The Best Place In Scotland Bar None

Trip Start Jul 14, 2007
Trip End Feb 05, 2008

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Oh what a beautiful city. We had been hearing from every backpacker we had met throughout the UK that Edinburgh was the place to be, and boy were they right. It is a tightly packed city that is up on a hill cascading from a huge castle and its highest point. Our hostel was a stones throw away from the train station and the heart of the old city. We took a free three hour walking tour the first day that took us by all the key historical sights in the city. The town was abnormally busy because of the annual festival that was going to take place the upcoming week. So there were a ton of street performers and people setting up for the festival. There were also WAY too many bagpipe players playing the same song over and over again, which also happened to be the song they played at all the important processions at my high school.

Needless to say we had a great time walking up and down the hills of the city learning about how historically rich the town is. The tour ended us in what use to be a Loch but is now a beautiful park/garden that sits at the base of the hill below the castle. We had made friends with some people on the walking tour and all had dinner together. One of which was a french guy who Braden instantly fell for and didn't leave his side for the whole 3 hour tour. Granted he hardly spoke English, but we struck a conversation because he was studying mechanical engineering in France. Naturally it was broken and hard to understand conversation, but talking in math made it a little easier. We all ate at a very good Italian restaurant and called it a night.

The next day I left Braden and Marianne to go to St. Andrews (the Mecca of Golf). It was a train ride and then a bus ride that totaled to about and hour. The bus dropped me right in front of the main entrance of the course, and low and behold the Womens British Open was being held there in two days time. AMAZING. They had all the stand and score boards up, but not very much security so you could roam pretty much where ever you wanted to with out having to have a pass. I walked the first three holes watching a group of profession women golfers having a practice round. Boy could they play golf, and they were all young too. I was probably older than most of them! I walked up and down the 17 and 18 holes watching a few groups finish up and then headed over to the driving range. I watched them practice for about a half hour then called it quits cause all I wanted to do is go out there and play a round. The course was unbelievable though. It was so wide open with the most perfectly cut grass I've ever seen!

I went back to Edinburgh by 3 and then wandered the city in hopes of finding my other two travel mates. I found my way to the museum and enjoyed a cool hands on science exhibit, that I think was intended for children, but was still super fun. I eventually found my friends back at the hostel and we all had dinner. Now we had arrange with the people we met on the walking tour to do a pub crawl the next night hosted by the same people who do the walking tour. But they never showed up, in fact no one but us and the two guides showed up. So the guides called it off and gave us free discount drink cards for sticking with it, and we decided to make our own little pub crawl. But as soon as we got our drinks in the first bar one of the guides walks in with a group of 4 girls that were late and wanted to participate. So we ended up getting a free pub crawl lead by a guide. It was a fun night exploring the many different nightlife  scenes in Edinburgh.

The next day we met up with a family friend who lives in Edinburgh, and she gave us a little driving tour of the places that were to far to walk to. We went to where the Queen stays when she comes to town, which has the most unbelievable hiking grounds and breath taking views of the city. We has lunch with Fiona and then hopped a train to Newcastle.
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