Time for the last leg: Edinburg. Gotta admit, Dad got home from his travels last week and I am just now writing up the ideal itinerary (though I gave him a rough, no pictures copy before he left.) What can I say, time got away from me. Doesn't take away from the fun of running through the highlights of a city I've never been to.
|Edinburg from here.|
So now: Places to visit in Edinburg (though I hear they call it Edinborough):
1. Edinburg Castle
|The Castle from here via Pinterest|
The formidable castle, which perches above the city and can be viewed from almost any (outdoor) location, has been witness to much of the history of the island. The first permanent structures were erected on this volcanic peak in the early 1100s -- since that date, the castle was the prize of seemingly every conflict in the country. It flip-flopped between the Scots and the English (It's mine - No, It's mine!!) during the 14th century and housed prisoners of war from every corner of the globe during the days of the British Empire (including American revolutionaries/traitors, depending on what side you were on.) Cool cool cool.
2. The National Gallery of Scotland
Images from here.
Lord knows I love me some museums. The National Gallery has mostly art, but that's ok because it has some of my favorites: Monet, Seurat, Singer, etc. The above pieces are by Hepworth, Derain and Seurat. Great way to spend a rainy day or a sleepy afternoon after tramping around all morning.
3. Greyfriars Bobby
|Greyfriars Bobby Monument from here|
The story of this little Scottie dog will surely warm your heart. A faithful friend to his master all his life, Greyfriars Bobby remained steadfastly loyal even after his master's death ... and spent his remaining fourteen guarding his friend's grave day after day, leaving only for food and water. When the dog died, he was buried near the grave of his master, so that they could keep each other company for eternity. Tear. Although the story has been disputed, it's still pretty darn sweet. A memorial to the loyalty of Greyfriars Bobby sits in downtown Edinburg.
4. Walking the City: Old Town, New Town and the Royal Mile
Edinburg seems to be a great town to just walk around. The Old Town and the Royal Mile are made up of historic buildings, with lots of tourist sites and ambiance. New Town is, expectedly, more modern and hip. Some of my favorite days traveling have been spent just walking around; I like to give myself a target to find (a museum, site or neighborhood) and take some time getting there, exploring the neighborhoods around it, and find a different way back. This is especially fun to do in a city where you can watch history change under your feet (from cobblestones, to bricks, to concrete). It really feels like you're taking a journey. And it's truly the best way to get a sense for the locals and their day-to-day life.
5. Day Trip: St. Andrews
Finally, I think Dad should visit the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews. He likes golf, and thinks it's important (he said he would only pay for me to go to college if I took golf. PE here I come.) A short train ride outside of Edinburg, the town not only houses the famous golf course and a golf museum, but also a beautiful university where one future king of England did his studying and romancing of a future princess.
* Fun fact: put-put (or miniature) golf was also invented here as a lady's answer to the sport of golf. As it was deemed unfeminine to swing a club above one's elbow, ladies took to putting the ball around miniature courses. Of course, back then it was on lovely manicured lawns that mimicked the nearby golf courses. It wasn't until the sport got popular in the US that it became the put-put we know today. During the Great Depression, manicured lawns were hard to find but random junk was readily available, so thrifty business owners made creative obstacles for the putters out of whatever they could find laying around. There was backlash, and still is, from the fundamentalist put-putters, but the tacky version has taken hold of our hearts to stay.
That's all folks, hope you've enjoyed this mini-trip to Scotland! Anybody itching to go now? Or traveling somewhere else fun soon? There's nothing better than having a trip in the works...