Although Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, it has a desire for distinction. The country’s pride for Scottish-specific traditions and culture is evident throughout the region and I loved exploring such a defined culture. It is a land of plaid, cashmere, whisky, bagpipes, highland cows, cobble stone roads, castles and kilts. Maybe its because of the many vast fields of bright green grass or how we spent multiple hours in a charming pub called the “Green Mantle”, but when I think of Scotland I think of the color green. Green is a symbol of refreshment, which is the essence of Scotland’s cultural identity. I felt like the whole city was inviting me to take a slow and deep breath. Although I love the bustling city of London, seeing long stretches of green grass, experiencing a slower-paced lifestyle and reaching high enough points where I could see an entire city from above was comforting, restful and refreshing.
The highlight of the weekend was a sunrise hike to Arthurs’ Seat. We woke up before dawn and began walking the streets of Edinburgh before the rest of the city was awake. There was a thick blanket of fog covering the entire city and we could barely see a few feet in front of us. We were expecting to have a scenic walk through the meadows, but instead all we could see was the fog rising from the ground like steam from a cup of tea. It was beautiful in an enchanting, unexpected sort of way. As we continued our hike we could not see where we were hiking towards because Arthur’s Seat was still wrapped in fog. But we knew something was there so we pressed on anyway. Then, the sun began to slice through the fog sending rays to graze our backs warming us from the morning cold. The sun’s rays scattered the fog within minutes and the view that followed was astounding. Below us, the fog’s absence revealed a spectacular view of the city that we weren’t expecting or knew existed. We went from seeing nothing but fog to everything all at once. It was an entrancing experience that wooed my heart. Instantly, I was in love.