To be honest, the reason I came to Scotland was because it was the most efficient way to get between Ireland and England. I chose to only see Edinburgh and stay for a short 2 days. Turns out, this country is full of wonderful surprises, even the small part I did see.
At first I wasn’t to impressed with Edinburgh. The buildings looked similar and were all the same depressing grey color and it looked similar to any big European city. As I got closer to the downtown area I kept seeing some beautiful medieval type cathedrals, which truly were amazing to see. Some new buildings were mixed in with the old and the people seemed abnormally happy everywhere.
We walked around downtown, heard some gospel music in the streets then checked out the National Gallery. I liked it a lot more then the one in Dublin because the majority of the art was actually Scottish where as in Dublin, there were very few Irish work. After some more walking around we ended up at the Museum of Childhood. I thought it was some silly museum and only went in because it was free and about to rain. It was really neat! It is a 5 story building filled with awesome old toys and games (and creepy dolls). We stayed for much longer then we were planning to and it was well worth it.
|Some of the creepy dolls at the Museum of Childhood|
|A view of Edinburgh from Hollyrood park|
Then we found a big hill right in the middle of the city and set out to climb it to see where it would take us. Instead of walking around to find a path we just went straight up the steep part. When we got to the top of that we realized that there is much more to the hill then we initially thought… it took about 2 hours to get to the top (granted we stopped for picture, snack and rest breaks). The view from the top was phenomenal, there was a beautiful 360 degree view of the city. It is so cool that this existed right smack dab in the middle of Edinburgh! It is called Hollyrood park and the top is named Arthur’s seat.
For dinner we went to a small restaurant our host had suggested to try out the famous Haggis. Haggis is a traditional Scottish meal that consists of sheep’s lung, liver and heart which spices and oatmeal… as if this doesn’t sound gross enough it is typically cooked inside of a sheep’s stomach lining! I was weary at first but was pleasantly surprised at how scrumptious it was, the Scottish ale helped a bit too.
|Haggis for dinner!|
The people I ended up staying with were fantastic and really showed us a great Scottish time. I woke up this morning because I smelled yummy bacon and when I got to the kitchen there was a delicious Scottish breakfast feast ready for me. It consisted of more haggis, blood pudding, ‘tattie cakes, mushrooms, bacon (he was proud to call it Canadian bacon), sausage, tomato, eggs and OJ. It was SO good and SO filling! Mmmmm, I was so lucky to get some real Scottish food.
We spent the rest of the day digesting all that food by walking around. I have walked so much since I started this trip. My honest estimate would be that I walk an average of 8 hours a day straight (some days up to 10 hours) and don’t have the best of shoes so my feet hurt so much by the end of the day but it is well worth it. We saw some nice parks, the famous Edinburgh church and the Royal Yacht Britannica. The yacht belongs to Queen Elizabeth and is full of their families’ history; it is even where prince Charles and princess Diana had their honeymoon! On our way home it was raining so we had a drink or food in the good pubs we could find on our long walk back.
Now I am getting ready for bed and packing up all my stuff. Since Jan fixed our hosts’ computer, saving him having to buy a new one, we get to stay here for free which is fantastic because it is just a lovely place. I will definitely return to Scotland someday and check out the highlands and search for the Lochness monster! Tomorrow I leave Scotland, and Jan, and head to Northumberland to stay with Nikki, a friend that I lived with in PG last year : )