Thistle do Nicely

This weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland with the International Society. Although the trip there was long and full of sheep, the city itself was beautiful and I would go back at the first opportunity I got. It took nearly 6 hours to get there including a stop but we finally did late Saturday morning and checked into our hostel in the city. We spent the rest of the day exploring the Castle of Edinburgh which is way up high atop the city and is home to the oldest buildings and the largest cannon batteries. We also walked along the Royal Mile, a mile-long strip of cobble-stone and quaint shops framed on one end by the Palace of Her Royal Majesty in Scotland and on the other by the Castle. This was my favorite part of the city because everything along it was so Scottish and cute. Nearly every store on it sells tartans and Walkers short bread and cashmere and kilts and pipes. On Sunday, we took a coach tour of the city and saw the birthplace of many famous writers and inventors to come out of Edinburgh such as Sirs Arthur Conan Doyle and Walter Scott and Alexander Graham Bell. We also saw the grade school of J.K. Rowling’s children, which is also the building that inspired her idea for Hogwarts. It looks just like Hogwarts but it’s an elementary school.

The Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel is like the Four Seasons of youth hostels, incase you’re ever planning on visiting. I slept better than I have since I left home. On Sunday morning after we checked out, we headed out on the coach tour to see parts of the city we might not see on foot. After some unexpectedly outstanding lunch at a pub called Whiski (haha) we explored the southern side of the Royal Mile which is less touristy and more like a little old village. It’s filled with cute bookstores and boutiques and places with pun-intended names like Thistle do Nicely. There is a large road that runs parallel to the Mile called Princes Street which is the beginning of a large shopping area and the high street shops. When we were finally tired out from walking for 2 days, we relaxed in a lofted Costa up on the third floor of the shopping area and looked out at the Castle and the old skyline. Although I would return to Edinburgh in a heartbeat, I also want to see where else I can explore while in the UK. Everywhere I have been so far is very different from Manchester and from the other cities. As much character as Manchester has, it’s good to leave for a while.

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