I was just waiting for William Wallace to show up and shoot fireballs from his arse.
Check the first trip off the list. To be honest, I'm still not entirely sure how it even came about.
After hammering out multiple days in a row of touring around London trying to see everything we possibly could, and we did, my brother Patty tossed a few ideas our way for things to go and see, one being Stonehenge. So like every other night we had been here, we of course went out and dabbled our hand in
multiple just a few pints, and tried to come up with a game plan. Did our research on trying to rent a car, and Gen also gave us the idea of seeing The Seven Sisters, which are some magnificent looking chalk cliffs along the coast near a city called Brighton. Boom. We had some sort of an outline for our first little roady. (And what could have potentially been our first encounter driving on the opposite side of the road. I still can't even comprehend in my head how to go about turning right through and intersection.) However, somehow not hungover, woke up at 9ish on Sunday morning, and completely scrapped the aforementioned road trip to see the rocks in a field. We both agreed that, although definitely something worth seeing eventually, we wanted to do something a little cooler. The next two hours were spent going back and forth on whether or not we wanted to hop on a quick plane to Edinburgh, or hop on a quick plane to Dubrovnik. For those of you who aren't familiar with Dubrovnik, it's a coastal town in Croatia; supposedly nothing short of amazing. (Take a look at a few google images and decide for yourself. Some parts of Game of Thrones are also filmed here.)
After careful consideration, we went back and forth on what we were going to do. Although Croatia is high on my list of places to go, we found it best that that trip would be better after some more in-depth planning. We were off to Scotland.
We seriously didn't plan a single thing. (One might think that it would have been a little overwhelming, but to be honest, not knowing anything and just figuring it out as we went was
fucking awesome.) We landed, jumped off the plane and found ourselves looking at each other, thinking, "now where do we go from here." Grabbed a quick hotel off Hotwire (Somehow, we had just landed in Scotland, looking for a hotel, thinking maybe a cool local hotel or B&B, we ended up landing a Holiday Inn. Cool.) We got settled and took the bus into the city centre. On our way in we had absolutely no idea where we were even going. Winding our way into the city, we came around a corner, and saw this.
That is Edinburgh castle. Look at that place. It's no wonder no one could take it over in hundreds of years. I'll be honest, I got the same initial overwhelming feeling within the first few moments of laying my eyes on it as I did inside St. Paul's Cathedral. How could I not?
Edinburgh is hands down the coolest place I have ever been. It's not anywhere near comparable to London, as they both are completely unique in their own ways. It is all personal preference. We spent the first night just wandering around, in awe of the architecture and cobblestone streets. It had no where near a major city feel.
The first touristy thing we decided to do? Take part in an hour long ghost tour through the vaults (just weird and creepy rooms of stone underneath the city). I really think we completely underestimated what we were getting ourselves into, because a few minutes before the tour started, we came across this:
That, my fine feathered friends, is a board plastered with newspaper articles and first hand experiences of people who had been cut, scratched, pushed and just undeniably freaked out after going on one of these tours. Yeah. We just found out that the vaults are one of Britains most haunted places. Awesome?
Now I'll admit, there were a few moments of creepiness, however the tour went fine. whew. (Wiping the sweat from my brow)
Everything about the city was just amazing. We met a couple of cool girls from Burlington during the ghost tour (figure that one out. Two Canadian dudes in Scotland, randomly come across 3 girls from Burlington, who nonetheless also went to high school with a guy that we also did. Talk about a small world), so we took them up on the offer that they knew where they were going for some beers. Standard, beers. While out that night we also met some cool people from Winnipeg. Canadians hit Scotland!
One of the nights all of us Canadians were out, one of the absolute funniest things happened that I had ever seen. We were minding our own pints, half listening to the awesome live music going on, when an absolutely
shitfaced plastered Scotsman was walking toward the door. Yet, what he didn't realise, was that there were 2 steps his beer goggles needed to navigate in order to get him there. So, yes, he missed them completely, doing almost a complete flip with his legs and arms flailing everywhere in the air. Smack. Right on his face. You're thinking, so? Well, he didn't miss a beat, got right up, huge smile on his face, and kept on his merry way. We all thought it was pretty funny. The kicker?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Through all of that, he somehow managed to barely spill any beer, leaving his pint glass sitting perfectly on the ground. A hard score of 10. TEN.
So yeah, in honour of his perfect score, we drank the rest of his pint on his behalf.
One of the girls from Burlington mentioned to us a couple of really cool (and to be honest, I think completely unknown to a ton of people) facts about JK Rowling and Harry Potter. So of course we had to have her as our personal tour guide.
Now, quickly. I guess Rowling had suffered from a couple of different things, one being depression. It's said that she would wander around and hang out in a graveyard, thinking of ideas for Harry. (quite weird) So of-funkin-course we were going to check it out. There were two tombstones, and one plaque stone in the graveyard. The tombstones were that of Thomas Riddle (Voldemort), Elizabeth Moodie, and William McGonagall. Supposedly these were some of the inspiration and ideas for her characters. (We decided, for whatever reason, that our first tour of the graveyard was going to be after we got booted out of one of the pubs. So yes, we wandered around a graveyard at 2 o'clock in the morning looking for Harry Potter facts.
stupid. Smart, huh? We went back the next day, while it was light and less creepy, and got solid proof.)
These, in my mind, were hands down some of the absolute coolest facts I had ever heard or seen. Talk about unknown history. We also came across the cafe in which she wrote two of the books in the series. All in all, a really cool experience.
We only had 2 full days in Edinburgh, which clearly is not enough time to see or do everything, so we decided that one thing we definitely wanted to do was climb to Arthur's Seat . 250 metres up a steep stairway along the side of a cliff to the top. What. A. Gasser. However, the views from the top were absolutely lovely. (You're thinking, who says lovely? Well, as it would seem, everyone, and I mean everyone, over hear uses the word lovely to describe things that we would normally use incredible, or stunning to describe. So hey, guess the British ways are rubbing off on me.)
It took us about an hour to get up. But at the top, all we could do was just stare. It really was incredible.
Edinburgh is definitely a place I would recommend. And I cannot wait to go back.