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  • Becca

Edinburgh: The Athens of the North

First of all, it’s still raining and I’m pretty sure it rained all night long. I’m definitely not used to this sort of thing, rain in Colorado is heavy and quick, storms don’t usually last that long, but the rain here is light and lasts forever! Good news is it’s a light drizzle and therefore in no way prevents me from leaving and exploring for the day!

I started by passing through the train station to get to the north side of the city, it’s like its own little town down there! It was bustling with people and filled with little shops and I only wish it had been a little more photogenic, but oh well. Once I made it through I wanted to go to the Scottish Art Gallery, but they didn’t open until 10 so I turned around and went back the other way towards Calton Hill. Now I had seen it from the tram heading into the city when I first arrived, but The Scott Monument is massive!!! It’s a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world and you can see it from almost anywhere in the city! (Hint: look for it near the clock tower)

Even with the rain Calton Hill was a beautiful place filled with history. The old columns were built in the late 18th century in the Greek neo-classical style but the monument to honor fallen soldiers from the Napolianic war was never finished due to funding. (See mom, I’m learning things!) You can also see Arthur’s Seat from the Hill, a mountain which I plan to climb on another day when it’s hopefully not raining.

I climbed up the Nelson Monument for the views of the city and I was not disappointed, I barely fit through the doors but it was worth the squeeze. (I’m sensing a theme with climbing the towers on this trip…) It was easy to spot the castle in the distance and the glass roofed train station.

Once I was done at Calton Hill, it was past 10 and I headed back to the Art Gallery! Now, I have to apologize to my professors, I did not retain nearly enough information to truly appreciate these works of art and I barely recognized any names. But the walls were covered in works of art and I did spend quite some time meandering through the rooms and appreciating them. If you ever find yourself in Edinburgh, go see them for yourself because art is so much better in person.

When I left the Gallery I found myself right next to a street artist! (Remember I mentioned the Fringe) He was a juggling-magician-comedian and I sat there on the wet steps laughing for nearly half an hour! We were all lucky that it had stopped raining for a while because I really did enjoy the show.

Now, it was getting to be near lunch and I admit it, I caved, I buckled, I failed! I went to McDonalds. It was right next to me and I was hungry!!! But I ate my food and I headed back to the hostel where I let me inner introvert rest. It’s not always easy going out and exploring all the time and I needed a break, so I spent some time editing pictures and writing blog posts and just generally relaxing. I also dried off and got warm, it’s chilly out there!

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