Tag Archives: volcanic formation

Volcanic Formation

Just a little quick post here on how exactly Edinburgh (and really all of Scotland) was formed as I found this to be quite interesting…

Millions of years ago the landmass that is today Scotland was actually South of the Equator which made the temperatures and terrain tropical!! Needless to say I would have been a happy camper to have lived on Scotland millions of years ago!  In any event, as the years went on Scotland migrated to its current position and during the Ice Age was struck by several glaciers quite violently that ended up creating the landscape as you see it today with numerous mountains with jagged peaks.  In addition the terrain is also littered with tons of dormant volcanos that died out during the glacier strikes.  The city of Edinburgh is in fact literally sitting on top of a dead volcano… Perhaps the correct term is still “dormant” volcano even though there is absolutely zero activity from the volcano.

It is this unique placement of the city that gives it quite a bit of character… The Edinburgh castle sits at the apex or peak of the volcano and the main street, called the Royal Mile, gently slopes down the volcano (about a mile long) to ground level where the Queen’s Palace is.  The Queen’s Palace or more correctly Holyrood Palace (aka Palace of Holyroodhouse) is the Queen of England’s official residence in Scotland.  Along the Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood the street is lined with shops and homes that from the inside perspective only seem 5, 6 or perhaps 7 stories tall.  However, from the valley perspective (i.e. standing on the outside of the city looking at it) the buildings seem 10-15 stories all.  This is due to the sloping of the land down to the valley and the Scots not wasting any space in how they built things!!

The historic city was once surrounded by a wall that now only has a very small remnant left, and the main city or rather historic part of the city only connected to the valley (where the rest of Edinburgh eventually spread out to) through tons of “closes” which ran from the center (the Royal Mile) down to the valley.  “Closes” were so named because they were simply narrow walkways or streets that were “close” together.  And each close was named after the activity that occurred there.  For example the fish Market close was where you would go to buy fish!  Much more on closes later… But for now, at   least you (hopefully) have a base idea on how Edinburgh was formed and a visual of how the city is situated:)  Oh, and Edinburgh has been recognized as the capital of Scotland since at least the 1500s… Just to give a base idea of how old the city is as well:)

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Edinburgh: Inspiration from Afar

I’m quite excited to write about Scotland!!  Primarily because well, since I was a kid, the one place I really wanted to travel to of all the places was Scotland!!  And though I had obviously traveled to other countries first, it was always in my mind to finally make it to Scotland, and now I was:)

I can’t really take all the credit however, because in all honesty it was an encounter I had with two people in late March/early April of this year (2014) while I was working in Key West that really inspired me to get my rear in gear and travel there!  Kevin and Evelyne… From the moment they came to my bar (which by the way I was coincidentally not even supposed to be working that night) it was like meeting kindred spirits!!  They were supposed to be in town for several days but as life takes turns sometimes, they were only able to stay in Key West for one night, and that one night they happened to wander into my place of work and sit at my bar.

The conversations that ensued and the inspiration I took from them after hearing of their adventures around the world and simply just meeting them, well needless to say they inspired me finally do what I’ve always wanted: go to Scotland!  To this day I feel indebted to them for giving me that little kick in the rear and for being the most incredible hosts anyone could ever dream for.  I miss our conversations and hanging out with them quite a bit and can’t wait for the next time we get to come together!!

Ok, enough nostalgia for now… I left London after only two nights and took the train straight to Edinburgh.  It was quite a long trip, but really it wasn’t bad at all…  Watching the scenery change from the busy bustling city to more rural areas to absolutely stunning countryside’s really made the time passing unnoticeable to me.

I ended up arriving in Edinburgh on one of the coldest and wettest days they had had a while!  But the again, Scotland isn’t really known for it’s warm and sunny weather, so really it was a proper introduction to the Country!  Funnily enough (and luckily) however, the rest of my time there really was filled with several warmish and clear sky days!  Very unlike Scotland apparently, but I really wasn’t complaining one bit!!

I was met at the train station by K&E and whisked away to K’s place and shown to my room, fit for a queen!  For the next 2 weeks or so, I stayed in Edinburgh with the company of K&E and honestly could have simply stayed forever (were it not for Scotland winters being so cold!!) and just gotten a job and rented out a flat!!  I loved Edinburgh (my Glasgow friends will hate me for saying so, lol!!) and for sure plan to get back there not only for my friends being there, but for the city itself!

There is obviously quite a lot to say about my time there, so once again I’ve divided it all up into subjects so as not to overwhelm in one post!  Happy reading!!

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