Well, I'm back from my trip up to Eidinburgh, and had an extremely fun, if quick time up there. I left around noon on Tuesday via train for about a five and a half hour ride up. It was extremely nice, great scenery and the light was at the right angle to make everything look really good. Saw the ocean for the first time while over here, which was nice.
Upon arriving in the city, I set about trying to find the youth hostel that I planned to stay at. I ended up walking around for a half an hour, bought a map, walked up and down the road three times before finding the place, but after that, checked in a dormitory and got dinner. Discovered that I left my black hat on the train. The hostel, the Eidinburgh Backpacker's Hostel was nice. Very laid back feel to it, with several long term residents from all over. I talked to people from Australia, Canada, Greece, Japan and South Africa. My roommate was Japanese and didn't speek very much English, but we did manage some conversation. Watching the Olympics with the Canadians was fun. They had their flag out for their team and were very excited.

On Wedsnday, I got up around ten or so, and brought my pack with me to do some wandering. I had a couple of places in mind, but no itinerary, which was nice. I walked up to the Castle, took some pictures and went to the National and Royal Museums, took in some Scottish history and got a book on James Hutton, whom I'm doing a project on. (Considered the father of modern geology).

From there, I went around on some random streets, got lunch, and circled the city. I ended up going to Holyrood Park, which has the remains of a volcano, which has since been overridden by glaciers. For the first time in weeks, I finally was able to take a good look at some outcrops and to do some hiking. The volcanos erupted about 300 million years ago, and there's basalt, overlain by coarse sandstone and another layer of basalt. There were some nice features in there as well. There's a couple main sections, the Craigs and Arthur's Seat, as well as a third section which I didn't get around to hiking over to. I hiked around and up the Sainsbury Craigs, up to the edge, where there was a lot of intense wind, which nearly blew me over. I then went down and back up and came across the ruins of a chapel, then turned and went up Arthur's Seat, which was the highest peak in the area. Very strong winds up there as well. The entire hike took me around three hours, and I went back to the city, got something to eat after the hike and returned to the hostel. I then went out again and walked around another section of the city, bought something for dinner, brought it back to the hostel, read my book and watched the Olympics. Then went to sleep.

Unfortunently, we were right above a club of some sort, so around 1 a bunch of people came out singing really loudly. Same thing happened the night before.
Got up at around ten, checked out and got on the train and arrived back home five hours later. All in all, great trip. I also lucked out, my iPod batteries died right as I went through the door of my flat complex. Good timing or what?

I took about 70 pictures, and they can be seen in here and here. Now, for food and to pass out somewhere.