As I said last week, I spent this past weekend exploring Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s pronounced “Ed-en-Brah,” so not how it looks at all. I went with my program group, CIS Abroad. Although we were there for a short time, we fit a lot of amazing experiences into three days.
On Friday we took the train from London to Edinburgh and arrived in the evening, with just enough time for exploring the High Street and getting dinner. Saturday we had a full day, packed with discovering different castles in the Highlands. The coolest castle that we saw was Doune Castle, which actually translates to “Castle Castle.” As the tour guide said, “It’s a castle so nice they named it twice.” The super neat part about this castle is that it has been used for many different films, such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Outlander and Game of Thrones. In Game of Thrones it was used as the town of Winterfell, which I thought was awesome, considering I love the TV series.
After the Doune Castle we went to Deanston Distillery, which was established in 1966. We went on a tour of the facilities and saw how they made single malt Scottish whiskey. It was neat to see all of the effort that goes into it. After they make the concentration of barley, malt and sugar, it has to age in the cask for at least 12 years. They showed us the storage room where they keep all of the casks, and there had to be thousands in that cellar. One of the barrels was from 40 years ago; the tour guide said that this barrel would sell for about 4,000 pounds a bottle, which would be about 5,300 American dollars! I thought that was insane, but I guess that over the years of the concentration being in the cask, they will loose a lot of it due to evaporation.
The last day we had some free time to explore the town and shop for souvenirs. We also saw the most beautiful view of Edinburgh. It seemed like we climbed a million stairs up this hill to see the view, but let me tell you it was totally worth every step. Scotland now has a special place in my heart and I will definitely be back to one of the most beautiful places on earth.
—Mary Warfel ’18