Before I kick-off this post, I want to share something important I learned from this trip. I never understood the difference between UK, Great Britain, Britain, and England. Why are there so many interchangeable names? Essentially, it’s countries within a country
- UK (United Kingdom)- refers to union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Republic of Ireland is now independent, but Northern Ireland is still a part of UK.
- Great Britain- Consist of England, Scotland and Wales
- Britain- England and Wales
- England- its own country
- Scotland- Legally part of Great Britain. However, in 2014, Scotland actually voted to become independent from Great Britain, but lost 55% to 25%. However, Scotland’s legal system is completely separate from Britain and culturally distinct.
Now that you learned something new, we can go into the fun stuff. Did you know that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn? True story bro!
I flew into Edinburgh from Dublin and went off to have traditional Scottish breakfast– eggs, black pudding, tattie scones, Lorne sausage, baked beans, toast, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and of course, haggis. Now, don’t look up what haggis or black pudding is, but just eat it! It’s absolutely delicious!
Edinburgh was probably one of my favorite cities to walk around, because the architecture are so historic and the city did a wonderful job fusing the old with the new. The Edinburgh Castle sits on top of the hill and I can just see the knights riding through castle with the sound of bagpipe playing in the background.
We made a stop at magical Elephant House, which is where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter novels. If you walk around the graveyard in the back, you can actually spot some of the names used in the book.
Calton Hill at sunset
If you’re looking for a hike, I highly recommend Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill. Arthur’s Seat is a easy hike and you’ll get a stunning view of the whole city from the top. Calton Hill is perfect for sunset, which shines on all the monuments you can check out.
Oh! Of course, we had to stay at a haunted castle while we were in Europe, so we stayed at Dalhousie Castle.
The next day, we drove to Loch Ness near Inverness, to try and catch a glimpse of the famous monster, Nessie. It was a gloomy day and we hoped she’d appear, but no luck. Faerie home
This doesn’t end our adventure of looking for mystical creatures! On the third day, we drove to Isle of Skye to catch some faerie at Faerie Glen. The rain did not stop us from the gorgeous green and muddy hike. I did see some flickers of pink and blue as I closed in on their home, but alas, they flew away before I could say hi.
I absolutely loved Scotland and would love to come back to explore more of this magical land. It wouldn’t hurt if I found a Scottish man either 😉