And we’re off! A few hours on a train from London and my buddy and I are making our way up the beautiful, green coast and on our way to the capital of Scotland. Once we arrived in the busy little city, it was exactly what I was hoping for: a warm day, not a cloud in the sky and bagpipes were playing. What, bagpipes? Yeah. I’m serious. These guys were playing in the streets for money and let me tell you, they were great! They played all sorts of tunes and it was like a scene right out of Braveheart. This was the real deal. Once we found our hostel, we dropped our packs and headed out for a sunny day in an exciting, new city. If you haven’t been to Edinburgh, you need to finish reading this post and go. Not only was everyone very friendly, but there is so much to do! First, we hit a distillery, tried some scotch, saw the castle and the changing of the guards. One of the guards was a really tiny man and my first thought was “I could take him” (jokingly, of course). Then, he was handed the assault rifle that the previous guard on-duty was holding and the tables turned. I guess the castle guards have modernized a bit since Braveheart, huh? After I decided a wrestling match would not be in order, we left and tried a few pubs for lunch and yes, the food was great.
The next day, we climbed a small mountain that overlooks the North Sea. Now, I’m not sure if a lot of tourists do this, but we did and I highly suggest it to anyone. The view overlooks the entire city, surrounding suburbs and the water. My hiking buddy and I had lunch up there and climbed back down to hit a few pubs. Edinburgh might be one of my favorite places in Scotland because of the history, architecture, people and of course, the scotch!