The GoGlobal Blog

“I will fly, chase the wind and touch the sky!”

“I will fly, chase the wind and touch the sky!”

I could've lain there forever...
I could’ve lain there forever…

-Brave (2012)

What better than a quote from a Scottish Disney movie to preface my Scottish adventures last weekend?

Once again fleeing from the bustle of London, me and two friends hitched a bus ride to Edinburgh, Scotland last weekend. The bus was the whole day Friday, (10 hours!!), but it was the most scenic, sheep-filled bus ride I’d ever been on! It went by in a snap! The best part (besides the sheep) was when we got really close to Edinburgh and began to see the North Sea over the cliffs we drove on. ABSOLUTELY beautiful. I really felt like I was in some sort of fantasy land.

The most fantastical place- and that’s saying something for SCOTLAND- was the hike up and view from Arthur’s Seat in the center of Edinburgh. We woke up and got to the base of the dormant volcano by 9AM so we could beat the rain (and the crowd!). It’s strange to see such a bare, green mountain rising out of a completely urban area, but Arthur’s seat is higher than any of the buildings, so you can always see it. As we began our trek up, the wind grew stronger and colder, but the effort of scaling the uneven stone steps warmed us up good. There were a few paths up to the top, but we chose the steepest and quickest because we were anxious to reach the top. (And honestly, I wanted to act like Merida from Brave and climb up rather than walk up!) Every time we reached a valley on the way up, the wind created a tunnel and the breath would be knocked out of us, but we all lost our breath completely when we rounded the last peak. The views were like nothing I had ever seen before! You can see what I saw in the picture above, but the feeling of the cold, damp wind blowing off the North Sea cooling the sweat off my face after the climb was downright marvelous. I felt like if I put my arms out, I’d fly away! I understood the sentiment of the song from Brave, corny as that sounds, but I really was touching the sky! And I wanted to RUN for some reason; I wanted to spin and laugh and jump and RUN! The air up there was different, it was invigorating-like an applause at the end of a show. When you’re on stage and all you can do is look out and beam into the expansive space before you. That’s what it was! After all this time in the city and getting only stolen moments in secluded gardens, a taste of nature like this was much needed.

After we scaled our way down the mountain (just as it began to rain!), we headed to our walking tour at the Royal Mile. That’s the main street in the old part of Edinburgh, which means cobblestones, billions of shops and pubs, small alleys, a cemetery, a church, and a castle (no biggie). On the tour, which had a guide from America (lol, of course), we learned about the spooky past of Edinburgh. Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired by a local man, Deacon Brodie, for his book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The writer of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was born in Edinburgh! Also, the Heart of Midlothian, a small mosaic heart on the ground outside St. Giles’ Cathedral. Because this marks the spot of an old prison/tax collection house, people have been SPITTING on this heart as they walk by for hundreds of years! Of course, I couldn’t look at the thing without gagging from the nasty spit all over it, but it was a cool tidbit of history! Our guide told us of capitol punishment in Edinburgh and how fond the Scottish were of hangings. We stood on the spot of the gallows and discussed many interesting serial killer/wrongly accused/famous hanging stories. Then, we went to Greyfriar’s Cemetery just off the Royal Mile. Cemeteries in Scotland are less sacred places than they are public parks. People picnic, read, sleep, and even just hang out in them! One woman who may sound familiar even wrote quite a bit of her novel series in Greyfriar’s Cemetery…one J. K. Rowling! She must have been inspired by her surroundings as well, because names like McGonagall, Moody, and TOM RIDDLE can be found on gravestones around Greyfriars. And the situation of Edinburgh Castle perched on the cliffside of a dormant volcano just might have inspired another castle perched on a cliffside- Hogwarts! I was incredibly honored to be standing in the same place of a woman who has touched so many lives through her work!

All in all, Edinburgh gave me, Maddy, and Jen a weekend away from the neverending rush that is London. Edinburgh is the one place I’ve visited that really stood out to me as a place where I could live one day! I felt so comfortable there, so welcome, and it had everything that I love! (Hiking, a city, nearby suburbs, a harbor, happy people, Scottish accents, sheep,

I could've lain there forever...
I could’ve lain there forever…

etc) Maybe I’m just longing for the forest preserve back home… Either way, I LOVED Edinburgh, Scotland. It was magical, and friendly, and spooky, and exciting, and relaxing-ALL AT ONCE! Such an astonishing city…I’m really going to miss it.

And now, I quote the song from Brave that was stuck in my head the whole weekend and can actually say that Edinburgh is really like this!!-

“When the cold wind’s a a-calling
And the sky is clear and bright
Misty mountains sing and beckon,
Lead me out into the light

I will ride, I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky
I will fly
Chase the wind and touch the sky

Where dark woods hide secrets
And mountains are fierce and bold
Deep waters hold reflections
Of times lost long ago

I will hear their every story
Take hold of my own dream
Be as strong as the seas are stormy
And proud as an eagle’s scream…”

I know this is lame, laugh all you want, but I felt the magic of Scotland when I was in Edinburgh, and I really REALLY want to go back and experience it more!

GAH. Okay, I’ve embarrassed myself enough, off to bed! Goodnight and goodbye my friends!



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