Kilts, castles, lochs, bagpipes, whisky, fog, rain … all clichès about Scotland? Well, we wanted to find out, therefore we, the 3 HKB, together with our teachers Ms Schmahel-Plasenzotti and Ms Kelner, left Vienna on the 25th of September.

After a quite shaky flight we arrived at the Edinburgh Airport where we were picked up by our tour guide Ryan. We were taken to the language school CES and after some sandwiches our first city tour started. Ryan showed us the main highlights including some Harry Potter hot spots: Victoria Street as Diagon Alley, grave of Tom Riddle, Elephant House – the cafè where J.K. Rowling wrote parts of the story. Then taxis took us to our host families, all very nice and caring.

The next morning, after getting to know the public transport system in Edinburgh (some of us having a hard time), we started with our language course. We had two teachers, Sean and James, both very funny. We even learned some Scottish dialect and of course a lot of new English phrases.

In the afternoons we had different tours, first of course, the famous Edinburgh Castle in the heart of the city. The castle offers an amazing view of the city and a good possibility to take wonderful pictures.

Friday we visited the official Queen’s residence, The Palace of Holyroodhouse. It has served as the principial residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth spends one week at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. After having enjoyed the Royal sourroundings we went for a hike on Arthur’s Seat, a hill in the city with stunning views!

Another highlight was the visit of the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former yacht of  Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. It was used by the family for over 40 years sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world.

On Sunday we had a bus trip to Stirling Castle, the castle of Scotland’s Renaissance kings and queens, many of them being crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542, and others were born or died there. After the tour of the castle we continued our trip to Loch Lomond.

All in all we had a great week, we saw a lot, we feel more confident speaking English, the host families were very nice. Edinburgh is really a place to visit!

Andjela Skokic, 3HKB

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