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Scotland: The home of Edinburgh Castle

By Haley Seger
On February 28, 2012

LONDON — I can now officially

say that I have been to three of the four parts of the United Kingdom. This past weekend, I went to Edinburgh, Scotland with a group of people from my university. When I told people from home that I was going

to Edinburgh, they all asked why. To be honest, I wasn't entirely

sure what there was to see in Edinburgh either, but I wanted to go to Scotland, so Edinburgh it was.

After taking a four-hour train from King's Cross in London (amid many Harry Potter references),

we arrived in Edinburgh and almost immediately headed to Edinburgh Castle. In contast to all the other castles I've visited, Edinburgh Castle fit all the stereotypes.

You can easily imagine how difficult it must have been for people to attack it and how comparatively

easy it must have been to defend it. The fact that anyone

could conquer it is a bit mind blowing. And Robert the Bruce, our Scottish tour guide told us proudly, took it from the English with only 30 men.

One of the highlights of my weekend in Edinburgh was the people. It wasn't just the Scottish people—some of whom really do walk around in kilts as though it's normal, although most don't. The Scottish will happily tell you any story that makes the English look stupid, even if you can't entirely understand the story because of their accent. I also enjoyed talking to the occasional American that I ran into, particularly the one with mutual friends at Xavier.

I've had a couple of small- world moments while I've been abroad, but this one was by far my favorite because not only were we not in the United States, but we also weren't in the city where either of us is actually studying

abroad. Perhaps my favorite people in Edinburgh, although it was an experience unique to this weekend, were the French. What felt like hundreds of French people

were in Edinburgh for a rugby game against Scotland on Sunday. All of them were perfectly happy to wander around the city, decked out in their French flags and scarves and berets, drinking and heckling anyone that they thought looked particularly Scottish.

Watching an older man in a beret

and an equally, if not older man in a kilt argue with each other over whose team will win the game was easily one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

On Sunday, a couple of us decided

to brave climbing what the locals call Arthur's Seat. We had heard that you could get fantastic pictures from the top, and having nothing in particular planned for the morning, we decided to give it a try.

Although not technically high enough to be considered a mountain,

it was certainly high enough to make us question our sanity about halfway up. It was definitely worth it, though. It felt like you could see the entirety of Scotland from the top.

Overall, I would recommend visiting Edinburgh if you have the opportunity. I feel like it's a city that most people overlook, simply because they don't know anything about it. It's definitely worth a visit though, even if it's just so that you can say why yes, you have been to Scotland.

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