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Edinburgh.jpgI know I say this every time I go someplace new, but Edinburgh is definitely my favorite place that I have been to thus far. It is breath-taking-beautiful, and if time allowed it, I would go back in a heartbeat. However, my time here is almost half gone, and I still have so many things to do and see.

Saturday, the day we arrived, was the day my friend Ashley and I saw Edinburgh Castle. The weather was cold and rainy, but we still had a lot of fun because in my previous year at BSC, I had taken the Western Civilization II history class in which I learned about Queen Elizabeth I. Because of a reading assignment I had for that class, I learned that her rival and cousin, Mary of Scots, gave birth to her son in Edinburgh Castle. That son, James VI of Scotland, would someday become the heir to England and thus, James I of England. It was neat to make that connection from where I was visiting to previous things I had learned.

After that and some lunch, I joined some other friends to go see Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Camera Obscura is an optical illusion museum full of interactive exhibits, which is fun for people of all ages. It was a little bit juvenile, but it brought out the child in each of us as we giggled at fun-house-like mirrors, and stumbled our way through "The Vortex Tunnel."
Two out of the three days we were in Scotland, we went to The Elephant House, which was one of the big highlights for me, as it would be for any Harry Potter fan. For those who do not know, The Elephant House is the cafe where JR Rowling wrote Harry Potter. The coffee and food were superb, and in the bathroom, all over the walls, is graffiti by Harry Potter fans. People who visited from all over the world wrote thanks to Rowling for giving them an element of magic to their childhood, and I found that beautiful.

One thing I liked almost as much as The Elephant House was climbing up Arthur's Seat. The hike was exhilarating, and the view was spectacular. However, it turns out that there is not an actual chair at the top. It may have been naive of us to assume there would be, but we were all disappointed to find no mighty throne upon the hill's peak.

There was a lot more fun that happened on the trip, including a trip to a museum, a street market, and a local pub crawl, but I had to pick and choose among the highlights. This trip would not have been so awesome if it were not for the amazing people with whom I traveled. I hope to go to Scotland again before I leave, but I am not sure about the likelihood of that as I already have the next several weekends booked.

This weekend, which is probably what I will write about next, is London with the same amazing friends.

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Friends and I on Arthur's Seat. From left to right: Ashley Fierstadt, Alicia Duntin, Nate Shafto, Marie Gim, OscarOntheHill.jpg Travino, Austin Coliskey, Nina Theobald, Austin Curzon, and then myself.