Edinburgh weekend!!

So I’ve been pretty bad at keeping it updated around here – I’ve said it before, blogging is the last thing on my mind while I’m here. But I’ve got some time today before I head to Camden Market with some friends, so I thought I’d sit down and share some of my weekend with you.

On Thursday night, four of us left on the Megabus for Edinburgh. Yes, we were THAT crazy. 10-hour Megabus journey. Well, it was delayed leaving, and the toilet was broken, so we were supposed to stop every hour. We did twice, and then we ran out of luck, apparently, because the driver did not stop for eight hours. It was the most uncomfortable time of my life. It was four in the morning, I was on a hot bus and I had to pee. Needless to say, we are all getting our money back. And I used that refund to shell out for a train ticket return instead of returning to the demon Megabus.

Anyways, on a lighter note, we got to the beautiful city of Edinburgh around 9 A.M. We couldn’t check into our hostel until 2, so we were stuck exploring the city with our bags. Luckily, we had packed light, and I was just being a whiny baby. We walked up on top of an extinct volcano that has been changed into a park (something we didn’t know until the next day) and got our first views of the city. We couldn’t believe how incredible it was way up there!

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We walked back down and went to see where the Queen stays in Scotland, but didn’t go inside. We decided to walk up the Royal Mile (the street that connects the palace to Edinburgh Castle) and do some souvenir shopping while we had the chance. There were millions of shops, all advertising Scottish wool and kilts. I did get myself a giant warm Scottish scarf and I do not regret my decision. It’s a lovely thing. We decided to head down to the hostel to check in, which wasn’t as far as we thought it would be. It was an interesting setup; the hostel was basically a converted flat with one guy running the whole thing. He was super nice and the four of us got a five-bed room to ourselves for the night. We dropped off our stuff before heading to the Edinburgh Castle. After a bit of deliberation, we decided to go inside and see the castle. It was like most castles and palaces I have seen, but with amazing views. The crown jewels were nothing spectacular compared to the ones in the Tower of London, but it was worth it for the pictures we got.

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After a long day and probably after walking six miles, we decided to have supper at the pub right below our hostel called Jekyll and Hyde. We were recommended by a friend who had been to Edinburgh before, and we were lucky enough to have it right downstairs. Supper was good, but it was the drinks that really made the place. They were named after the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Virtues, and they were amazing. We didn’t want to leave but we had an early morning on Saturday and a long day ahead as well.

Saturday, we got up bright and early to walk around Edinburgh when it was peaceful and quiet. We walked to the Royal Mile to go on our Loch Ness and Highlands tour. We were ever so fortunate to have a motion-sick child behind us the entire ride, who would then run off the bus like he hadn’t thrown up five times???? I don’t understand kids.

Anyways, we made our way up into the highlands, stopping for pictures in the beautiful Glen Coe.

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We saw Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, and then we were on our way to Loch Ness. We spent a lot of time around the extremely long lake, stopping for pictures at the castle, and then going to a small town nearby called Drumnadrochit. We had ice cream and bought more souvenirs, because OF COURSE you have to get something Nessie related. It’s just a requirement. We were able to stop one more time along the lake to get some closer pictures and touch the “freezing” water (which was not any colder than a normal lake.) We were lucky to have a gorgeous sunny day on our tour, and it was warm enough to bear the Highlands without a coat. (Although that may be the source of my hellish cold this week.)

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See Nessie?

All in all, Scotland is definitely at the top of my list of favorite places. Edinburgh is a beautiful historic city and the Highlands are indescribable. One of my favorite trips so far.

Now I am spending two weekends in London – with reading week next week! Only one class (!!) before November hits and we all start traveling again.

Mallory

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