I know most of us have been or are in holiday mode, and I hope you're all enjoying yourselves. The UK Holiday series is coming to an end this week, I think. I've enjoyed reliving the vacation experience while writing the blog posts and editing photos. For today's post, we're finally entering Scotland! Now, please don't think me unintelligent, but for some reason I thought Scotland was a country on its own *hides face*. It just never registered that the United Kingdom is composed of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. While they may be one country, they all have different cultures, so to speak.
We left England via train at Kings Cross/St. Pancras Station. We used a Virgin Train for a trip that lasted about 5 hours or so.
We chose to go by train for 2 reasons: 1) There were 10 of us and flying would have been too expensive overall. We booked early and were able to secure seats for just $56 each, round-trip; 2) We wanted to see the countryside and views. This was a fun way to travel and we really enjoyed the sights from sheep farms to quaint little towns, and solar energy stations to massive windmills. NIGERIA - how about we use natural resources for energy?!
We got to Edinburgh pretty late to do anything major that day. My brother-in-law was in charge of the schedule, and planned for us to visit The Royal Mile the following morning. Unfortunately we all woke up late, dragging our feet and didn't make it out until afternoon.
Royal Mile is arguably Edinburgh's most visited tourist street, and sits between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. It's located in old town Edinburgh and is one Scots mile long (approximately 1.1 miles).
So there I was, taking a selfie when I heard these kids on a field trip saying, "Look, she's taking a selfie!" The next thing I heard was, "Please can we take a selfie with you?" I'm like "Errrrrr, I think you need to ask your teachers." They shouted, "Please can we take a selfie with her?" The teachers smiled and nodded, and once I turned my camera around, see how happy and excited they were! I told you the Scots are friendly!!!
At the bottom/beginning of Royal Mile are 3 attractions - the Scottish Parliament Building (I didn't go in, but some of us did), Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Park (an array of hills, ridges, and basically rock formations).
Holyrood Palace was built between 1671 and 1678, and is the official residence of the monarchy in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth actually spends a week every summer at this palace.
The Scottish Parliament Building sits on the opposite side of the road. It was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth in 2004, and cost over 414 million pounds!!! Meanwhile, the original estimate was between 10 to 40 million o. Despite challenges, it has won numerous architecture awards.
This wall below is the Canongate Wall and is composed of indigenous Scottish rocks.
I love the artwork built into the structure.
Additionally, there are 24 quotations in the stones.
We walked up a little bit and I wish we'd spent more time there so I could take photos of EVERYTHING!
Yay, my Snapchat Story from that day isn't too large! Check out the short video below.
Alrighty, like I said, we're quickly rounding up the UK Holiday series. Be sure to check out all the posts! Have you ever been to Edinburgh, or if not, have I convinced you yet to put it on your travel wish list? Let me know in the comments below!
Come back tomorrow for the next post on our visit to Edinburgh Castle!