Foodie Bucket List: Try Some Haggis in Scotland

I promised everyone in this blog on the day that I left for Scotland that I would eat some haggis. True to my word, I did. During our castle tour day, we stopped at a pub in North Berwick and I saw haggis on the menu. I was feeling adventurous, and so I ordered a plate for Joey and I to split. (That way, if I didn’t like it, I could make him eat it.) Luckily, or maybe unluckily, I didn't have to push the plate his way: we both devoured it like vultures on a dying man in a desert.

Historical Inaccuracies in Braveheart (The Sad Scottish Truth)

This post is somewhat of an aside, deviating from my regular format of diary-like entries about my travels. It is a bit of a rant, a rant about Hollywood and its penchant for historically inaccurate films. This post is about the time my visit to Scotland opened my eyes to the mirage that is "Braveheart".

City I Love Contest Entry - "Finding Florence"

I am not a leading expert on metropolitan lifestyle. I haven’t been to some of the most major cities in the world, cities like Tokyo, Los Angeles, or Munich, and can’t tell others definitively that “this” is the “best” city in the world. I am just a humble teacher and travel blogger, trying to experience life to the fullest.

But Florence is the best city in the world.

Top 5 Things to See & Do in Stirling, Scotland

Stirling was an unscheduled stop in our Scotland trip. We were planning on driving through it on the way home from Loch Ness, but ended up staying overnight and most of the day in Stirling while driving to Loch Ness. No matter the agenda, we were glad we made some time for this historical and beautiful town.

It is literally dripping with Scottish heritage, so much that you really could spend a few days there rather than just a morning. We packed in as much as possible before having to drive through Caingorn National Park up to our BandB in Loch Ness. Here are some of our Stirling highlights!

Castle Touring the Lothians Outside Edinburgh, Scotland

One thing Scotland is renowned for is its castles. Ruins upon ruins of once grand structures dot the countryside, and every now and then you'll be lucky to see a castle that has remained mostly intact due to the Historic Scotland Society. You don't have to drive far to stumble upon a castle in Scotland's green hills and valleys.

Visit Rosslyn Chapel from the Da Vinci Code Movie

I am a huge Da Vinci Code fan. I read the book when it first came out, before all the hype, and I remember telling Joey that it was going to be a hit because of its mind-blowing ending. But then I watched the movie and became an even bigger fan, particularly of the scene where Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou visit Rosslyn Chapel. What a spectacular place, I thought! Wouldn't that be nice to visit?

Exploring Edinburgh's Real Mary King's Close

Halfway down the Royal Mile in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a narrow close called Mary King's Close. For those of you unsure of what a close is, they are narrow alleys between buildings that run parallel to the main roads of Edinburgh - remnants of medieval streets from a time when the lanes were large enough for only a couple of horses to squeeze past one another.

There are many closes all over Edinburgh, some with some very creative names, but the most famous is Mary King's Close because of how preserved it is, and how it offers visitors a glimpse back into time.

Edinburgh's Amazing Scott Monument

The city of Edinburgh in Scotland is rife with stunning feats of architecture: castles, cathedrals, bridges, and even a quasi-Greek forum a top Calton Hill. But one of the most jaw-dropping structures in the city is the magnificent Scott Monument. Standing at just over 200 feet tall on Princes Street, this Gothic spire sticks out due to its height, detail, and unique style. It is unlike anything else in Edinburgh.

Visit the Historic Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

The city of Edinburgh is a cultural hub for Scottish history, and there is so much to see and do. On my second day in Scotland, and my first full day in Edinburgh, my husband and I spent the morning on foot exploring some of the fascinating architecture and historical sites in Old Town. After lunch, we had saved several hours to explore the sprawling Edinburgh Castle, visible from nearly anywhere in Old Town.