FEATURE – An Italian tourist’s view of Edinburgh

This article was written by Sara Borghi at SEO Specialist from Italy who visited Edinburgh at the end of 2009.  I met her at a meeting and offered to show her around the city and parts off the beaten tourist track.  She wrote a piece about her experience in Edinburgh.  Italian is her first language, but I am sure you’ll agree her written English is very good as well.

Edinburgh and Salisbury Crags

In December 2009 I travelled to Edinburgh to visit my sister for three weeks, who is studying at Queen Margaret University.  I have great memories about the days I spent in the wonderful Scottish city.

Edinburgh is packed with places to eat and since I love exploring new food it is hard to pick just one as my favourite.   However, since it reminds me of a special night I would say that my favourite was  Thai Orchid, right behind the Royal Mile. It served great, authentic and affordable Thai food.

I loved sightseeing whilst I was on town and nothing compares to Edinburgh Castle at Christmas.  My experience started from the walk that lead up to the Castle on the hill.  There’s plenty to see and do inside the Castle: changing of the guards, a gift shop, free tours & re-enactments etc. There are great views over the city too (even on a rainy and foggy day).

One of my favourite activities during my holiday in Edinburgh was the German Market and the ice-skating.  It was hard to believe that the Winter Wonderland was located in the heart of town, in Princes Street Gardens.  It was a fabulous place to hang out with friends, enjoy a warm glass of mulled wine and the stunning views of the surrounding historical buildings.

I met Alison, who runs Edinburgh Spotlight at a meeting one morning and she offered to show me around town, with another girl from Lithuania.  She was the best guide I’ve ever experienced in my whole life and she’s passionate about bringing people around the city and enriching their experience with her knowledge about every single Edinburgh corner.  Alison took me through what felt like the most remote and  beautiful spots in Edinburgh.  She offered deep and fascinating knowledge of the city and her spontaneous, fun company made the tour absolutely fantastic.  She’s a GPS-Woman, equipped with a unforgettable human touch.

Dr Neil's Garden

In the  few hours we had in daylight we visited so many beautiful places.  The first stop was a beautiful view point of the Edinburgh skyline and Salisbury Crags.  This was followed by Dr Neil’s Garden and the Thomson’s Tower, the place where the sport of Curling’s rules were officially invented.  I would never have known about these places or have been able to find them on my own.

Swanston Village

The next stop was to visit the Royal Observatory.  Alison had arranged a private tour and we met Julia,  a young PhD researcher and explored the private laboratories and the ancient telescope, a massive tool located at the top of the building.   It was super interesting, even for a girl like me who doesn’t really know much about astrophysics.

Next on the tour was a stop at Swanston Village, another place I would have never known about.  The houses were so cute and had thatched roofs.

Afterwards, we visited some Shetland ponies at Braehead.  I loved doing this as I had never seen them before.  We went to Cramond Island and had a lovely lunch right by the sea at the Cramond Bistro Gallery.  The light was fading at this point, so we drive through Newhaven and saw the harbour, followed by the Dutch church in Leith. 

Feeding Shetland ponies

Finally we enjoyed a warm cup of tea at the popular Tea Tree Tea, a nice and friendly cafè located in Edinburgh city centre.  Alison also helped me plan a weekend in the Highlands, providing me with information that revealed to be extremely helpful and precise.  She is a prime example of how friendly Edinburgh (and Scottish) people are.  Everyone I met enriched my holiday experience. 

If you travel to Edinburgh, prepare yourself to have authentic fun and an unforgettable experience in one of the best cities you’ll ever get to see in the whole world!

Thank you Sara, we’re glad you liked our city so much.

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