This past weekend was spent in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was tons of fun but I am exhausted.
Friday we left at 7 am and arrived in Edinburgh around 9. Our first stop was the new Scottish Parliment (established in 1999). The architecture of the building was overwhelmingly beautiful and intriguing; however, the tour guide drove me crazy. She spoke sooooo slowly and explained the entire Scottish Parlimentary system in an hour. Regardless, the building both inside and out was worth the visit. I recommend everyone google the building. Second stop was Holyrood House- the official residence of the Queen while visiting Scotland. It was almost like walking back in time and we only crossed the street. The palace was gorgeous and we were able to see many more rooms than I expected. It was interesting to visualize the spaces taken up by famous kings and queens of both Scotland and England. Next was the grand finale- the Edinburgh Castle. Not only was I able to see the royal jewels of the Scottish royalty, the Scottish military museum, dungeons, the rooms of the royal estate, but the castle houses a World War I and II memorial. The memorial is by far the most memorable experience I've had here yet. The quotations engraved on the walls, sculptures, and art work were heart wrenching.
After leaving the castle we checked into our hostel- we stayed in a 14 bed room (luckily we were in a group of 14- haha). It was then time to venture out onto the streets of Edinburgh. Although I literally walked for hours around the city from Friday-Sunday, I was unable to even begin seeing the amazing city. I LOVED the street entertainment- there were flame throwers, comedians, men laying on needles etc. If I saw nothing else of the city other than those entertainers I would have been satisfied. After grabbing some dinner we got ready for the pub crawl. The next day I ventured out with Duwayne. We went to the top of the Sir Walter Scott memorial which gives you the best view of the city. It was hundreds of stairs but was well worth the view. After some shopping the art museum was next- this is a difficult experience to write down in text form so I'm going to skip it for now.
That evening we went on a "ghost tour" where we were taken into the underground vaults of Edinburgh. These vaults were created and known as the "underground city" which housed hundreds of people. The vaults lacked sanitation, light, and were not policed by the city. Although the dark composure of the vaults was a tad eerie, hearing about what happened in the vaults was more horrifying. There was body snatching, baby farming etc. Women were not allowed to have babies out of wedlock in that era so, in return, they would run away to the vaults. 80% of the women died in the vaults because of sanitary reasons and no doctors to deliver the child. Knowing the conditions of the vaults was beyond saddening.
Sunday morning/early afternoon was spent wondering the streets before catching our train home. This week is my busiest yet- a large test and 2 performances as well as planning for our upcoming 3 day weekend. More later