Seeing Scotland

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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Today we saw much of Edinburgh and got a real feel for the Scottish culture. One note about my camera: I didn't charge it so it was dead when I tried to take a picture this morning. What luck I've had with it this summer. But no worries, I can easily charge it at the hostel.

Scotland is very interesting and definitely different than anything we've seen this whole summer. It really is its own region and the people very much consider themselves seperate from the British. However, most of Edinburgh is pretty touristed-up (meaning it is Disneyfied, if you will) but it is still fun and interesting nonetheless.

We started the day at Edinburgh Castle, which was supposed to be one of the best attractions in Scotland according to our guide book. It was pretty cool, but there was not as much to see there as you would hope. We saw the dungeon and prison displays and the old banquet halls and even the crown jewels of Scotland. It also sat up on a hill and there was a fantastic view of the area. Overall, it was a good visit, but we were ready for other stuff afterwards.

I ended up spending the day with my friends Michael, Luke, Henry and the one girl from the large group Carly, whom I recently met in Oxford. It was inevitable that the big travel group would split off into smaller groups that day. We stopped for lunch and then decided to walk to the Royal Mile down to the Holyrood Park. The Royal Mile was full of important buildings, especially since Edinburgh is/was the capital of Scotland, and they were neat to see.

Holyrood Park is a beautiful piece of countryside randomally placed in the middle of Edinburgh. It has lush green grass fields with very large hills. We walked all around, including climbing rocks and going up to the highest point. It was cold and misty rain (basically miserable weather) but the view was beautiful nonetheless.

At the base of the park was a beautifully new modern building which was the Scottish Parliament. It was free to go in, so we did and looked around. We then walked back up to the St. Giles Cathedral and walked around inside. It wasn't all the large and impressive like a lot of the other churches we've seen, but it was still pretty pretty. By the time we were done with this, it was a few hours before we needed to meet the rest of the group for dinner so we went back to the hostel and took a nap! Lots of walking involved today.

We went to dinner at the "End of the World" pub- apparently a pretty famous one (not sure why). We ordered the haggis and it was really good! I really liked Scottish food, although it seemed as if they were catering to tourists.

After dinner we walked across the bridge to the "new town" where we walked around and looked at the district, which is much more modern and trendy. We found a very historic and interesting cementary and another park with the national monument. It was a row of doric columns (not sure why) but it interesting and beautiful to see the sunset from there.

We then walked and grabbed dessert at Burger King (we're so cheap sometimes, ha) and then went to the whisky bar near our hostel. It is cozy little place with a menu of over a 100 whisky brands. I wasn't sure what to order, so I just asked for the best smooth and sweet one for beginners. It was great! And fun to just sit there and enjoy the atmosphere and company. We went back to the hostel and went to bed because it was about midnight everyone had to get up really early to the British Open the next morning.
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photo by: vances