Edinburgh was one of the first places that I visited out of Portugal, and one of the few cities that I went back to – and that I would also go back anytime, although if I want to know the world, its difficult to come back to the places that we loved the most.

I can check all the boxes when I go to Edinburgh, it has lots of history, some amazingly weird food, good whisky – I learned how to appreciate whiskey in Scotland – and more importantly, so many ghost stories, that it’s almost impossible to spend a few days there and not come back with some stories to tell.

But let’s start with the history of the city and some very broad topics, that made her what she is today.

Scotland has always fought for its independence – there was some independence referendum not that long ago – but, this is not a post about politics or opinions on the independence – or maintenance in the UK – of Scotland. 

Because of this fight for independence, Edinburgh was used to invasions and numerous sieges through the centuries, which means that the city had to reinvent itself several times, from the moment where it was not more than a campsite from the Mesolithic to the modern city that is today.

The Scots gained control of Edinburgh around 950 and from then on the city has become one of the most important ones in Scotland, for that reason – and the constant attempts of invasion - the fact that it is somehow close to the border with England didn't help – Edinburgh started to grow only inside their defensive wall, that meant that somehow the growing of the population made the city have the first skyscrapers in the world, over 11 stories buildings in the 17th century, but also create a kind of city underground, this will be the reason for many of the ghost stories that exist there.

Because I have myths and superstitions as another one of my interests, the fact that Edinburgh is probably one of the more haunted cities in the world, well, it just gives so much more to explore. 

Have you heard of Bloody Mackenzie? The Covenanters? The ghosts that are all over the underground vaults of Edinburgh? There’s a bunch of options to try to understand a bit more of the city through these stories, there’s tours, books, my own experience, or you can just google it 😉

But one of the best reasons to travel – well one of the several best reasons – is to try different  foods and drinks, and Edinburgh, or better yet Scotland has a lot to offer in that: 

  • Whisky – yeah, the national drink?!
  • Irn-Bru – I can’t even explain it
  • Haggis – well, I loved, would you eat it?
  • Cock-a-leekie soup
  • Fried Mars bar – yes, exactly what you’re reading, I like to try every kind of foods, but his… well I don’t know what to say

And then there’s  Shinty one of the strange sports in the world.

Let’s not forget about one of my passions when traveling, the graveyards – oh God, the graveyards – first of all, they’re beautiful, but then there are the ghost stories – yeah that again, I did say that Edinburgh was one of the cities in the world with more ghost stories – Greyfriars Bobby which brings a bit of faithfulness to this, and we can even find Tom Riddle in one fo them – is anyone else a Harry Poter fan?

We could go on and on about Scotland and Edinburgh, but I will finish with a quote by Ian Rankin, a Scottish author: 

“Edinburgh isn’t so much a city, more a way of life… I doubt I’ll ever tire of exploring Edinburgh, on foot or in print.”

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