Friday, February 22, 2013

Scotland Day 1: Edinburgh

Well, I'm back after a long break from blogging!  Sadly, there probably won't be too much for me to blog about this term, since I won't be traveling that much, and mostly researching which is boring to think about let alone write about!  :)

So, I went to Scotland from February 19-16, 2013, during my school's Reading week.  I went with a friend from my German class, Lisa.  We left on the train from King's Cross in London around 800 in the morning I think, and got into Edinburgh around 1-ish.

My bed was Little Miss Bossy
We checked into our hostel- Royal Mile Backpackers (Fully recommend them- it's pretty awesome!  The rooms were set out to different themes.  The only other one I remember was Gotham City.  Ours was Little Miss, and since I loved the books when I was little, I was super excited- not going to lie!  Breakfast was cheap and good, the beds were comfy and warm, and there's a fireplace.  All in all, not bad for ~£10 a night!), left our stuff in the room and set out for Edinburgh Castle!

Some pictures of the castle- description of day is after!)

View from the Castle wall

So, while it wasn't raining, it was a grey day, as you can tell from the pictures- yet still fairly clear!  It was foggy at first, but by the time we left, no fog!  The castle was literally 10min from our hostel, if that.  Our hostel was directly on the Royal Mile (High Street) so 10min one way was the Castle and about 15min the other way was Holyroodhouse Palace at the opposite end of the Mile.  Pretty decent location!

We spent about 3 hours at the castle, including a late lunch which was pretty decent.  This was my second time in Edinburgh, so my second visit to the castle, but it was still very interesting!  I went in to a couple of the little museums located inside that I hadn't been to before, they were all about war- mainly Scotland's role in various wars throughout history.  It costs about £14 to get in (Only seniors get the concession price, but as an English Heritage member I got 1/2 off!)

Another very cool part of the castle, is that they have the Scottish Crown Jewels- The Honours of Scotland- which are nothing like England's.  They consists of a giant sword, a scepter (I think) and the Stone of Scone! (That's the nickname, the real name is the Stone of Destiny).  No pictures allowed, but here is the website should you wish to know more about them! The Honours of Scotland .

After the castle, we went to the Scotch Whiskey Experience.  We paid for the 'attraction' and got a little ride in a cask to hear, and see, how whiskey was made from a dapper looking ghost.  The main part was the tasting experience and learning a little bit about whiskey.  I tried the lowland whiskey I think, whatever the one was that they suggested for beginning Scotch drinkers...well it tasted exactly like whiskey to me- no hints of whatever it was they said there would be....just whiskey and it was gross.   While there, we also saw the world's biggest collection of whiskey bottles!  This was actually pretty cool- everything from the cans of jack and coke, and normal whiskey bottles to bottles that look like nuns, and chess sets that are really flasks...crazy stuff but really interesting!  No idea how much it's worth- but it's a lot!

For dinner, I have found my ideal traveling partner, because she suggested the Hard Rock Cafe!  And those of you who know me well, know that I absolutely love the Hard Rock!!

After that we back to the hostel  to go to sleep to be well rested for our adventure to Lindisfarne (The Holy Island) the next day, and what an adventure it was!

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