Monday, February 25, 2008

Long rainy day in Edinburgh

Today is the second day of our trip to Edinburgh and we were so tired so we slept in until 9am. After we finally slugged out of bed we got all of our warm clothes on because the plan for the day was to hike Arthers seat. It is the tallest mountain point in Edinburgh and it looks over the entire city. The hike isnt that bad, but when you combine rain and wind it tends to make it a bit more difficult. We were given a locker to put our stuff in at the hostel that Andrea and I shared. I put most of my stuff in there because I didnt want to have to pack all of my things up the mountain. I took the most essential things with me up the mountain like my passport and money but most everything else I left there. I had worn two pairs of leggings under my jeans and three shirts along with a sweat shirt and my coat with rain boots. I was completely bundled up. We had to walk back down the Royal mile to get to the starting point of the mountain and as we got there it started to pour down rain. Not just sprinkle rain, but it was blowing side ways! But that didnt stop us. This was our one time in Edinburgh and we wanted to do everything, rain or shine. I was really glad that I wore my boots because the girls that I was with were soaked at their pants even in the first part of our hike.

As we got closer to the top it started to hail and the wind was so strong that we had to stop and hold onto some boulders so that the wind didnt blow us off the mountain. It was getting really scary but we were determind! As we got to the top we had to hide next to some rocks for the wind to go down, 10 minutes into us waiting at the top the sky cleared and the sun started to shine through. It was the most incredible view from the top. We could see the Isle of Skye across the way and we could see the entire city and even farther! Pictures wont ever justify the view. Just as we got the good weather we decided that we better go back down before it got worse. Half way down the mountain the wind started to pick up again and we were glad that we werent on top of the mountain any more. We were able to see a natural well and some old Roman Ruins on the hills as we made our wayto the bottom.

When we reached the bottom we looked like we had just gone swimming in the river. I was completely soaked, everything was; including my passport, journal, camera case (luckily I had kept it in my pocket so that it wasnt damaged). This put us in a delema because the clothes that we were wearing were the only ones that we had. so we couldnt go back and change...we had nothing to change into. So we went to a Starbucks right up the street and bought lunch and hot chocolate. It was a good place to relax but I think the people were a little upset with us dragging water into the cafe. Wet and cold we decided to go to the palace of Hollyrood, where the queen lives during the summer when she comes to Scotland. This is also the palace where Mary Queen of Scots lived. We were able to get audio guides and listen to the many stories that went on in this palace. We heard a story about Mary and how she was having an affair with her secretary and her husband found out and stabbed the man 57 times in her bed chamber (which we got to see!) this is the palace that she lived in before she went to England to ask Elizabeth for help, in which Elizabeth put her in prison for 19 years before her execution. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during this time period. Marys son James is the one that united Scotland and England.

After our tour we decided that we needed a break so we found this movie that is 3D of Locness. We didnt end up going on the tour with the rest of the group so we decided that the best way to see Locness because the rain was so bad would be to see a 3D movie about it. Did you know that the Locke is as deep as 2 of the Edinburgh castles! That is so crazy.

Dinner was next on the agenda and we were starving! So we found this little Italian place that was so good! The waiter started to talk to us about American politics and the elections and his friend got mad and told us that we were not allowed to discuss that kind of thing there. It was pretty funny because they are both from Italy. Nothing goes on after 6pm, so we headed back to the hostel after that. We were all so tired and we decided that one more day of not showering would probably be ok, but my hair was so bad because I hadnt washed it in 3 days so I washed my hair in the sink that night and it is just so weird because the bathrooms at the hostel are combined so males and females are together. That was weird to adjust to and I tried to not spend much time in there. That night I was looking forward to a good nights sleep and putting on dry pajama's.

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