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A Weekend in Edinburgh, Scotland and Newcastle, England

One of my best friends from high school, Mariana, met a Brit, Stevie, in college, and now they are married and living in Newcastle upon Tyne. When I told her I would be in London for the Olympics (still need to post), she insisted I stop in Newcastle to see them. I could not visit England and not see them, I was so close! Plus one of the soccer/football venues for the Olympics was in Newcastle at St. James’ Park so I got to “kill two birds with one stone”.
I took the three hour train ride from London King’s Cross to Newcastle upon Tyne and the scenery along the way was gorgeous. Nothing but miles and miles of beautiful English countryside and cute little towns. One of the things I love about Europe is the abundancy of public transportation and for a decent price at that. You don’t have to drive or put miles on your car and you get served biscuits and tea, count me in! I really wish the United States was better connected. Hell, I wish Texas was better connected. 
Mariana and Stevie actually live in the town of Morpeth, a super cute town of 14,000 people about half an hour north of Newcastle. I am not a small town person when it comes to the States but I could totally live in a small town in Europe. One day! 
Since Edinburgh is only 100 miles from Morpeth, I decided to take a day trip up to the capital of Scotland. Mariana and Stevie decided to stay home since Mariana was 8 months pregnant at the time and was ready to pop at any minute. She was a champ to make it through the soccer match alone! I absolutely love Edinburgh. It was gloomy and rainy while I was there, but I think that added to the charm of the city. After I got off the train, I started walking towards Edinburgh Castle. The castle is a must-see when in Edinburgh. I just wish it was a little clearer the day I went so I could have gotten a better view of the city from the castle. The castle actually sits on volcanic rock and is roughly 250 feet higher than the rest of the city, hence the great views.
After Edinburgh Castle, I started walking down the infamous Royal Mile towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Abbey. The Royal Mile is like their “Main Street” with tons of shops and restaurants, and when I was there, it so happened to be during their annual festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. One of my college roommates from Australia used to talk about The Fringe all the time, it’s the only reason why I know what it is since I am not a huge art person myself. It was fun to see all the street performers and all the actors/actresses outside advertising their plays… in the rain. I decided to grab some food at a random pub along the Royal Mile and I had some of the best cider there, Koppaberg. I still crave that stuff today but they only states that sell it are New York, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Only a couple more states over and we’re in business! They served haggis for lunch and it was actually not too bad. Maybe because it didn’t come inside a stomach, it’s all about presentation. It tasted like “sausage” in a way (it’s pretty scary when you start putting quotes around food items). To enjoy haggis, you probably shouldn’t look up everything that goes in it.  
One of my favorite parts of the day trip was going to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and especially Holyrood Abbey. Holyrood Palace is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth spends a week there every summer. I just missed her! While walking inside the palace, I got yelled at for taking pictures. I feel like a trip isn’t a success unless I get yelled at. Right adjacent to the palace is Holyrood Abbey. The abbey was founded in 1128 by King David I (364 years before Columbus discovered America), and it has been ruined since the 18th century. I absolutely love the abbey, to me, it’s gorgeous. All that history still standing, I can’t get enough of it.

There were other sites I wanted to see while in Edinburgh, but the rain really cramped my style. After a while, the annoying drizzle turned into a rain storm. Next time Edinburgh, you’re going to be sunny for me!               

After our great day trip in Edinburgh, we headed back to Newcastle to have dinner with Mariana and Stevie. Newcastle is the 7th largest city in the United Kingdom and sits along the River Tyne. While at lunch the day prior before the soccer match, we were sitting next to a group of guys who were having a conversation. I looked at Stevie and asked him “What language are they speaking” cause I could not understand what they were saying. He started laughing and said “English!” So yeah, they speak a little different in Newcastle and that dialect is called “Geordie”. Did you know there’s a “Geordie Shore”? Yup, it’s like our “Jersey Shore” on MTV here in the States.

I’m so glad we got a chance to visit our friends in their hometown. It was so sad to leave them and every time I talk to Mariana, we joke around about how one day, Jim, Aiden and I are going to move to Morpeth and live next door to each other. You never know!  

Could you live in a small town in Europe?  Which one would it be? 


  1. Hi there! Love your pics and have to get to Scotland one day. My husband was there once and really enjoyed it. Closest I've been is England and Ireland. European cities have such a beautiful charm to them. I can't get enough!

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