Week 5 Update, Edinburgh, Scotland! / by Joshua Siniscal

Last Thursday morning, we headed north to Edinburgh, Scotland! It was about a 7 1/2 hour bus ride, with a 45 minute lunch break. Oh, and that lunch break, yeah it was the most beautiful rest stop I've ever seen.

The view at lunch

The view at lunch

The bus ride didn't feel so bad though, I guess traveling with a bunch of other people makes it slightly more entertaining.  FDU put us all up in a nice hotel for 3 nights. What a fascinating city!

The first night there, me and a friend went out to explore the city. This was my favorite shot from the night.

The first night there, me and a friend went out to explore the city. This was my favorite shot from the night.

The photo above was taken on Thursday night. My initial impression was that this city was very dead and had no night life, but that quickly changed once Friday night came, the whole city came alive!

Of course the Scottish people are known for drinking, so you can imagine how many bars were open. And yes, almost every one was packed!

Anyway, on Friday we went exploring at Edinburgh castle! What a place this was!

The castle sits overlooking most of the city. At 1pm they even did a reenactment of the cannon in action by firing a blank shell. It was really loud and you could hear the echo pass throughout the city.

The 1pm firing of the cannon

The 1pm firing of the cannon

You did have to pay about $23 to go inside the castle, but it was more than worth it! There was plenty to see.

Some of the views from the castle

Some of the views from the castle

Some of the outside wall

Some of the outside wall

The view of a church while walking out of the entrance from the castle.

The view of a church while walking out of the entrance from the castle.

The next day, Saturday, me and 6 others woke up early to hike Arthur's Seat, and catch the sunrise! What an adventure this was. The mountain was about a 25 minute walk from our hotel to the bottom of the mountain. It then took us another 25-30 min to hike. My friend Alex and I actually never found the proper foot path to the top, instead, we made our own through some thorns and other bushes, and ended up taking an extremely steep, and difficult route. But hey, it just added to the adventure! We made it up to the top some 20 minutes before sunrise. Unfortunately it was cloudy, so the sunrise wasn't that great, but the experience and view was still incredible.

Victory!

Victory!

The sunrise, risers.

The sunrise, risers.

It was really cold at the top, but as usual, I didn't care so much because I just wanted to take pictures. Which I did.

The hike back down.

The hike back down.

After hiking, we came back and ate breakfast at the hotel, and then I took a nap. That afternoon we took a tour bus for an hour and saw more of the city. I really felt like a tourist at this point.

A shot taken from the top of the tour bus, looking out at the castle on the hill.

A shot taken from the top of the tour bus, looking out at the castle on the hill.

Come late afternoon, there were more friends who didn't wake up in time for the sunrise, but still wanted to hike the mountain. So, I said I would do it again. And that's exactly what I did. Yes, I hiked the same mountain twice in the same day, both for sunrise, and then sunset. It was great! By the time we made it to the top, the sun was going down, but the city lights came on, and it was incredible.

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We took lots of photos at the top, including this one dedicated to all our Wroxton friends!

Yes, that's me with the messed up letter "n" but oh well, it was cold.

Yes, that's me with the messed up letter "n" but oh well, it was cold.

We then hiked down with our phone flashlights as our only source of light. This made it more of an adventure!

Sunday morning, we left and made it back to the Abbey some 8 hours later! Definitely my favorite city yet! I saw plenty of kilts too, and bought myself a scarf. I also enjoyed the many street musicians, including the bagpipe players, and of course, the Scottish accents.

-Josh