An Ode to Scotland's Edinburgh

An Ode to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh,yes, four syllables within

Where is the mysterious “UH” hidden?

A history twisted as the trunk of an oak

Reveals witches thrown into the lochs for a soak.

Tools of torture used by the mad

All hidden now below the park’s grassy pad.

Tales of grave robbers and merchants with greed

Resound from the hills among thistles and weed.

The old loch’s stench, which caused loud moans

Is now replaced with aromas of tea and scones.

And shortbread and haggis and tatties and neeps

All take their turns being held to the lips.

The fried Mars Bar deserves a verse alone

Since this dessert resonates a sweeter tone.

Chewy and gooey and crisply fried

It’s best served with ice cream on the side.

Castles and fortresses and walls built so fine

Appear dark upon the cloudy skyline,

But fresh surroundings brighten below

As if a sun catcher distributed the glow.

Oh the fog of gloom and rain so mean

Are constant companions to the green.

And the umbrella, simply popped and protective:

A trusty accessory for one with an objective.

If the town were a play there would be an aside

That Deacon Brodie inspired Jekyl and Hyde.

John Muir’s desire for nature’s delicate flair

Started here, then saved Yosemite’s rare.

Edinburgh has donated tales to the books

And taken lives of more than just crooks.

It’s currently bustling and modern; quite the find!

But beware of the ghosts who won’t be so kind.

Above: The school of Witchery, in Harry Potter, was inspired by this building in the distance, which is a private school in Edinburgh.

Scottish Highlands

After Edinburgh, we bussed to Aviemore, in the highlands of Scotland. When asking a local about the typical weather, he said they had enjoyed four days of full sunshine so far in 2008! No wonder everyone walks around in water-proof pants and jackets! But he also commented that he does not want to visit the States because it is too hot and his skin can not handle the sun. The weather is just accepted by the people who dwell in the Scottish Highlands, and it isn’t uncommon to find Dry Rooms, which are heated and used to dry out wet clothing.

Through the puddles and precipitation, we managed to make it to the top of Cairngorm National Park’s peak just in time for the clouds to crack open and the sun to make an appearance.

Above: Aviemore, Scotland’s Cairngorm National Park, the largest mountain chain in the UK.

Above: A reindeer in Cairngorm National Park

Above: Sometimes clouds are so thick at the top that hikers have difficulty finding the path down the mountain.

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