I flew to Edinburgh to visit one of my greatest friends, Diljá. I met Diljá and her best friend, Melkorka (from Iceland), at a hostel in Florence two years prior while backpacking Europe with my best friend, Lauren. The four of us hit it off, instantly. We ended up backpacking as much of Europe as we could together, developing an unforgettable bond. Our trip ended while the Iceland girls continued on to Australia, then America where they moved into our college house for a month.
Although a year has gone by, we are all still best of friends and email quite regularly. Since that time, Lauren and I have graduated, Melkorka enrolled in nursing school and Dilja began classes at the University of Edinburgh where she studies Artificial Inteliigence and Psychology.
Everyday I spent in Scotland was dreadfully chilly and in my five days there, my socializing to sightseeing ratio was about 4:1, however, my single day of sightseeing was very productive. I have realized, as far as the social aspect goes while I travel, I cannot really help it—I gravitate towards people much easier and faster than I do to the aesthetic appeal and history that surrounds them.
However, my day voyage around the city of Edinburgh was the most skillful method of absorbing historical culture with the least amount of time to do so and the perfect way to overcome the weather. It began with a hike up an old volcano at Hollyrood Park, more commonly known amongst the locals as Arthur’s seat. The hike, which takes approximately 30 minutes to peak, offers a 360˚ scope of Edinburgh. It appears to sit right in the middle of the city and upon descent, you can somewhat map out any route back to the city to visit whatever you may have seen from the top. I decided to journey to the Castle, which was quite a hike, but sits on another opening to the volcano.
En route, I embarked upon many spontaneous, scenic detours and chatted with different people along the way. It helps that Edinburgh is a college town because it feels as if people are more used to randomly meeting people. There were two boys in the park tightening a thick line between two trees. I sat watching as they began to walk on top the line with ease and balance—obviously a sport they practice often. Noticing my curiosity, they asked if I would like to give it a “whack” (more like a “wa wa waaaa”) so with nothing to lose, I attempted to hop on…and I guess I never really stopped attempting as I continued to make a complete and utter mockery of my stability skills. They offered me much encouragement and support, but it was a hopeless cause. Maybe with more practice I can be a tightrope walker, but until then, I’ll save my shame for something more practical.