48 Hours in Edinburgh - United Hub

48 hours in Edinburgh

By Nick Harper

Scotland's capital is a city of two halves. From the medieval tenements and narrow wynds of the Old Town to the sweeping grandeur of the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh deserves its reputation as one of Europe's most fascinating destinations. Pegged as the United Kingdom's most walkable city, you'll discover historic landmarks, secret gardens, breathtaking architecture and some of the continent's most vibrant restaurants, bars and nightlife. If you're planning a visit to Edinburgh, here are the key components to building the perfect itinerary.

Getting there

Edinburgh Airportis located approximately 7.5 miles west or 25 minutes by taxi or car from the city. To be within easy walking distance of most attractions, book your hotel in the Old Town, New Town or the West End.

St Stephen's Centre from Circus Lane, Edinburgh

When to visit

When it comes to tourists, Edinburgh is the most quiet (and coldest) in January and February. The city becomes busier from March onward with July, August and the holiday season (Christmas and New Year's) being the peak months. If you're heading for Edinburgh's Fringe Festival (August 3-27), you should expect long lines and plan to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible — the city's hotel rooms fill up fast.

Where to stay

Edinburgh is home to numerous hotels, guesthouses and apartments with options to suit all tastes and budgets. The following are just three of the many good options available and each are within minutes of the city center's main attractions. The Balmoral is a landmark luxury hotel close to Waverley train station that boasts a luxury spa and whisky bar.A handsome Georgian hotel, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, overlooks a pretty private garden square and is only two minutes from shoppers' paradise, Princes Street. Another short hop from Princes Street sits Code Hostel, a hipster hostel, offering comfy beds for those on a tighter budget.

Scenic view of Edinburgh Castle on Castle rock, Edinburgh, Scotland

What to see

It can be hard to squeeze all there is to see into just two days, so make sure to choose your adventure carefully. We'd suggest you start your visit by walking up the Royal Mile — the collective name for the tangle of streets leading west up to Edinburgh Castle. With good reason, the Castle's historic halls, royal chambers, and dungeons are the city's busiest attraction. Perched on a volcanic rock formation, you'll also have breathtaking views of the city.

For another elevated vantage point, head to Holyrood Park, located near the bottom of the Royal Mile. From there you can clamber up Arthur's Seat, a dormant volcano that allows you to look down on both the city and across to the Kingdom of Fife. Back at ground level, explore the fascinating Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history.

A short walk away from Holyroodhouse, you'll find three key buildings, the Scottish Parliament Building, the Museum of Edinburgh and the National Museum of Scotland. The last is home to a world-class collection of displays that cover Scotland's history, design, and innovation, but all three are worthy of your time. For artistic inspiration, visit one or all of the city's three main galleries. The Neoclassical Scottish National Gallery is the most central, and for a small donation the Gallery Bus will take you on to the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish Portrait Gallery.

Aerial view of Edinburgh city from Holyrood park


Next up is the beautiful Charlotte Square in the heart of New Town, home to the National Trust's Georgian House, a magnificently restored property from the era of enlightenment. Explore its rooms before heading on to Stockbridge, an architectural hot spot full of quaint shops and pretty postcard streets. If you only seek out one of the city's numerous cafes, make it Elephant House – also known as 'The birthplace of Harry Potter'. It was here that J.K. Rowling began her writing career, penning the story of a boy wizard in the back room of this rambling cafe. Refueled on caffeine or something stronger, head underground to Real Mary King's Close and you'll discover a collection of subterranean streets that run beneath the city and tell the stories of the people who lived there more than 400 years ago.

Where to eat & drink

Edinburgh is a culinary wonderland just waiting to be explored. Michelin-starred fare awaits, in addition to restaurants and cafes that won't break the bank. For breakfast, consider Edinburgh Larder or The King's Wark. For lunch, try Hendersons or The Manna House. And for afternoon tea, head for Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, The Dome or The Palace of Holyroodhouse. And as day becomes night, try to get a table at Aizle, Outsider or The Kitchin, just three of the city's best restaurants showcasing Scotland's local produce.

Buildings and restaurants in Scotland`s Central Belt in Edinburgh

You'll quickly discover that Edinburgh's bar scene extends far beyond whisky and ancient public houses, but if those two boxes need to be ticked, add The Bow Bar (with 300+ single malts available) and The Sheep Heid Inn (dating back to 1360) to your itinerary. For cocktails, head for The Voodoo Rooms and Panda & Sons, the latter a New Town speakeasy disguised as a barbershop that also serves excellent food.

If you go

United flies year-round, nonstop routes between Edinburgh and Newark International Airport. For more information and to book your next adventure to the capital of Scotland, visit United.com or download the United app.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar


United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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