Kilt Count = 50
Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
21Trip End May 08, 2008
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Edinburgh is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I will definately agree with that! Our first view of the town was the humungous Edinburgh Castle. It was built on what used to be an active volcano long long ago if that gives you any idea how huge it is. We got off the train near the park and heard what else but bagpipes playing in the distance. I had decided to keep a count of how many kilts I spotted throughout the whole trip (Kilt Count). Low and behold, we turned the corner to see the culprit of this almost annoying, but yet still beautiful music--an older man was jamming out in his kilt get-up on the street. We couldn't help but break out in some kind of a jump/dance/skip, take pictures, give him some pence and keep on our way. Little did we know that this man was only the first of many street-bag pipers we would see that day
The West Princes Street Gardens were in full bloom, and even though the weather was a little overcast in the morning, it was a beautiful and enjoyable walk. You could see the castle in the background of all the trees and flowers as the walkway winding through statues and ponds...pretty picturesque if I must say so myself :)
We wanted to get up close and personal with the castle and Sarah claimed that there was a cannon that got set off at 1:00pm every day so we hiked up to the top of the hill/mountain only to find that it was 12 pounds (24 dollars) to get in...that wasn't happening! So we stood outside the gates of the castle, heard the bang, and visited the gift shop (that's about all you get out of these places anyways right??) It was still cool to be right by an actual castle though. The road that leads up to the castle is called the Royal Mile and is just lined with cute little kilt shops and whiskey stores and gift shops. There was kilts galore here!! The weather started to really turn around and while it was really windy the whole day, the sun did peak out a little bit and we got to relax in it for awhile which is always nice.
At the end of the Royal Mile we kept catching glimpses of rolling hills and water in the distance so we asked how we could possibly get there. "Hike the big hill" is what we heard...so we did. We didn't do what normal people do and take the easier, windy walking path up the hill--we decided to scale straight up!! Exhausted, a little frightened of falling, and muddied up, we turned around to see the million dollar view of Scotland, or at least I thought so. We could see the entire city, the North Sea, and the famous rolling green hills of Scotland--priceless!! The wind could have easily toppled us all over into a tumble down the side of the hill, but we proceeded to pose in precarious positions and let our hair whip around in the cyclone-like wind
After our decent, we hit up a little fish n' chips shop for a deep-fried Mars bar, which is supposedly something Scotland is famous for. It was delicious of course!! The batter was a little sweet and when it was fried the caramel melted just enough that when I took a bite it all just melted in my mouth--yum!!
On the train ride back to Glasgow, Jessica and I sat by a very nice couple from a small town around Glasgow and got to chatting with them. It was nice to speak English to strangers and have them understand. I told them how it was my birthday weekend and how I had just turned 21. They got very excited and after buying me and Jess a drink on the train, told us that turning 21 in Scotland was a big deal because that is when you are officially free from your parents and you always get some sort of key from them meaning something like you get a house key or something (even though they spoke English, their accent was very thick and still difficult to understand sometimes). We definately lucked out on our choice of seats on this train ride. Mackenzie and Sarah were pretty jealous, so when we got back to Glasgow we hit up the supermarket for some cheap wine and sat in our hostel for hours on end just chatting, reminissing, drinking, and telling each other how sad it will be to leave each other in a week. I am ready to come home and see you all, but I have really had the time of my life over here and will definately be a crying fool when I leave our dorms on Wednesday night all the way through Thursday morning! Overall this was a great trip and Scotland was the perfect cap to it--can't wait to see you all in a week!