If you have been reading my Erskine blog loyally for the past several months, you may remember seeing this sentence at the end of one of my not so recent blogs:
(NEXT WEEK ON HOLLY’s BLOG: Even more details on the Edinburgh Castle! Which famous Scottish king’s birthplace did the girls get to see?? And…. Up close and extended photo commentary!)
Now, you may have thought to yourself, surely a week has passed! Surely she has had the opportunity to write about her trip to Edinburgh by now! But, I am sorry to say that I have not written! The worst part of this whole thing is that I posted that statement on September 30, 2013! So I am sorry to say that I have been rather behind! 😦
Going to the Edinburgh castle and seeing the town was an amazing experience! When I signed up to come to Erskine four years ago, I never imagined that part of my Erskine experience would be going to the capital of Scotland to see the birthplace of James VI of Scotland! But, I did go, and I learned so much more history than I think I could ever learn in one day of sitting in a history classroom. I think that is one of the reasons why Erskine loves to see students study abroad: it gives us an opportunity to learn things we might never have really understood or appreciated, otherwise.
The Edinburgh Castle was probably first constructed by David I in the 12th century, and has been an important point in Scottish History ever since. During the Scottish wars for Independence, the Edinburgh Castle was one of the major points of contention. He who held the castle held Edinburgh, and thus Scotland. The castle has been sieged many times, both successfully and unsuccessfully.
Walking around the castle is not what I thought walking around a castle would be like. I typically tend to think of being in a castle as a primarily indoor affair, particularly in the land of Scotland! But the castle was actually a cluster of medium sized buildings which had served various purposes over the years. As we walked around with our tour guide, she would point to each one of the buildings and explain when it was probably built and what it had been used for in the past.
One of my favorite things to see was St. Margaret’s chapel! This chapel is actually thought to be the only part of the original castle remaining. It is believed to have been built by David I when he built the castle, in honor of his pious mother: Saint Margaret of Scotland. It was the oldest standing structure in Edinburgh and absolutely beautiful! What is amazing to me is that, in my small group here in Greenwood, there is a sweet couple who were actually married in St. Margaret’s chapel! Of all of the people I met in Scotland, it was actually an Erskine graduate living in Greenwood was married in one of the coolest places ever!