Days 29, 30 & 31

Day 29 was an early start! We got up at 4:30am to take a flight from Bristol to Edinburgh. Whilst it was a super early start, it was good to get an entire day in Edinburgh. Once we arrived we took the bus to our hotel and checked in before having a second breakfast (our breakfasts were hours apart), then headed off to Edinburgh Castle. We were surprised at how small it was, but it still took us hours to get through. It was really interesting and rather pretty. Great views too, as it’s up on a hill. Here are some photos:

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Jenny tried to get me locked up in that last one.

After that we walked down the royal mile (which is actually 1.12 miles) to the Scottish parliament. It’s quite new (just like Wales, Scotland hasn’t governed itself for very long, and it still only governs part of its own economy) so it’s a rather impressive building. We learnt a bit about how the Scottish parliamentary system works (again, pretty much like the Welsh parliament) and got to see inside the debating chamber. I loved it! As you can imagine, no parliaments are actually sitting at the moment, so we haven’t seen any debating, but it’s still interesting to see the buildings and learn about the processes.

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We then tried to go to Holyrood Palace (where the queen goes when she’s here) but it was closed. We missed the last entrance time by about 20 minutes.

We were extremely exhausted by the end of all of this given our early start, so we found a pub, had a couple of pints, then went back to our hotel to have dinner and do some washing. Thrilling I know.

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The next morning (day 30) we had another early start coz we went on a 12 hour tour of the Scottish highlands. It was incredible! I adore Scotland! It was utterly stunning and surprisingly not as cold as Germany. We stopped at lots of places along the way as we made our way to Loch Ness. Once again, Scotland has been stunning. I absolutely love it here. And here are some photos of the stunningly landscape:

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After getting back from our tour we went to a delicious vegetarian restaurant not too far from our hotel. Yummo! I also had a hot chilli margarita which was amazing. After that we met up with Jesse (someone I know from Australia) and his girlfriend Jo at a jazz club near Edinburgh university. That was a very cool place! We listened to a live jazz quartet for a couple of hours then headed back to the hotel for some sleep. Here is a terrible photo of the 4 of us.

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Today we checked out of our hotel then headed towards Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano at the bottom of the royal mile. It has hardly any proper walking tracks, so you have to follow the path that looks like it’s been carved through the hills by other people. The problem with it at this time of year is that the top half of the hill is covered in snow. Snow is incredibly slippery. The track is narrow and if you slip, you’ll fall down a very steep hill and do incredible damage to yourself (if you live). We got about 3/4 of the ways up before we got very nervous and started slipping every second step. We were at a very steep bit covered in snow and decided to turn back before we ended up on the news as tourists who had fallen to their deaths. The way down was just as scary. We reached the end of the snow (however there were still ice patches) and I started to walk a bit faster coz the danger seemed to be over, but no. I hit a patch of ice, slipped and landed on my right knee. It’s now all swollen with an open wound and very sore. Booooooooo! The photos do not capture the steepness of the climb.

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After that I was sore and whiney, so we headed to a pub for a drink and lunch. Then it was time to go and get our luggage before boarding a train back to London. Now we’re on a 5 hour train trip, enjoying the Scottish countryside. Once again, it’s very beautiful. Scotland has been fantastic. This is another place I could see myself living. Also, we’re in first class. Free food and drinks. This is extremely awesome.

I’ve now got 4 days in London before I fly back to Australia on Sunday. I don’t want the trip to end!

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