Scotland has a spirit of its own. I was totally mesmerised with what this place had to offer. Ancient monuments, famous battlefields and traditions combined with legendary myths and folklore makes the place damn interesting. The train from Coventry to Edinburgh is almost 6 hours. It was drizzling when i stepped down at the railway station with my friend. I had only read about Scotland in books and seen visuals on TV shows and internet. But to be there and step foot on this place was a dream come true.
Scotland is the U.K.’s northernmost country. It is a land of mountain wildernesses such as the Cairngorms and Northwest Highlands, interspersed with glacial glens (valleys) and lochs (lakes). Edinburgh with its iconic hilltop castle is the capital. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea. The country is made up of more than 790 islands!
Edinburgh has fantastic things to do outdoors throughout the year. You could step outside in the city centre and discover its cobbled streets, fashionable walkways and ancient alleys. I walked around at night and just loved the atmosphere. There were many ghost tours that were commencing and the numerous cafes and restaurants were very inviting. You can easily explore the architecture, history, shops, theatres and museums on foot.
Arthur's Seat is the highest of a group of hills which is formed from the remains of a volcano. The summit is 251 metres high and surprisingly stands in the centre of the city. It still feels like a real get away from the city. The hike up there is really great and you can see the North Sea too. After hours of trekking, here are some pictures.
The Edinburgh Castle is a must visit place. It is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city and has great historical importance. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. Iron Age warriors understood the rock’s military potential and built a hill fort here. An old poem tells of a war band which feasted here for a year before riding to death in battle.During the Wars of Independence the castle changed hands many times. It takes hours to explore the castle and you might have to plan your day in advance.
A whole day was spent in just walking around the city exploring many places. You can visit the Nelson monument and also the replica of the Parthenon in Athens. It was built to commemorate the death of the Napoleonic Wars, but was never completed as money ran out in 1829. It has however served as a style icon for the city and influenced many of the more recent architecture. Nearby is a cannon and the much photographed circular Dugald Stewart Monument. Its design, with elegant Grecian columns was by William Henry Playfair, and it commemorates Stewart, a Scottish philosopher at Edinburgh University from the mid 1780's to his death in 1828.
I was pretty much excited for the next day as we were visiting the Scottish Highlands. I have motion sickness and hated the bus journey. But the view and the scenery was totally worth it. We had a wonderful tour guide who had the best Scottish accent ever. Big skies, mind-blowing landscapes, superb food and hospitable people - it really doesn't get any better. You can get lost in the majestic mountains and mysterious lochs as you journey through this beautiful land. The views are simply jaw-dropping. When I was finally at Loch Ness, I was looking for the legendary monster Nessie. But sadly it was no where to be found.
Scotland begs to be explored and it has a very special place in my heart. The city is quiet compared to other cities in the UK, but still bustling with activities. There are many pubs here and I pub crawled for the first time ever. Make sure you visit this place.