Link to photo dump.
I had no idea Edinburgh was so gorgeous. It may be the most beautiful city I've ever seen.
Now, if I have sufficiently impressed you with the city's overall gorgeosity, let me show you a few specific landmarks.
Edinburgh Castle (about which I'll have an entire separate post tomorrow):
The famous Firth of Forth rail bridge (or at least as much of it as I could get into the frame):
I first learned of this bridge, and the body of water it spans, from Alfred Hitchcock's great 1935 thriller, "The 39 Steps." Here's a link to the scene in which the bridge figures prominently. Let it play for 6 minutes from that point, or to about the 27:45 mark.
This is an ordinary-looking door. OK, it's not just an ordinary-looking door, it's an ordinary door. At least it is until you zoom in on the plaque beside it.
(He was born in 1850, so he lived here from age 7 to age 30--not during his novel-writing years.)
I tried to get an artsy-fartsy shot of the top of a subway entrance near our hotel (you see part of the same structure in the 6th photo above), because its ceiling is glass and supported by these cool multi-fingered posts, so that the whole thing made a visually compelling blend of patterns and transparency and reflections. At least out in the real world it did. As for the photo, I'm not sure. I've stared at it a whole bunch, and I just can't tell whether it's successful. I alternate between thinking it's interesting and thinking it's a mess. You be the judge.
Maybe it's better in black and white?
Finally, I'll leave you with a photo guessing game. I noticed that sometimes it's hard to tell whether a building in these old cities is a church, a castle, a museum, a hotel, or a government office--especially when you see only part of it. Which do you think this is?
I'll put the answer in the first comment.