Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today started off early, probably a little earlier than we all would have liked. We packed our bags for four days and we headed off to the station around 5:30am. Because it was Easter weekend a lot of trains lines were having engineering work done to their lines and Epsom just happened to be in one of those engineering areas. We had to catch a bus to a nearby station, Ewell, and then from there we could catch the train into London and then from London to York. York was on the way North to Scotland and it is pretty well known so we made a stop. York was such a cute town. York Minster, the largest gothic cathederal in nothern England, was amazing. Also walking through the town we saw the Shambles, which is an old street that is known for having buildings that date back to the 14th century. A lot of the buildings, if not all of the buildings, that make up the Shambles are leaning, uneven and have a very distinct half timbered look. It was very neat to walk down the narrow, cobblestone streets. We even got to see the shortest road with the longest name....Once we left York, we headed North to Durham. As soon as we stepped off the train, Durham's 11th century castle and cathedral could be seen on top off the hill. We walked across the river and started our journey to the top of the hill. Durham was definitely a place that we were glad we stopped at! Durham cathedral and all the buildings that make up the university are beautiful. Besides the huge hill we had to climb, the stop in Durham couldn't have been better. After two stops and a few hours on the train enjoying the countryside, we finally made it to Scotland. Our first stop in Scotland was Edinburgh, the second largest city in Scotland. We caught the tail end of a small rain storm so we had to wear our ponchos for a bit as we walked along the Royal Mile to the castle. The Royal Mile is a road that goes through the city --it has the castle on one end and the Holyrood Abbey on the other end. Edinburgh was filled with tons of gothic styled buildings...the pictures don't even begin to compare to what we saw. Exploring the castle definitely made the top of our list...so beautiful! The intricate details that made up every outside corner, inside ceiling and everything in between was mind blowing. Every time we looked into the city from the top of the castle, we saw something new and beautiful in the distance. Edinburgh had so many side streets filled with cute little stores and pubs that we could have spent days exploring the city. We grabbed a bite to eat at a cute, local pub and then we jumped on a train and headed to Glasgow. We got a hotel room in Glasgow because we thought it would be easier to get to our Sunday destinations. Our hotel was right beside the center square, which was very pretty all lit up at night. We even tried to walk around and find the best deal but about two blocks later we turned around, tucked our tail between our legs and gave in to the price we were offered. We literally fell asleep the moment our heads hit the pillow! We had such a busy, but great day exploring England and Scotland.