{To wander} Edinburgh, Part 3

For one of the best views of this wonderful city, I highly recommend heading up the easily accessible and historical Calton Hill. Covered with monuments which add so much to the City's striking skyline, this iconic hill offers a wonderful escape from the busy-ness of Princes Street below, and views of the whole city and out to the ocean past Leith.

Below you can see The Old City Observatory and Nelson Monument: Originally commemorating the death of Admiral Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, but in 1852 a time ball was added to the top to enable ships moored in the Firth of Forth to set their time-pieces accurately. It's open to the public so I will head up there soon and report back on whether it's worth the £4 admission fee :)

Below is The Old Observatory House is one of few remaining buildings that were built by the famous architect James Craig.

The ocean view, to Leith and beyond.

Here we have The National Monument, which is based on Acropolis, Athens and is unfinished, which adds a bit of interest to it, if you ask me.

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The Dugald Stewart Monument is modelled on The Tower of the Winds in Athens, Greece by Lysicrates. It was of the key structures on Calton Hill that help earn Edinburgh the alias  ‘Athens of the North’.

After a delightful walk I was greeted with a rather pretty view from Waverly bridge...

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Ah, Balmoral Hotel, you beauty.

The next day I took myself into New Town again to peruse the exquisite Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  Interestingly enough, it's building was paid for by a local newspaper owner:

"In 1889, John Ritchie Findlay, the chief proprietor of The Scotsman, not only paid for the construction and an endowment, but he also masterminded the building that was to house the collection. He employed the architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, who had previously won the competition for designing the Edinburgh Medical Schools and who later earned a wide reputation for the restoration of ecclesiastical buildings in Scotland." - Source

The rich, warm colours are so beautiful, and the perfect backdrop for the collection of stone sculptures.

The tall arched windows create amazing light and I could spend days admiring the carefully considered details. There is no admission fee so if you find yourself in Edinburgh, go spend a few happy, inspiring hours here.

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More from my wanders through New Town: The display at Harvey Nicks is fantastic!

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Charlotte Square was the last part of the initial phase of the New Town, completed in 1820. In 1939 a large air-raid shelter was created under the south side of the gardens.

On the other side of town, I visited The Elephant House, commonly known as one of the places where J.K.Rowling wrote Harry Potter. To be honest, the food and coffee weren't amazing. But it has a great view from the windows in the back room and a plethora of Harry Potter graffiti worth having a look at/contributing to, in the bathroom.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my photos from a walk along the Water of Leith and a brief visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Have a lovely rest of your day, dear readers!