Five Must-See Spots In Edinburgh

Five Must-See Spots In Edinburgh

Mandatory places to go if you ever end up in Scotland.

In the summer of 2013, My mother, sister, and aunt and I went to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my mom's family. We spent three weeks exploring Scotland and the English countryside and beyond. We spent the majority of our trip in Edinburgh. There were so many incredible sights - unlike anything we have over here in the states. It was truly as if we had stepped into anther world. I've always wanted to make a return trip since that summer and fortunately I'll be able to do just that after I graduate and leave on my planned tour of Europe.

1. Calton Hill

This spot is located near the center of Edinburgh and boasts some spectacular scenery as well as view of the downtown area. This was one of the first places my uncle took us after we landed. The hillside is full of ancient monuments and structures. I remember wandering around Calton and enjoying all the incredible views. Calton is a historic area as well. Just down the street from the hill are the headquarters of the Scottish Government!

2. Arthur's Seat

The second sight on this list is one of the highest points in Scotland. It is the main peak of the hills in Scotland, people come every day to climb to the top. We did this hike a couple days after we arrived in Scotland and it was one long hike but so worth it. Arthur's Seat overlooks Edinborough and the view is amazing. This landmark is also rumored to be named for the mythical King Arthur and his knights.

3. Greyfriars Kirkyard

The Greyfriar's cemetery is an iconic staple of downtown Edinburgh. It's located at the edge of old Edinburgh. This was probably one of the most memorable places on our trip. We first went when shopping and exploring the old town. The second time was a bit more colorful. We returned to the 16th century cemetery on a ghost tour my family insisted on going on. Let me just say, if you think the ghost tours we have in the states are scary, Europe is on a whole different level. Greyfriars harbors some pretty horrifying tales.

4. The Elephant House

The Elephant House is a must see for every coffee lover and Harry Potter fan. This coffee and tea shop is located in old Edinburgh. This is where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. People come from all over the world for a cup of coffee and to etch their favorite line from the series onto the bathroom walls - seriously, they're covered.

5. Edinburgh Castle

My last pick is Edinburgh Castle. It's located in the center of town. The castle is one of the most incredible things i've ever seen. It's almost fully intact - thanks to careful preservation. It's also the home of the crown jewels of Scotland, which you can actually view inside it's many halls. From the dungeons to the balconies, this is probably the most iconic sight in all of Edinburgh.

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything


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CountrysideBrooke Burney

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In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.

Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.

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After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.

Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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