A week in Edinburgh
From sunshine to heavy rain and everything in between.
Our journey began on Saturday the September 21st where we arrived at the international airport of Edinburgh. In the afternoon we met our host families for the first time, which was particularly exciting for everybody.
On Sunday we had a day trip to Stirling Castle, which used to be one of the most important Scottish royal residences before the union with England. We also visited the Highlands and we got to know the beautiful landscape Scotland is famous for. The weather was rather changeable but at one point in the afternoon it was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately we had the opportunity to grab a cuppa in the city of Callander until the weather got better.
On Monday we went to the Royal Scots Club where we got to know our teachers for the week, who turned out to be really lovely people after all. After lunch we went up Calton Hill where the old observatory is located. Due to the fabulous weather we could not only see Edinburgh’s old town but also Arthur’s Seat. Needless to say, it was definitely one of my highlights and it is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sights of Scotland’s capital city.
The next day we went to the Scottish National Museum in order to take a closer look at various exhibitions. To me personally the Egyptian exhibition was the one that stood out. Some of us even went to the rooftop where I could truly appreciate the view of beautiful 19th century buildings and enjoy Edinburgh’s vibe.
On Wednesday we went to the cinema and watched a film called Downtown Abbey which is set in the early 19th century. This was a nice coincidence as Edinburgh shares a lot of architectural design elements with the film since a lot of the buildings you can see when walking down the Royal Mile were built around that time period. Later that evening we went to the Ceilidh Club and learned a couple of Scottish dances.
It was entertaining and certainly a very enjoyable evening but it was rather knackering (exhausting) to say the least.
In Thursday’s language course we did a survey near St Andrews Square which reminded me a bit of Trafalgar Square in London. We ended up meeting very welcoming and genuinely lovely elderly people. Due to this wonderful experience I think I have got a great impression of what Scottish culture is really like. Later that day I tried haggis for the first time at a place called The Standing Order. I really enjoyed the food they serve in pubs such as fish and chips and haggis, which are delicious dishes by the way. It is one of those things that you have to do during your stay in Edinburgh. After lunch we visited another iconic sight which is the Royal Britannia. It was the Queen’s ship during the late 50s and 60s and we got a little insight of what the Queen’s travels on board must have been like. In the evening we went on a ghost tour around Edinburgh’s old town which was informative as well as frightening. We learned about population in the 19th century, public hangings and ghost stories.
On our final day we visited the Scottish Parliament where we got a close insight into how politics in Scotland works. Our guide informed us about areas of the law which the Scottish Parliament can decide for themselves without asking Westminster or the Prime Minister for permission.
In the evening some of us went to the theatre and watched a musical called Mamma Mia. The actors did a fabulous job of representing the characters’ personalities and beliefs. The audience and I were over the moon. It goes without saying that it was one of the very best musicals I have ever seen.
You do not have to be a genius to imagine how wonderful this year’s trip to Scotland really was. I particularly appreciated talking to locals as well as the occasional cup of tea in the afternoon (:
I especially adored the historical buildings and first and foremost the iconic places I got to visit.
written by: Julian Perlinger/6a