds on busy nights, but there are also secluded little boxes for those who want more privacy. The food is great, with typical Scottish dishes like huggies along with the usual Brit pub food, and there is a wide selection of local and international beers and other drinks. Having a few pints you sure will have to visit the bathroom – the men having an opportunity to do it in buckets. An interesting and trendy pub for sure, a few steps off the main tourist path.

Ghillie Dhu
2 Rutland Place

Official website:

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Edinburgh – nature walk in the city 2.

Posted by dan on December 17, 2010

Edinburgh Castle, snow, Scotland

Dawn over Edinburgh Castle and the snow covered city. Image:

Another great nature eacape is a walk in Blackford Hill Local National Park, a bit south-west from the Salisbury Crags. There is a pond with ducks and swans, a hill with an observatory from where you can get a beautiful view of both the Castle and the Crags, a little forest with a creek and the Hermitage of Braid, now functioning as the park rangers center.

Further information:

Friends of Hermitage of Braid:

City of Edinburgh Countryside Ranger Service:

See also blog post: Edinburgh – nature walk in the city 1.

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Edinburgh – nature walk in the city 1.

Posted by dan on December 4, 2010

The view of the Castle of Edinburgh from the paved path

The view of the Castle of Edinburgh from the paved path

The Salisbury Crags with Arthur’s Seat is a dominant natural sight, rising above Edingurgh and visible from most part of the city. Located at the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament, at end of the Royal Mile, it is easy to reach – even the Hop-On-Hop-Off buses stop at its foot. It is worth to walk at least a little up the Crags – the view of the city is stunning.

There are several paths of different difficulty and shorter or longer walks can be taken. A circuit along the rocky cliffs of the Crags is 1-1.5 hours; a summit circuit to Arthur’s Seat and back 2-3 hours.

“Holyrood Park is a rare example of unimproved grassland. Effectively unchanged since its enclosure as a Royal Park in the 16th century. It is rich in plant species and also provides a home to a variety of important invertebrate, amphibian, mammal and bird species. To find such a wildlife haven in the heart of a capital city is remarkable.”

Travel TipFor more information about the park, guided walks and other activities run by the Rangers, visit:


(Note: the url printed on the brochure doesn’t work.)

See also: Edinburgh – nature walk in the city 2.

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Remembering all – Armistice Day

Posted by dan on November 23, 2010

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarcation point

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarkation point

Although my great grand father died on the wrong side in World War I, being sent as a K und K soldier to the Russian front to fight for the Austrian empire, he was just as a victim as soldiers on the other side or any other innocent people who died, and continue dying, in wars. And although no poppy flowers grow on the streets of cities and the victims of wars are not always uniformed, as far as I am concerned, they all are remembered.

In the UK you could see people wearing the poppy flowers weeks before and weeks after the 11th of November. Chinese officials complained about the use of poppy as it reminded them the Opium wars, but I can assure them this is not the same poppy. A handful of Muslim extremist made a bit of noise, but the Muslim community in general understands that most British people think about this event and the victims of wars the same as I or most of us do. Even we, thousands of miles away from conflict zones, are victims of these same wars, even if in much less drastic ways.

“Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

In the UK after the end of WWII, most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars. The new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK.”


Images of Armistice Day around the world:

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Edinburgh – the Royal Mile

Posted by dan on November 20, 2010


Edinburgh Castle from New Town

Edinburgh Castle from New Town

One of the great European cities, the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is definitely worth a visit. It is a human-scale, livable city which you can easily discover on foot. Its most striking feature, the Castle, stands above the city on a shier rock – from the Castle a mile long street, known as the Royal Mile, runs to the royal residence, the Palace of Holyrood. Opposite the Palace is the modern building of the Scottish Parliament, with the rugged Salisbury Crags towering above both. Along the Mile there are many historic buildings and important sights such as the St. Giles Cathedral. From the upper part of the mile very narrow lanes disappear in small gates under old houses – each called a Close – leading down to streets and living quarters below. Bigger streets cross above the low-lying streets on arched bridges between tall buildings. During the plague the closes were closed off to prevent the common people to go up the the higher town. One important place in the lower town is the Grass Market, a beautiful little square with medival buildings, where the executions used to take place. Today nice restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels can be found here.

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