Today was already our final day in Scotland. I feel like it was over before it really began, but we made sure we went our with a boom. After checking out of our fantastic hotel room we headed to hike King Arthur's Seat. Some of the girls who had come a few weeks earlier told us we HAD to do this. With an opinion like that we couldn't really say no could we? We had to trek through the city to get there, and then there was the matter of figuring our the right path to follow. After taking about 3 wrong turns we finally found the one we wanted. I'll be the first to admit that this was not an easy climb. It took us about 45 minutes and had a pretty hefty incline. However, we were determined and refused to stop. I knew that I wanted to get to the top no matter what. Ok, I know I sound a little dramatic, but it wasn't like a walk in the park, this was hard core hiking people.
When we finally made it to the top, the journey to get there was well worth it. It was amazing and we couldn't have picked a more perfect day to go. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and you could see the view for miles. I felt like I was on top of the world. From every angle there was something different to see. It was really exhilarating! We had a lot of fun taking pictures and just enjoying the moment. I think King Arthur's Seat will go down as my favorite thing we did in Edinburgh. I've decided I just love views, and mountains, and nature more than anything else I do here. Every time it is always my favorite event of my trips.
After we made it to the bottom we spent time walking up the Royal Mile and shopping around. Catherine has gotten all of us addicted to vanilla steamers from Starbucks so we picked those up on our way. It was a lot of fun. We weren't rushed and we could really enjoy the day. When we made it to St. Giles Cathedral there was a bagpiper playing in front of it so you know I pulled out a little Highland Pep Club Fling. I looked very Scottish. All I needed was a kilt. We decided to walk through the cathedral too. It was really beautiful. I loved the stain glass windows. For lunch we wanted to get fish and chips. We've finally figured out that the best fish and chips are the ones that they wrap in a newspaper and give to you on-the-go. We found a place fitting to this description and weren't disappointed. They tasted so good. I was very happy. When we finished we went into the cutest/coolest hat store ever. They were all handmade and came in literally every style imaginable. We had fun trying them on and taking some pictures. When we left the shop we ran into the famous Bobby Dog on our way to the National Gallery of Scotland. To be completely honest I was so tired by this point that I didn't take a whole lot from it. I did see Dolly the sheep, aka the first ever cloned animal, but that was pretty much it. To revive our spirits we decided to get some 60p Diet Cokes, and ya know what? That did the trick. I was like a whole new me. Ok, not entirely, but I did feel better. We went to Scotland's other art gallery and I really loved it. They had artwork by Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Very cool. It got me so excited for Paris.
After the museum Cath and I headed to the hotel to pick up our bags and the other girls went to Pizza Express to get us a table. We had a great meal. Cath and I shared a caesar salad and margherita pizza. it doesn't get much better than that. Actually I'm lying...our post-dinner snack was better than that. We had some time to kill so we went to a place called Chocolate Soup. One word=Wow. This place is basically a hot chocolate bar, but when I say hot chocolate we're talking authentic, rich, creamy chocolate. Annie and I shared the "hot chocolate sundae" and boy did we enjoy it. All of just found it to be the most charming place. Laura was particularly enthusiastic. I love her. Bring one of those over to the US and you'd get some great business. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the bus from Hell. We stopped at McDonald's to transform ourselves into bus-worthy passengers, ready for a long ride and headed to the coach station. I'll admit, the ride home wasn't nearly as bad as the way there, but I still wouldn't recommend it to anyone. When we finally made it to the center at 7:30am on Sunday morning we were greeted by Courtney and guess what?! She's engaged! We were all so excited for her!!
It was a whirlwind adventure, but we had a fabulous weekend in Edinburgh!