So, to continue our journey through the United Kingdom we decided instead of taking a plane, which would have been quick and easy, we would take the train. I think it was the best decision we could have made. One: I love trains and ever since going to Europe I have loved traveling on trains and two: we could see so much more of the country this way and get some rest in before the trip truly began.
Another thing that was really cool was actually going to Kings Cross and using a train out of the station. I think it was like a dream come true to actually be standing in the train station and looking up to see when your train was coming. Going on to the platform and finding where we had to go was another highlight of the day as it felt like I was Harry Potter trying to find where he had to go.
I am a pretty big soccer/football fan but being in Canada we are a bit limited to what we see on our sports channels. So being near a football stadium is very exciting for me. I am a massive Manchester United fan, but really any stadium would get me jumping out of my seat, which it did when we passed by Emirates Stadium used by Arsenal FC. I remember seeing this big building coming up and once we got closer I realized what it was and jumped to grab my phone and snap pictures. Erika had no idea why I was so excited but I just kept snapping pictures hoping to get one or two that looked good.
Six hours later we finally made it to Edinburgh and grabbed a cab to our hotel. Our cabbie gave us a small tour of the main streets and told us places to go. He was incredibly informed about the city and as we were driving to the hotel I just fell in love. That night we met the rest of the tour who just came from driving through England and joined them all for dinner in typical Scottish manner. Everyone was so welcoming and so nice and we made friends instantly. We even had a bit of a dinner show when a gentlemen from a Scottish regiment (one I cannot remember) came and played the bagpipes for us.
He told us many stories, but one that I really remembered was how far the bagpipes have gone. He is a fourth generation bagpiper and the bagpipes were actually his great-grandfathers. They have been to many wars including World War One, World War Two, the Boer War and to Afghanistan. I just thought it was so amazing how these bagpipes have such a history. He told us stories of how bagpipers are so important to Scots in general but specifically in Scottish regiments as they were seen as a symbol of strength. It was quite an extraordinary way to begin our trip and really set the tone for the rest of the time we had with everyone.