Micah and I flew into Glasgow and rented a car for the last portion of our trip. On our drive to Edinburgh, we took a detour south, passing through Dalry and Kilwinning, two very small towns in North Aryshire. My dad's side of the family has roots in this area, and it was meaningful to me to be able to experience just a touch of the landscape.
We might have been slightly distracted as we were driving around though, given that we had just rented a car and, oh, were driving on the wrong side of the road with occasional snow flurries and terrifying roundabouts.
We stayed with a friend of a friend in Edinburgh and again it was nice to have a local's perspective. We enjoyed Indian food at Khushi's our first night. As we walked back to where we were staying, we were caught in a snow fall. It was dark and quiet. The snow fell quickly and reflected the street lights. Pretty magical.
The next morning we caught a double decker bus up towards Edinburgh Castle.
There she stood, tall and mighty.
She was magnificent.
Edinburgh Castle was the most interesting and breathtaking of all the castles I saw. It was not only apparent the time and energy that has gone into preserving such a historic landmark, but the pride that is taken in doing so.
The Scottish Crown Jewels, which consist of the Crown, the Sceptre, and the Sword, reside in the Castle. They alone could have made the trek up to the Castle worth it, because they are incredible to see. However, the Castle was beautiful and the views of the mountains and the ocean were stunning.
From the Castle, we walked down the Royal Mile to St. Giles Cathedral, visited John Knox's statue, and went to the Museum of Scotland.
The museum is somewhat a mishmash of historical artifacts and storytelling of eras gone by. It most definitely requires the use of the museum map to find your way around as the many floors and exhibits can be confusing.
We finished our walk down the Royal Mile and then took a spontaneous side path which led us up to Old Calton Cemetery. In the cemetery there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln, which although perplexing, we later found out was erected to celebrate the defeat of slavery and to commemorate Scottish Americans that fought for the Union in the U.S. Civil War.
Edinburgh was a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and ocean, and rich in history. I'm sure there was much more to be seen that we didn't get to (we were only there for a day and a half), but I'm also glad that we left when we did so that we had more time to enjoy the Highlands!
Up next: The Scottish Highlands.