(want to join me from the beginning?)
My second half of the day was dominated by a mountain. Or a glorified hill. Or a shapely cliff. A steep incline? I could probably go on for a while with this, but the point is, we climbed this bad boy:
The climb was a bit steeper than I had originally anticipated. We sort of stumbled on the idea of climbing this mountain (I’ll say mountain to make myself feel more rugged) when we saw it the previous day and we were like, “Mountain? Prepare to be tackled.”
It was more like it tackled us considering the amount of “pit stops” we took while getting there. I’ll explain it like this: I’m from Michigan where the biggest hill I ever have to climb is going up the acceleration ramp on the expressway. And what am I doing? Sitting in my car, rocking out to some embarrassing sort of music, of course, pressing the gas pedal for my exercise of the day. The point being: MI is flat. Scotland: not. All the same, it allowed us to take pictures of this stunning view. Pretend for five seconds that you climbed that mountain (it’s bigger than it looks in pictures, I swear) and—-
The above is a partially panoramic view as I saw Edinburgh. It’s a really, really stupendous place. When on top of the mountain, we couldn’t tell where all the streets were—the buildings, the roads, the trees, the people all blended together to make a gorgeous view. Edinburgh has stunned me with its immediate face-value beauty. The city itself is pretty spectacular, but there are also other really awesome places like:
This is actually what was behind me.
(To see it as I saw it: click here. I’m sorry my camera skills are lameskies. I clearly don’t know how to rotate in a semi-circle without jerking every two and a half seconds. All the same: EDINBURGH! Pronounced Ed-in-burrrrr-ah. Roll those R’s!)
Don’t get me wrong: I like cities. I like…you know, modern conveniences like shelter, plumbing, and the occasional day where I sit and watch TV all day long. But nature impresses me beyond all measure. I can’t count the times on my trek to work that Ive stopped, glanced up and saw the Wicklow Mountains in the backdrop of the city. Nature here is always on my doorstep, and it is divine.
You know what else is divine? The British Royal family. Ordained by God himself, or so Queen Lizzie tells me, these people have been looking fancy for hundreds of years, wearing lots of jewels and going to important events as the face of the Empire.
The Royal Family and I are like two peas in a pod. I’m American, they’re British, and the Queen and I get together on Sunday’s after she’s finished walking her corgis to laugh about the day I ran into her FOUR TIMES. Today, we created a new bond. I was invited to a Royal Wedding.
It’s not AS prestigious as the one for dear Will & Kate, but I’m just flattered that the Queen thought of me. Thanks again, dearie. It was a lovely ceremony.
But srsly: wedding time. On July 30th, Queen Lizzie’s niece, Zara Phillips, married her longtime rugby boyfriend. Princess Zara, of Scottish flair, wed in the Holyrood Palace, which was conveniently right below/next to the mountain we had just climbed. Forgetting my invite back at the hostel that day, I had to be happy with watching the guests exit the ceremony from above.
Had I been a true paparazzo with a worthy camera, I probably could’ve taken better pics of the wedding party. Later, when reviewing official photos of the royal wedding, we could see in our pictures outfits that were uncannily similar to Princess Zara (who was easy to pick out when we saw the biggest, poofy dress), the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and even Queen Lizzie herself.
I may not ever ACTUALLY meet the Windsors (but don’t put it past me. I see you there, Harry.), but I do have a knack for finding them whilst in Europe.
up next: the one in edinburgh (part 4)