Braveheart, Weak Knees

My apologies for my absence recently. Believe it or not, I actually had work to do. Four essays currently loom over my head and maniacally mock me when I least expect it.  This week, the only destination to which I shall travel is the kitchen to make tea and then back to my desk to continue procrastinating writing. But enough of my scholastic woes, let’s move on to the exciting bit. I recently set out on a journey to Edinburgh, Scotland! Ah, yes, the land of tartans, heavy accents, and Braveheart. I would kilt to go back.

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Just your average street in Scotland. Nothing special 😉

On my first day in Scotland, the weather was only somewhat freezing. By Scottish standards, that meant it was a beautiful day. I capitalized on the weather by taking a hike up Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in Edinburgh, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design.” After hiking up the entire mountain in the blistering cold wearing the best possible hiking attire (see: riding boots, a button-up shirt, sweater, and pearls), I can certainly attest to its magnitude.

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At the beginning of the journey. See those dots on top of the cliff? Those are people. That’s where I’m going.

 

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Half-way there
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Still not there

 

 

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Made it! The stunning view made climbing up copious amounts of rocks, thinking I was going to trip and perish at any moment worth it in the end.

After a grueling hike, some refueling was in order. Cue the Elephant House, the cafe in which J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter!

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I was one very happy Harry Potter nerd

As I sat inside sipping my Yorkshire tea, I could imagine J.K. Rowling sitting by the window, dreaming up the world that would become such a big part of my childhood. The most meaningful part of the Elephant Cafe was actually the loo. Yes, you heard me correctly. The loo. Why, might you ask? Well, because Harry Potter aficionados have left thousands of graffiti messages addressed to J.K. Rowling thanking her for the books and the great impact they have had on their lives. I admittedly spent more than my allotted amount of time in the loo reading the book quotes and sentimental messages on the walls.

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A homage to Harry Potter

To culminate my first day in Scotland, a friend suggested walking through the graveyard, which provided J.K. Rowling with name inspiration for a variety of her characters. As I sit writing this now, going into a muddy graveyard late at night without a flashlight does not seem like the best idea, but Janelle of a week ago did not seem to have the same qualms about it, so she acquiesced.

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Entering through the graveyard gates

It took a long time to find the tombstones we sought in the dark, but we eventually succeeded.

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Why, hello, Professor

Finally, a nighttime walk to Edinburgh Castle was in order.

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Fun fact: they still fire cannons on a daily basis at the castle

On my second day in Edinburgh, I discovered a piece by my favorite Scottish artist at the National Gallery of Scotland.

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The Music of the Woods by Edward Atkinson Hornel

By this point in time, my dear reader probably knows that the only element of culture I enjoy more than art, architecture, and museums is the edible kind: food, glorious food. Hence, while in Edinburgh, I had to try the classic Scottish fare known as haggis. Do not ask what is in it.

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About to try haggis in the form of a meat pie. For the record, it was not that bad.

I desired to attain one souvenir in Scotland: a traditional Royal Stewart Tartan scarf. In my illustrious quest for a scarf from the Royal Mile, a historical street in Edinburgh, I spotted a number of gentlemen wearing kilts to celebrate the Six Nations Rugby Match, which occurred later that day.

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Need a kilt? I know a guy.

We watched the Scotland vs. England rugby match at a pub in the afternoon, and let’s just say there were some rather morose Scots by the end of it.

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Sorry, Scotland; I was rooting for England, anyway

All in all, Scotland proved herself to be an exceedingly charming host for a weekend, and I would be happy to return any time. In particular, the people I met there were wonderfully gregarious and possessed the “gift of gab” (in other words, they are happy to share their entire life story with you). I shall leave you with one last image of Scotland…

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I would have been remiss to not include a photograph of a kilt-clad Scottish man playing the bagpipes

Haste ye back now (Scottish for “farewell”)!

~Janelle

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2 thoughts on “Braveheart, Weak Knees

  1. Nancy

    My heart aches. The photo at the top of your post–the clouds! The sea! The green hills!–is heart-achingly beautiful. Pipes echoing, the windy Royal Mile, a warm cuppa, a pint of good ale, meat pie (now I’m starting to sound like a Hobbit).
    I’ll leave you to your writing, and I’ll get back to mine haha. School waits for no woman!

    Liked by 1 person

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