I figured that it was only appropriate to publish a post about Scotland today. After the referendum results tonight, I might be adding a new country to my Countries Visited page. As a political science student/junkie, it is taking so much self-restraint not to voice my opinion on whether Scotland should be its own country or not. However, this is a travel blog, not a political blog, so I’ll keep my comments to myself :) Regardless, the polls are so close right now so it will be exciting to see what will happen!
To tide you over before the results emerge, enjoy these pictures of an absolutely stunning city!
Arthur’s Seat is an amazing natural wonder! We spent the afternoon climbing to the top of this extinct volcano and taking in the surrounding views of Edinburgh. Somehow I got it in my mind that it was called “Arthur’s Chair” so I spent the entire afternoon referring to it like that :)
Edinburgh is the perfect city for a weekend escape from London! I visited Edinburgh the summer of 2011. That summer, I was interning in the House of Lords in the British Parliament. My group took a weekend trip up to Edinburgh to sightsee and visit the Scottish Parliament. We arrived a few weeks after the 2011 Scottish Parliament general election. To give a quick summary of Scotland and its political situation: in 1999, the British government established a devolved Scottish Parliament and Sottish government, meaning that residents of Scotland had much more control over issues pertaining to Scotland (and not as much influence from the British Parliament). When establishing a Scottish Parliament, the British Parliament set it up to make it almost impossible for the Scottish National Party to ever gain power. The Scottish National is heavily in favor of Scotland as a separate country. In the 2011 general election, the Scottish National Party, much to the surprise of everyone, somehow gained a majority and took control of the Scottish Parliament.
When I visited in 2011, I was taken on a tour of the Scottish Parliament building by a MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament). He wasn’t part of the Scottish National Party and remarked that it would be interesting to see whether Scotland would vote on its independence in the next couple of years. Fast forward to today and the Scottish National Party has followed through with its promise: to hold a referendum on independence. As a political science nerd, I’m anxiously awaiting the outcome!
J.K. Rowling frequently wrote in this cafe. It is said that this is the “birthplace” of Harry Potter (although J.K. Rowling conceived of the initial idea of Harry Potter on a train ride). Another famous author to write in this cafe is Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency).