Here’s to Sore Legs and Haggis

This week I attended class, like usual, basically got chosen for the Hunger Games, and fell in love.

Classes this week were…interesting to say the least. My classes here are a bit different than back home. While they are the same in we have a seminar style format, I am being challenged in ways that I wasn’t during my undergrad, mainly because a lot of the literature is completely foreign to me. For my British Places class I was having a hard time gathering my thoughts to articulate them, and when I finally did get my thoughts in coherent order he ended class. Now, my Romanticism class is completely different. I somehow accidentally volunteered got picked to lead discussion for the class period. The. Day. Before. Class. So needless to say I was frantically reading and making notes for the class because my professor is tough. So I get to class and start the discussion and we don’t even talk about the points I brought up! What is the point of that?!

Anyway, my Friday got much improved after my disastrous Romanticism class because I left for Edinburgh! And y’all I was feeling all It’s Friday, I’m in love…with Edinburgh.

I can’t even express how much I love that city. It is so incredibly lovely. Kate and I took a bus instead of a train this time and I may have gotten a bit bus sick. In my defense it was a double decker type. Kate’s friends, May and Paul, graciously hosted us for the weekend. So May met us at the bus station and took us the long way home so we could see various parts of the city.

I was so excited, for anyone who knows me you know that I absolutely adore Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street series, which is set in Edinburgh so when I passed any places mentioned in the books I obviously fangirled. I also have a special treat for my fellow ODS lovers, or anyone interested in learning about the books here.

What is so incredible about Edinburgh is the castle. You can see it from basically every point in the city, looming above everything. While we didn’t go to the castle this weekend because we plan to come back with more friends and tour it, May and Paul have an incredible view of it from their window! See!

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That’s from their front window! Talk about a perfect view!  I got to enjoy my breakfast with this view. My breakfast, courtesy of Paul, consisted of haggis, black pudding, tattie scones, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a roll. So this was my first Scottish meal. I was surprised by the haggis. It was pretty good! Although, it was fried instead of boiled. I have to admit I was really hesitant to try black pudding because it’s blood. And let’s be honest, when you hear pudding you think of snack packs, so here I was imagining a container of congealed blood that I was expected to taste. It was totally not that. It was almost a bit cake-ish, and it wasn’t bad. While it was not my favorite, it was fine, I’ve certainly had worse. So after breakfast, Kate, May, and I hit the ground running.

We were very fortunate to have May as our tour guide. She took us all over the city and showed us various landmarks. We stopped by Grayfriars Bobby and weaved all around the city until we reached the Palace of Holyrood House. We toured the Palace, but really we just wanted access to the Holyrood Abbey ruins. It was stunning. Unfortunately, photos weren’t allowed inside the palace but I got a ton of photos of the abbey. After lunch at the palace café, and one of the most perfect lattes I’ve ever had later, we started our trek up the Salisbury Crags.

The Salisbury Crags stand on the outskirts of the city looking down, with Arthur’s Seat looming behind them like a protective guardian. We began our hike up the less challenging side and let me tell you, you have no idea how out of shape you are until you start climbing hills. And y’all, I am incredibly out of shape. But the hike was totally worth it for the stunning views of the city you get.

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I took so many photos up here because everywhere you turned there was something magnificent to see. I took a few photos near the edge, but I wasn’t getting too close, because I am clumsy as the day is long and I don’t have a death wish.

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I also got a great photo on the top of the crags, if you ignore the couple canoodling in the background. If I had photoshop I might’ve been able to cut them out but, sadly, I don’t.

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The hike down was hilarious. It was a bit steeper and rocky at times than the trek up. At one point I was sure I was going to have to just sit and slide down. But alas, I was able to make it down. I’m surprised at how sure footed I am. Like a mountain goat (famous last words, I know). I also did a bit of crag scaling. I also may or may not have kept a piece of rock to bring home with me. Let’s hope that doesn’t violate some custom laws or something.

We went to the Scott Monument to climb the 287 stairs to the top but unfortunately, or luckily, the monument was closed for the evening. So after that disappointment May took us to one of my requests…which you can find out about here! Then they graciously took us to Falkirk to see the Kelpies. While there is a mini replica in the University of Edinburgh Quadrangle that we got to see, it doesn’t compare to the real thing.

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They are truly incredible to see in person. The sheer enormity blows my mind. And seeing them at night was even more perfect. So thank you to May and Paul for bringing us by!

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I can’t wait to go back to Edinburgh. It is such a brilliant city. It’s the type of city I could see myself living in…but don’t tell my mama, yet. I’ll definitely be posting more about the city in my future visits. Lucky for me it’s very close!

Next weekend is my first foray into the Highlands.  I’m ridiculously excited.

Sláinte, darling!

 

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