Well, I'm starting a blog. I've been meaning to do it for some time now, but am just getting around to it. It's an odd thing. Blogging means that you think your life is interesting enough that people will want to read about it. I don't know if this is true, but I figured I would give it a shot anyway. This is a blog about my travels and quest to live fearlessly. Welcome.

- Christina

Thursday 1 August 2013

Edinburgh, Scotland

Hi all, I know this is very late considering we got back from our trip over a month ago, but this blogging business is hard! It takes a lot of work and time, so I've been putting it off. Sorry.

Anyway, after two weeks in Ireland and Northern Ireland we headed back to Dublin and caught a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland. The ride was only about an hour, and we arrived in Scotland in the evening. We spent two nights in Edinburgh (pronounced: ed-in-bur-uh-- we were corrected on this many times). We had no idea where we were staying that night, so we found the nearest hostel and crashed there. It turned out to be an old cathedral that had been turned into a hostel. Walls were put up to become dorm rooms, and you could still see the cathedral ceilings while in the hostel dorms. The place was very cool, and unlike anything we had stayed in before. There was one downside though; it smelled like weird old shoes/popcorn. It actually made me kind of sick. Needless to say, we spent one night here before looking for a new, non-smelly place to sleep. It was sill neat though, see:

Cathedral turned hostel in Edinburgh.

The next day we went to explore Edinburgh. It is a relatively small town that sits on the base of an extinct volcano. We walked round the town and soon headed to Edinburgh Castle. The castle was built right into the side of the mountain/extinct volcano. It looks like something out of a movie. The castle towers over the small town, and from the top you can see everything. We walked the cobblestone streets within the castle walls, explored dungeons and jail cells where prisoners were held, and saw the Scottish crown jewels. The Edinburgh Castle was amazing. 
 Strategically placed castle. 

 Within the castle walls.

 Swords for days...


In a jail cell.

You can't actually take pictures of the jewels, but here's the sign. 

After the Edinburgh Castle we went to the National Museum of Scotland (we quickly learned that anything with "National" in front of the name is almost always free- woo hoo!). This was a huge museum full of history and science. We had an amazing time just wandering around and soaking up the culture. That was it for our first day in Edinburgh. 

 Space suit up!


 Moose skeleton.


Totem pole. 

The next day was our last in Edinburgh. We only had two days, but honestly it was enough. The town was pretty small and we didn't have a car to go anywhere else. It wasn't like in Ireland where we could just drive wherever we wanted to go. So on our last day in Edinburgh we went on a great free walking tour of the city. We had heard about a company that did free walking tours and decided to try it out. It is mostly young people who give the tours and they work off tips. We had an amazing tour guide who took us all over the city in the 3 hour tour. He taught us so much about Scottish history and customs. We loved the tour so much that we decided to do it again the next day, but in London! More on that later though. After the tour we went to a traditional Scottish pub for lunch. David had the haggis, which was traditionally all the "nasty" parts of the sheep cooked in it's stomach, but it now something similar to our meatloaf. It was beef/lamb cooked in a bag, with gravy on top. It was actually really good. I got bangers and mash, which is a dish I learned to love while in Ireland. Its sausages, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables- what's not to love?

After lunch David wanted to do a "Scotch Experience" at the world's largest private collection of scotch. It was kind of expensive and I had already toured the Guinness and Bushmill's factories, so I decided to skip this one. I just went back to the National Museum and walked around some more, there was still tons to see. We met up after the tour and talked about what we had seen. David had a great time at the Scotch experience. He told me how he tasted scotch from different parts of Scotland and how you could really taste the difference based on where it was made. For dinner we stopped in a little Italian restaurant and had some delicious pizza and enjoyed a glass of wine, mmmm.

 A panorama of the world's largest private collection of scotch. 

 David being sexy in front of some scotch ;)

Wine :)

And that was about it for Scotland. I wish we could have traveled around and seen more of the country, but we just didn't have time. We headed off to London next, more to come...

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