LK English Trip to Edinburgh (July 2017)

Nature and Atmosphere in and around Edinburgh

The city is located near the sea which makes it even more beautiful. It has very old buildings which were build before the two world wars. The medieval buildings and narrow streets and lanes created an atmosphere of a small and cozy old town. The number of clean public parks as well as the hill "King Arthur's Seat", located in the center of the city, made visitors feel relaxed although being in a vibrant city. While discovering the town we found many small shops where one could buy local crafts made of wood or the original Scottish "Johnnie Walker" whiskey. Not only the fog and the rather dark weather made you get the feeling of being part of a "Harry Potter" novel but also the mysterious shops and traditional pubs in narrow and creepy lanes and alleys. J.K. Rowling herself was also inspired by the city of Edinburgh and wrote the first part of the famous series in a pub called "Elephant House". There are many centuries-old graveyards in Edinburgh that inspired her to create the character "Tom Riddle" alias "Voldemort", because it was there where she found the obscure tombstone of a certain Tom Riddle. All in all, Edinburgh is a beautiful medieval town being vibrant and modern at the same time as there are loads of shopping opportunities as well. Many students live there as it hosts a large number of colleges and universities which make it quite a young city.

Sights

Edinburgh offers many great sights to see. One of the most beautiful medieval buildings is the Holyrood Palace where the Queen and the Royal Family reside when they are in Scotland. We experienced this with audio guides, which explained every room of the building as you walked through. We did go there as a group, but we all experienced each room individually. The palace felt very authentic, rustic and old. And the garden was very beautiful, especially on sunny days. Right next to the Holyrood Palace you can find the Scottish Parliament, which basically is the exact opposite in architecture. The Scottish Parliament has beautiful modern architecture. The entire building is filled with natural light, which shines through the many windows. A fact we found rather funny was, that every parliament member had their own “thinking pod” in their room. We also went to Arthur´ s Seat, a hill that overlooks all of Edinburgh. The hike to the top was very exhausting, but very rewarding once you reached the top. One of the last sights we really enjoyed was the National Museum of Scotland. A museum always sounds rather boring for students and yes some of us were a bit unenthusiastic. Yet, after we entered the museum, everyone was impressed and curious. The museums exhibitions were almost all interactive, creative and child-friendly. We had a great time and each of us found something that interested us, if it was fascinating animal exhibitions, “do-it-yourself” robot building or playing games that test for eye coordination. We got to experience many amazing museums, medieval buildings, sights and streets, and yet there is so much more Edinburgh has to offer.

Accommadation

We stayed in a hostel which was located in the centre of Edinburgh. Mostly young people stayed there and many of them were classes or courses from schools just like us. The hostel had a homely lounge with a bar where you could order food and (non-alcoholic) drinks. So, we never stayed hungry or thirsty. You could play pool or you just hang out with your friends and enjoy your time. Every morning we got a typical British breakfast and in the evenings you could order dinner. But if you did not like the food there or simply wanted to eat something else you could even cook for youself and your friends in a large kitchen. The rooms were very big so there was enough space for everyone. We even had more beds than people in our room. But not all of us were so lucky and some rooms were smaller than others. In one room, we couldn´t even open the window while in others we were not able to close them. Since we were six students living together in our room the atmosphere was always positive and there wasn’t any time you got bored. All in all, the accommadation was very appealing to all of us and if we wanted to make another trip to Edinburgh we would stay there again.

Food

We found out, that Edinburgh has many restaurants that you would find in other cities in other countries around the world. For example, there are fast food restaurants like McDonald similar to the ones in Berlin. However, there are typical British as well as Scottish restaurants that sell dishes like Fish and Chips and Haggis. Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish that consists of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep or a calf minced with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the animal. Some of us tried it and must say, that it does not taste as bad as expected, although it gave us a bad breath.As any of us of was over the age of 18, we were not able to buy any alcohol, because bars did not tolerate minors inside.

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