I spent the past couple of days in Scotland and OH MY GOODNESS it was fantastic.
First of all, we both want to thank my big brother Josh for encouraging (perhaps not quite strong enough of a word) us to visit Scotland. Edinburgh is a dream. I really cannot process how much history and architecture and just pure awesome is contained within every single block. Rebecca, my travel buddy, is determined to move here. I may or may not have to join her.
We stayed with an old friend of my parents and they took wonderful care of us. Their apartment (basically one fourth of a house) is much larger than an average European dwelling so we felt quite like princesses.
Edinburgh’s main touristy things are all located in a very condensed area called the royal mile. On one end of the mile is a grand castle (inhabited by James I and other kinda important people) and on the other end is a royal palace that is still being used by the queen today.
I really enjoyed visiting the palace. We walked through the bed quarters of Mary Queen of Scots and toured the room where she watched her husband murder her friend and alleged suitor David Riccio. We had a lovely time walking around the palace. We even found a kids activity room with Elizabethan era dress up clothes. No one was looking, so of course we tried them on.
So far two things have impressed me the most about Scotland:
- The Language
Scottish accents are a real thing guys! They sound lovely but can be very tough to understand. It doesn’t help that they seem particularly keen on using colloquliasims. Cows are called coos and mashed potatoes are called matties. Sometimes I feel like I am listening to another language, or at least another dialect.
- The Setting
As we drove through the countryside to a small seaside village for fish and chips, I was astounded to see how much history is melded into the everyday lives of the Scottish. The roads are lined with stone walls and hedges that could very well be over 500 years old (Isaiah Higgins claims that a lot of the stone walls in Scotland are over a thousand years old). In America a chunk of stones off one of those walls would be sitting behind glass in a museum. Here they are still being used to keep sheep off the road. We drove by an uncountable number of fantastic stone houses. I’m no expert, but some looked definitively 18th century and quite a few looked a whole lot older than that. These houses are not museums or monuments; they are still being used to hold ordinary Scottish families today. GASP!
Between gaping at century old abbey ruins, wandering down narrow streets dotted with glorious cathedrals, and hiking through the Pentlands over hills and streams coated with sheep and an occasional forest, I can start to see why so much literary genius came out of this country. My oh my, after just two days of walking around I feel the urge to write a poem.
Have a glorious day!