At Edinburgh we mostly shopped around the area, ate, and slept. Adjusting to the time zone, which was 11 hours further forward than Hawaii, was the hardest bit. We were lethargic and tired but we still had a good time. Edinburgh is the biggest city in Scotland and is the capital city! Edinburgh is also home to the Fringe Festival. The Fringe Festival is where all people, professional or not, come together and perform for other people. There were a lot of people who wanted to show off their talent when we were there!
Most shops were selling bagpipes, kilts, clothing and hip flasks. Bagpipes are the traditional instrument of the Scots. They were traditionally made using an animal’s stomach for a pouch that will hold air. The air is pushed out of a flute-like tube where the musician can control the sound. Kilts are knee high garments with pleats in the rear for styling. Kilts were originally used for the male gender but are now used for both the female and the male. The hip flasks caught my eye because I, liking antiques, thought that they were interesting. Unfortunately, they were extremely expensive, but the hunt for hip flasks had begun.
As we moved on to Aviemore, I continued to look for a decent-priced hip flask. No success. Later that day, before we arrived at the hotel we were staying in, Mom took us for a surprise! We were going to the Tree Zone!!!!! The Tree Zone is where we would be put into a harness, and clipped onto a parkour-like course. This is where you have to go from tree to tree by crossing different obstacles! It was fun!
Even though the Tree Zone was fun, we had to move on. Next stop, was Inverness, where we visited Nessie in the Loch Ness. Now in the traditional Scottish language, Loch means lake so the Loch Ness Monster is really the Lake Ness Monster.
Sadly, we didn’t see Nessie, or a decent priced hip flask I:-( After we tried to see Nessie, we went to visit a castle. This castle was called Urquhart Castle. This castle, on the other hand, wasn’t an intact castle, it was in ruins.
To be honest, the castle didn’t interest me all that much but due to my newfound interest in cooking, the part that interested me the most, was the kitchen. There, I got to see the pantry, the wood-burning stove, and the dining room. One of the things we learned at Urquhart was that there are clans in Scotland. Here is an example of a clan name: MacDonald. The Mac in MacDonald means child, so any clan name that starts with Mac, means children of somebody. A clan is like a family name :-)
Next, we went to our longest stay in one city, the city of Portree. Portree is located on the Isle of Skye. This island is a small island that is home to 10,000 people. Portree has a lot of local, and good quality, restaurants. All of which have good service and good food. So far, we were driving around the hillside as I continued the search for the hip flask. Sadly, I didn’t find one at all! As a result, I decided not to buy one. On the second out of three days in Portree, Mom and I went fly fishing for the first time! It was fun but we didn’t catch any big fish. The only fish that we caught, were caught by me and they were minnows. We also visited the Battlefield of Culloden, which was where a LOT of people died. . . After that, we didn’t do much, mostly we would eat, walk, and sleep.
The next place that we stayed at the most wonderful hotel, it was called The Foxhole Hotel!! We were the only people there because the day before, there was a tour group that filled the whole hotel and when they left, there was nobody there until people started coming again in a few days. The owner/chef/waiter/receptionist, Mr.Barry, was soooo nice! He made the most delicious food! The hotel was quite comfy as well. The first day, the traveling day, we just hung out in the hotel. For dinner the first day, I had lamb chop. Mr.Barry made it himself and it was TASTY!!!! But the best part was the bread. He made the bread in the morning and baked it just before dinner. It was soooo tasty!!!! It was soft on the inside but crispy on the outside and warm all together. The next day, we went shopping for the whole day. But the thing that I enjoyed most was the dinner. That night, I had bread, steak, and strawberries! *Tasty*.
The next day, when we were leaving, we went to a castle called Stirling Castle. Stirling castle is located in the town of Stirling. This castle has a significant importance due to the fact that many kings and queens were born there. When we went, it was raining and it was cold. The castle had been besieged many times but is still intact. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very interesting and the weather was depressing. . .
After the castle, came the boring part, the long schlep from Scotland to Germany! . . . First came the flight to London where we are staying for 1 night. Next morning, we immediately went to the next flight to Frankfurt. That flight, we had lunch on the plane. Then we went on the last flight to Dresden, where my cousin Jonathan is getting married!!!!!
-End of Scotland!