Scotland

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Capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a visually striking city with a dark history that blends well along the rows of shaded stone buildings.DSC_0320DSC_0444In the sun the bricks shine with a gold hue while on an overcast or rainy day, the bricks reflect grey somber streets.DSC_0325Luckily for me I was able to visit Edinburgh on a perfect spring day, parade included.DSC_0376In Edinburgh you will easily find the typical Scottish symbols: bagpipers, kilts,DSC_0362and Scotch whiskey.DSC_0356The Scotch whiskey experience right by the Edinburgh Castle provides tourists with the opportunity to sample different Scotch Whiskeys and ultimately take your own whiskey tasting glass home.DSC_0387After an afternoon of whiskey tasting, it’s easy to take a nap along the Princes Street garden with a great view of Edinburgh castle.DSC_0395DSC_0450DSC_0427Edinburgh provides just about everything from a fascinating and bloody history to a stylish restaurant and shopping scene.DSC_0431It’s an easily navigable city with plenty of hills and hidden streets.DSC_0335DSC_0440DSC_0417Edinburgh is often called the “Athens” of the north due to its similar topography and comparable relationship (Rome/London and Athens/Edinburgh).DSC_0452After touring the history, the nightlife kicks into full force.DSC_0453Along the royal mile and the many streets that jet out from it, people can inebriate themselves in tunnel clubs or pubs minutes away from where JK Rolling wrote Harry Potter.DSC_0368Edinburgh also has a very cosmopolitan and eclectic restaurant scene that accurately reflects its urban inhabitants.DSC_0446Whether it is a street side loaded baked potato, pub food, or fine dinning-Edinburgh has it all.DSC_0456I enjoyed a typical UK classic: bangers and mash. Add in a dark Scottish ale, and I was in pub heaven.DSC_0436Edinburgh was one of the most attractive and fascinating cities and I wish I could have stayed longer. At least I know that there is one place in the world where I hope to return.

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DSC_0545Located in the highland Scottish city of Inverness,DSC_0546Comes an urban legend,DSC_0540That sprang out of a large lake leading into the town.DSC_0537The tale of the Loch Ness monsterDSC_0470Situated along Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s largest castles: Urquhart Castle.DSC_0488Although I didn’t find Nessie, it was nice relaxing in this mysteriously tranquil lake in the highlands.DSC_0511Exploring the Urquhart castle and Scottish history was also interesting.DSC_0520DSC_0505DSC_0523I was also able to try out some “Haggis N Totties”. The infamous Scottish sheep offal served with mashed potatoes.DSC_0536The taste of haggis was  surprisingly great, but the overall mushy texture reminded me of baby food.

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 5.42.35 PMAberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland and is located right on the eastern harbor in the highlands.

DSC_0550Granite, grey, or silver, the city of Abderdeen is covered in it.DSC_0555The city has a bustling oil industry as well as a large student population. DSC_0554Statistically Aberdeen is the coldest city in the UKDSC_0551Luckily all the cold can easily be drowned by a nice pint in a pub. Brew Dog was one of the coolest punk pubs I’ve ever seen and it even makes its own IPA’s. PrioryOr you can club in an abandoned church.DSC_0560The silver city of Aberdeen is one unique location with an interesting grey facade, that apparently sparkles in the sun.DSC_0561The steak and ale pie from Blackfriars was awesome as well.