3 Reasons Why I Loved My Trip to Scotland
In 2012, my parents signed me up on a trip organized by an English teaching organization to Scotland, for two weeks, which included both an intensive course to develop my proficiency in English, and turistic excursions throughout the country.
I was fourteen at the time, and this was to be my first vacation away from my family and entirely with other people around my age, so needless to say, I was nervous, but also excited.
Remembering the journey seven years later, I can definitely say that it was one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had. And a great part of that was due to the country I visited. Scotland is most assuredly a very beautiful country, it has a lot see, to explore, to marvel at, to get lost in, to feel at home with and to remember.
To give you a brief overview of exactly what I saw while I was there: we stayed at a university campus in Edinburgh for the whole two weeks, we had classes in the morning (except weekends), and excursions in the afternoons. We had a lot of day trips to the city of Edinburgh, we had one day trip to Glasgow and a weekend in the Highlands, staying at Inverness for the night. So, as you can imagine, most of my experience will be derived from my time in Edinburgh, since it's where I was for the majority of days.
So, now with introductions done, here are the three biggest reasons why I loved going to Scotland so much, which as you can imagine, are reasons specific to that country in particular:
1. It's Packed With History
I think I'm not the only person that goes to a museum and genuinely wants to learn a lot about what's on display and the history behind, but after reading a few plaques in front of the exhibits becomes numbed out by uninteresting details and events. I have to say, that's not the case in Scotland.
Learning about Scottish history is like reading a really epic and realistic fantasy novel. There's a reason George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is somewhat based on British history, and Scotland is packing all the juiciest bits of it. Endless battles between clans, betrayals between families, gruesome executions, this country has it all and its so captivating to explore.
Obviously I didn't visit every museum or historical landmark, but I have to give a shout out at least to Edinburgh Castle and encourage everyone to visit it and linger inside it. Not only because it's actually a very beautiful fortification, but also because it's one of the most interesting museums I've ever visited and it's definitely worth reading about its history. In short, the whole country has an amazing backstory.
2. It Has Beautiful Landscapes
When Oprah Winfrey interviewed JK Rowling in Scotland in 2010, she began the interview by talking about the country they were in, even remarking that: "[Scotland's] green is greener than any green I've ever seen, other than Ireland". Even though I've never been to Ireland, I'm inclined to agree. Scotland truly benefits from gorgeous natural environments, particularly in the Highlands, of course.
Its green hills, endless lochs that stretch endlessly, flowery fields are all a marvel to behold. It almost defies description, making my words here pointless when you can just Google photos of the country and get the impression I'm trying to convey (or hopefully, through being there yourself).
My point is that a visit to Scotland should definitely include an excursion beyond the cities, because there are things to see that will stay with you about this country's beauty and that are absolutely worth visiting.
3. The Whole Country Feels Like a Welcoming Village
Now, this last one may sound a little weird, but I think it might be Scotland's secret and the one that best answers my title question. Visiting Scotland truly felt like going to see a very welcoming town.
Not only are the people incredibly nice, polite and helpful if you ask questions, but also the environments around you are very homely. The cities in particular are a perfect blend of urban and country, or at least the city centers. There aren't a lot of really tall buildings, there are plenty of parks to see and relax in. Edinburgh and Glasgow don't feel like sprawling, messy, crowded metropolises, which makes walking through the streets that much more enjoyable and interesting. Everything just looks simpler there, making for a very relaxing turistic experience.
I Want to Go Again!
Now, you probably noticed that I didn't get into specifics about things to see or do, pretty much at all. That's because not only has it been seven years since I went, and I was quite younger, it was also an educational trip, where the excursions were relatively restricted. So naturally, I did not have a thorough turistic experience and was not able to experience certain aspects of Scotland worth experiencing (like going to a pub, for example). But that's perfectly okay! Knowing that there's more to see and visit in this country only bolsters my desire to go there again.
So that was my experience of going to Scotland. I hope I at least peaked your interest about going to that country, or, if you already went, I hope it served as a way to relive good memories there. Feel free to share your thoughts on Scotland below and as always, thank you for reading.