During my fall break in the middle of October, I went through the United Kingdom with some friends. One of our stops was Edinburgh, Scotland where there was plenty to explore. Near the Royal Mile in the city’s center rests Arthur’s Seat. The hike up to the top only takes an hour at the absolute most. Here one can experience gorgeous views over the capital of Scotland.
I feel as though I went to Edinburgh at the perfect time of the year to witness the beautiful changes of the leaves. Although Scotland is geographically on the same plane as Anchorage, Alaska and Moscow, Russia, it holds the perfect climate for deciduous conifers to show off their colors during this time of year.
One of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh is the Edinburgh Castle. Built in the 12th century, the fortress was utilized as a military stronghold because of its optimal location on the top of Castle Rock. Edinburgh Castle also holds the oldest crown jewels in the United Kingdom once belonging to Queen Mary I and King Charles II.
On the last evening in Edinburgh, I walked to the top of Calton Hill for sunset. The hill is practically in the center of the city and is very easy to access. Both the National Monument of Scotland and the Nelson Monument can be seen at the top.
On the last leg of our trip, we ventured down to Ireland to see what it had to offer. We decided to take a tour bus from Dublin to the western shores of the island to see the infamous Cliffs of Moher. The trip took about three hours each way, however it was well worth it. The cliffs rise to heights of 700 feet above the water providing visitors with unforgettable sights. However, safety is the most important thing to remember when coming here as there are virtually no guard rails at the edge of the cliffs.
The Guinness Storehouse is an absolute must-see while visiting Dublin. The experience entails a self-guided tour of the history of Guinness as well as the brewing process of the beer. At the end of the tour, we arrived at a 360 degree panoramic room on the top story of the factory where we sat to enjoy our free glass of Guinness and gaze upon the marvelous views over Dublin.
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<p>I am a rising junior at Wake Forest University from Los Angeles, California. My interests are sports, hiking/backpacking, and photography. This next semester in France will be the first time for me going abroad.</p>