Note: It appeared that this post was hanging in the drafts for almost a year. Only a year after, going through all the articles, that I kept aside for publishing, I finally decided to get this one in.
Living in Cyprus for almost half of my life, whenever I was choosing the destination for vacations, my wife and I were picking the places that had to follow:
- Lack of sun (those who lives on the sunny island will get what I mean)
- Sightseeings that weren’t demolished by Punic Wars or anything that happened before Christ death.
- Cultural shift
Mediterranean Europe: why not?
April is a lovely time to travel around Southern Europe. It’s still not too crowded by tourists, the sun won’t melt you on the spot. Italy, Spain, Greece - lovely countries to visit.
But one of the things that these places have in common - is slow relaxed culture, that pretty much the same we have in Cyprus. That’s what you might want to escape for a week or two, when you need to rewire your brain on vacation.
Going North - Scotland
I’ll be honest with you, one of the crucial reasons, of choosing Scotland over other Central/Northern European countries for the holiday’s trip - was the fact that my brother already settled down there for studies. As It matched all the points from the requirements list, we picked the travel dates and bought the tickets.
And in about a week, we landed in Edinburgh with the plan of staying there for a week, with a short visit to Aberdeen to pick my brother for Easter vacations, and head back to Cyprus.
Edinburgh, here we go!
Going anywhere abroad, you can be sure, that you will meet someone who’s connected to Cyprus by any means. The very thing happened to us, without even leaving Edinburgh airport. An officer on the passport control, seeing our documents, was mind blown.
- Flying from Cyprus to Scotland, in April?! I surved in Nicosia for 3 years in the UN troops. It’s lovely sunny place!
- That’s one of the reasons we choose Edinburgh, as we haven’t seen rains for almost a year!
- Well, you’re in the right place! Welcome to Scotland!
30 minutes drive from the airport, and we arrived to lovely A-Haven Town House hotel built in Victorian period in Newhaven area. The hotel is located in 10 minutes walk from old centre of the town.
A-Haven TownHouse Hotel
Unlike Cyprus, most of sightseeing in Scotland dates in AD epoch. We were lucky of staying for a week in this lovely town and visit most of the major tourist places without repeating even once.
You can easily lose yourself in the town centre among various monuments, and other cultural heritage buildings. Throughout the week we managed to check:
- National Museum of Scotland * Edinburgh Zoo * Scottish National Gallery * Edinburgh Castle * Edinburgh Botanic Gardens
The weather was favourable for us, it was raining only twice during the night. So we managed to catch up with most of the places we could reach during the day.
Heading North to Aberdeen
By the end of the journey we went to granite city of Scotland - Aberdeen. A lovely small town, centre of oil & gas industry of Scotland. And one of the biggest student cities of the North.
After 2 hours on the train from Waverley Station we got to Aberdeen.
University of Aberdeen was found in 1495, which currently hosts around 14000 students from around the globe.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to explore the city. We managed to visit the university campus and the down town. Due to its industrial/student vibe, the city was less crowded with wandering tourists. Nevertheless, Aderdeen left positive impressions of great hospitality, solid beautiful architecture.
Back to Cyprus
Recalling the trip to Scotland, I would say that it was a memorable experience. It was filled with hospitality, great places, excellent food. Edinburgh definitely has its charm, that makes you want to go back and explore the city even more.
Hopefully, next time we manage to get to the West coast of Scotland, Glasgow and castles of Skye islands.