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Published: April 6th 2015
After our four days in London, Mom and I made our way by train to Edinburgh. After riding the train for four hours, it was nice to get up and walk a bit. Little did Mom and I realize what laid in store for us. Packing all of our luggage, we had to climb steep stairs and walk long hills to get to where we were staying. We finally arrived to our apartment, exhausted and realizing how out of shape we were. After dropping everything off, we headed out for a walk around the medieval old city. The architecture in the city is amazing and makes you feel like you are walking back in time. We made our way to the castle and looked around the outside before making our way down the Royal Mile and doing a lot of shopping at the many shops that line the road. After our fill of shopping, we made our way to a place for dinner that mom had researched, only to find that the place no longer existed or had move locations. Lucky us though, we happened upon an Italian restaurant that made it's pasta homemade and it was so good. With a glass of wine, that dinner was perfect.
Dday two of our time in Edinburgh started out at Edinburgh Castle. The castle is what everything is the old city was built around. The castle was the center of many battles and was put under seige many times. The views from inside the castle over the city were great. The castle sits on top of a rock in the middle of the city. Inside the castle, the Scottish crown jewels are kept. The crown jewels are older than the ones held in the Tower of London that we had already seen and not near as fancy. Nonetheless, they are still beautiful. Also inside the some of the buildings in the castle grounds are museums about the various Scottish military units and there history. All the military regalia, medals, and artifacts were very neat. Inside the castle there was even a cemetary for dogs that have served in the various Scottish military units. After the castle, we made our way down the Royal Mile, stopping at a few shops for some shopping before getting to the end where we took a look at Holyrood Palace, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. From Holyrood Palace, we took off for the biggest challenge of the trip, climbing Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat is a dormant volcano that can be hiked up. It is over 800 feet high and the top offers magnificent views of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. The weather could not have been more perfect for the hike and the views were stunning. After taking a break just below the summit, we began our hike down and once down we stopped at a little place and had afternoon tea with a scone. We were truly English, having tea and scones at about 3:30, tea time. After tea, we walked around a bit and then made our way back to the Italian restaurant from the night before and it was delicious once again.
Day three was the day for our tour of Scotland. Our tour took us all around the perthshire region and the landscape was beautiful. One of our first stops was my favorite place on all of the tour. The Hermitage is a small little round building built right down stream from a waterfall. It was beautiful and the walk there from the car park was just as beautiful. It makes complete sense that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert fell in love with this area. The nature was lovely and I could have sat there for the entire day, minus the rainy weather. From the Hermitage, our next big stop was Blair Castle. Blair Castle was very cool and reminded Mom and I of Skyfall in James Bond. The entry hall was the stereotyipcal Scottish decor with guns and game decorating the walls. After Blair Castle it was back to driving around the Scottish countryside and we made some stops for some more beautiful scenery. Another beautiful place was Queen's View that looked out over a loch from the top of a hill. Another gorgeous place to add to the list. We made a few other small stops to take pictures of various landscapes and all were very beautiful. I thought Scotland was going to be like Ireland out in the countryside, but I was wrong. It is wild and untamed like much of Ireland, but it is still very different.
Our time in Scotland was grand. The sights and scenery were beautiful and our physical endurance was put to the test on numerous occasions. Edinburgh was a beautiful city with a rich history and wonderful architecture and had an old world charm about it that is hard to find in other cities. Like every other place I have been, it was well worth the visit.
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