We'll admit it. We've been terrible about updating this blog the past year. But we have some renewed incentive now that the end of our time in Europe is fast approaching. We have less than 3 months to go and are packing in as much travel as we can in the next few weeks before the apartment packing begins. Let's see if we can keep up with the blog posts in the process (and maybe share some long overdue ones in the process)!
|How is it this bright and sunny in Scotland? (Spoiler: It doesn't last the whole trip.)|
Our first stop on our travel blitz is Scotland. Matt has been excited about hiking around with the kids, so we figured this would be a great destination. Especially since it is about 20 degrees cooler than anywhere else in Europe in August. Armed with Matt's birthday present, a new kid-carrying hiking backpack, we headed to the land of Scotch, golf, and shortbread.
|A view of Old Town Edinburgh|
|Yup, that's our kid eating a haggis and pulled pork sandwich.|
Our first day was spent exploring Edinburgh Castle, which sits at the high point of the city on a strategically defensible rock. Some of the buildings on the hill date from the 12th century.
|Oliver is impressed.|
Once you reach the top, it is easy to understand why Scots have been living on this hill for centuries. It has wonderful views across the city and to the sea. And is the best place for setting up your cannons if you are looking to defend a castle. Natalie thought it was particularly good for running around.
|Watch your step on those cobblestones.|
|Natalie thought this guard post was for dancing. She had a private dance party in it for about 20 minutes.|
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the beginnings of the Royal Mile. The buildings in Edinburgh's Old Town were built many levels high, creating the some of the world's first skyscrapers. But it also meant lots of people living in a small area of the city, which meant it wasn't the cleanest historically. It has been cleaned up and awaits a flood of tourists, most of whom are darting in and out of souvenir shops.
Day 2 was spent wandering around the New Town and the Royal Mile. The edge of New Town has great views of the Old Town. In between these two areas, there is a valley that is a drained loch called the Princes Street Gardens. The landscaping is lovely, and Edinburg-ers seem to spend a lot of time relaxing on the grounds.
|Say goodbye to those blue skies.|
|We didn't stay here. It was a bit pricey on Airbnb.|
Our last day in Edinburgh was spent like our first two days--filled with more wandering. We headed to the south side of the city to do some shopping in the cute streets behind Edinburgh Castle.
There was even a cute Harry Potter-themed shop. We can't wait to share those books with Natalie and Oliver, but for now it just made for some cute pictures. Natalie's officially tall enough to be a Junior Witch/Wizard.
Having checked out the back of Edinburgh Castle, we headed to our flat again, ready for more adventures in the rest of Scotland.