Travel Adventures: Scotland

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland: Exploring Historic Edinburgh

Scotland! Land of bagpipes, Loch Ness, delicious shortbread, fancy kilts, and Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities to which I’ve ever been. My cousin, Jen, and I were excited to travel there in 2017. Another cousin and her husband live there (well, Toni and Dave actually live in the cute and quaint coastal town of Portobello) and so they showed us around when we visited them. For only being there a few days, we saw so many wonderful places and I took SO many photos! I narrowed them down to these that I’ve included in this post.

❤ I’m fortunate to know some pretty awesome people around the world, and they have helped me have some pretty awesome adventures! ❤

20170415_114945I wish this photo came out sharper, but anyhow, take a look at this view! This is looking at some of Edinburgh from atop Calton Hill. The columned structure to the right is called the Dugald Stewart’s Monument. You can see Edinburgh Castle in the distance to the left, and in the center is the clock tower of the Balmoral Hotel, the hotel where JK Rowling stayed while she finished writing the last chapters of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

20170414_172422Here I am, backpacking my way around Edinburgh! Okay, so I only had the backpack on for maybe 20 minutes. I’m standing on the Royal Mile, probably the most historic and significant street in all of Scotland. There are so many neat shops and restaurants and points of historical interest along here! Toni and Dave took us around to their favorite sights and shops, where we got to shoot some whisky (there’s no e in the Scottish way of spelling it), sample some amazing fudge, and taste some absolutely delicious Scottish shortbread. You’ll want to go to Pinnies and Poppy Seeds for the shortbread, trust me!

I also had my first taste of “millionaire’s shortbread” in Scotland and I must say, it’s the most perfect mix of sweet chocolate, buttery shortbread, and smooth, salty caramel. Here’s a recipe and some more info about it. (I have not yet tried to make it, so I don’t know how good or not the recipe is. I might make it one of these days, though, so be sure to check my Recipes page. The tab for it is at the top of the page.)

20170414_134447This is the Heart of Midlothian. The history about it is rather sad, and you can read about it here. Nowadays, people spit on it for the sake of tradition, but I honestly didn’t notice anything disgusting about that. I just saw this really cool and old heart mosaic set in the street and felt a bit fortified by it, somehow. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, I did spit on it, so let’s hope I am blessed with another visit to Edinburgh one of these days. 🙂 )

St. Giles' CathedralIsn’t this beautiful? This is St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s so magnificent both inside and out! It’s located along the Royal Mile, and so we must have passed by it a handful of times. Each time we did, I was in awe of the antiquity, grace, and beauty of it. I didn’t feel like paying to take photos of the inside, so check out this website if you want to see photos of the interior.

Like most old churches, this one drew me in. I love looking at stained glass windows, hearing people’s whispers echo off the smooth, cold floor, and feeling God’s presence in the ornate, high ceilings. I also try to light a candle for my late brother and/or say a prayer for him in every international church I visit.

20170415_162426Sorry, not sorry, but I am not at all a fan of bagpipes. However, Scotland wouldn’t be the same without them and so I had to hear my fair share of them on the Royal Mile. The bag pipers’ suits and kilts are pretty impressive, however. The different tartans are neat to see. If you want to learn some more about tartans, click here.

20170415_162748Edinburgh Castle is truly a magnificent sight! Looking grand and noble up there on Castle Rock, it can be seen from many different vantage points around the city. Although we decided to skip the tour of the inside of it, we did marvel at its crenelated towers, weathered walls, and historical significance. Here’s the official website for the castle.

I found this great link to the top 10 things to do/see along the Royal Mile, and luckily, Jen and I did/saw most of them while we were there. We are both big fans of Harry Potter, and so it was fantastic to be able to see some of the headstones in Greyfriars Kirk where JK Rowling got inspiration for the names of at least five of her characters. Here’s a website with all of the details. We also took a quick look at The Elephant House, the café where she wrote some of the Harry Potter series. Below is a photo I took when we were in Victoria Street, which may have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

20170415_172057

There’s just so much history and culture and beauty all around! I can’t wait until we can go back one of these days! Hopefully, both Toni and Dave are up for playing tour guides with us again.

This concludes my summer series on my travel adventures. I hope you liked them! As always, thanks for stopping by. ❤

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