I loved Edinburgh for its rich history including its closes and walls.  The old and new towns together are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  I arrived to Edinburgh at night.  The city is poorly lit and has winding cobble stoned paths.  The closes add an element of confusion and fear; the narrow pathways make it more challenging to navigate the city and offer obscure hiding spots for people waiting to attack.  Fortunately, no one attacked us and we safely found our way to our hostel.

Edinburgh had long be surrounded by walls.  The walls served as a poor defense for the city, but also helped control trade and prohibit smugglers from entering the city.  The closes were built to close down at night so that the city could be protected from drunks and smugglers.  The closes are often narrow pathways covered overhead through the city.  During the Bubonic Plague, closes were blocked off to trap people infected with the plague in the hopes of quarantining the disease.  One of the most deadly closes was Mary King’s Close.  I took a tour of Mary King’s Close where I walked through the closes and alcoves where hundreds of people died and were buried during the plague.  Allegedly Mary King’s Close is haunted.  The Royal Exchange has been built on top of the close. The city had closed some closes and built buildings on top of them.  Recently, the closes have been reopened, so now there is a system of pathways underneath the city.

IMG_0532.JPGView of Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat

IMG_0545.JPGChapel ruins in Holyrood Park

IMG_0559.JPGPalace of Holyroodhouse

IMG_0581.JPGEdinburgh Castle

IMG_0577.JPGView of the new town from the Edinburgh Castle

IMG_0594.JPGView from the pathway leading to the Edinburgh Castle

IMG_0606.JPGSt. Giles Cathedral

IMG_0610.JPGSt. Mary’s Cathedral

IMG_0626.JPGScott Monument

IMG_0627.JPGView from Prince’s Street


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