Sunday, June 6, 2010

Scotland!

This blog post about Edinburgh, Scotland is shamefully overdue! But you'll have to forgive me; I'm a busy girl! I loved Scotland more than I thought I would - it is so beautiful. People told me beforehand that I would love it, but in my mind I thought how is it more beautiful than England? and I found out on the train ride up to Edinburgh how true it was; Scotland is beautiful, and England is beautiful, but Scotland has a more wild, unkempt, romantic beauty. It might have helped that I reading the tragic love story of Wuthering Heights on the train ride, but I really thought it was more of a romantic landscape compared to the proper and lovely countryside of England (not to underplay the loveliness of English countryside, by any means). Needless to say, I enjoyed Edinburgh thoroughly, and I'm glad we took the trip!

This isn't the most impressive picture of the Edinburgh castle, but I just wanted to show how it really is in the middle of the city. We were really just walking around the city center and, all of the sudden, there it was! Edinburgh castle is quite an impressive site, sitting on a hilltop in the middle of Edinburgh. We had fun wandering around inside, looking at all the exhibits and stuff. It was our first introduction to Edinburgh!

We found a Scottish guard at the Edinburgh castle to take a picture with
(I think he's enjoying himself)

The Royal National Museum of Scotland (or something like that) was on our list of stopping points in Edinburgh - but by that time, we were quite "museum-ed out." We found, however, that this museum was more interesting than we thought it would be! This museum is the home of Dolly, the first cloned animal (she's now dead, stuffed and on a rotating turntable). I thought it was pretty cool though - here I am, with one of science's most impressive breakthroughs!

The Museum of Scotland had an interactive exhibit of period clothing to try on - including corsets! So we experienced what so many women had to suffer on a daily basis, and believe me, it wasn't easy! This is Chelsea, making sure that my corset was the tightest that it could possibly be, and my face is a mixture of pain and surprise that women actually tolerated such absurdities! Oh, the torture!

Meet Nicola, our lovely tour guide on the "Ghost Hunters" tour we did in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is, apparently, the most haunted city in the UK, and we (meaning the only brave ones in the program who wanted to do the "scariest tour" - 6 of us) wanted to find out why! The tour took us to different sites in the city where our tour guides told us historically accurate stories about tortures, murders, and hauntings that happened inside the city of Edinburgh. Then we went into the caverns - the underground part of the city, where the ghosts are (apparently) very friendly!

This is us - scared to death - on our ghost tour! We were all scared, even the ones that didn't admit they were (come on, girls, we were all a bit frightened). We didn't exactly know when we signed up for the tour that the intent was to actually see ghosts, not just tell stories about them. Thankfully, nobody in our group saw a ghost, although a few of the caverns were definitely colder than others which, according to our faithful tour guides, was a sign of ghostly presence (because of the location of the caverns, they really should have all been around the same temperature, say the tour guides). We did hear some very creepy noises around the caverns though, which was strange because we were the only ones down there that night! Spooky!

This is a small sample of how beautiful Edinburgh is! Edinburgh definitely has a different feel than other cities in the UK - it's something I can't quite put my finger on, but perhaps it's because, to me, Scotland seems more wild and untamed than England, so the capital city is a bit of a reflection on that. That's the best description I can come up with :)
Me and Whitney atop a hill in Edinburgh - this hilltop gave us a beautiful view of Edinburgh and the surrounding Scottish landscape, with a nice view of the ocean in the background.

hehe... besides describing my whole stay in the UK, this sign is located inside of our favorite find in Edinburgh: "Chocolate Soup." We loved it so much that we went twice in our Edinburgh trip! They have an entire menu of different types of hot chocolates (chocolate "soups") and I got an "Autumn Spice" hot chocolate, which was chocolate flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. We also split a chocolate brownie sandwich, which is pictured below (well, sort of pictured ;)
This is (was) the "brownie sandwich," which consisted of a two scrumptious, chewy brownie slices with a very large scoop of ice cream in between! oh, and the cup on the left of the plate is a cup full of dark melted chocolate. Divine!

2 comments:

Curt and Ronda said...

Beautiful! I have a feeling it will be hard to leave! And I do love your brownie picture!! Have fun to the end.

Carrie said...

Edinburgh looks AMAZING!!! Hope you are feeling better!