Last November, it was again time for on of SIB’s most beautiful traditions: the Short Trip. This year our destination was the capitol of Scotland: Edinburgh. On Wednesday eve, we gathered at Schiphol Airport for our 5 days lasting trip. Because we expected some rain in Scotland, many SIB members had packed an umbrella with them. It surprises us that the customs at Schiphol weren’t that excited about our umbrellas. Many of our rain protectors were turned inside out. We didn’t complain, because in times of terroristic threats, you need to think of everything, even of murderous Mary Poppins. After a good flight, we landed in Edinburgh. It was already dark when we landed in Scotland, and the many lights in the city of Edinburgh gave an ambiance like we were in a fairytale. Thereby, there was a fair in the city center, which also contributed to the warm mood.
In daylight too, the city of Edinburgh was beautiful, we discovered the next day. It felt like we were two centuries back in time (only with cars in the streets). Thursday was the first day the Travel Committee had planned something for us. Our first destination was the Botanic Gardens. At this restful place, there was also a big greenhouse, where one could admire plants from all over the world. As it murmured outside, we sat warm at 25 degrees, warming our eyes at the cost of plants normally found in the jungle of Papua New Guinea. After the Gardens, we received a nice city tour of Travel Committee members Thomas and Eva.
Meanwhile, it stopped raining, and as a miracle, it would stop for the rest of our trip! After the city tour, a few of us went to the National Museum of Scotland. There were rumors that there would be a skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the museum. For me, that is already enough to book a ticket to Scotland (what the rest of the museum looks like, I do not know. The venue with the dinosaur skeleton is a must though).
That night we had a ghost tour in the dungeons of the city. There was one remarkable fact, namely, the Botanical Gardens, which we visited earlier that day, were so beautifully bloomed, because centuries ago, all the toilet needs of the inhabitants of the city returned to that place. Nice fact for a family birthday. We ended that day in a real Scottish pub with live music and beer without foam.
On Friday, we had our activity related to international relations: a visit to the Scottish Parliament. In the Parliament, we had a tour by a proud Scottish lady, who told us about the decision-making process in the country. After our visit to the Parliament, there was some spare time to see the city of Edinburgh. In the afternoon, we would see each other again at the Castle. Here too, we had a beautiful tour with all a lot of information about the centuries old building. After we had a good dinner with each other, we went brainstorming about what we would do with our Friday night. After some negotiations, your SIB heroes decided to see the new J.K. Rowling movie, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
The next day, a walk in the Scottish Highlands was on the program. After we took the train trough the beautiful Scottish landscape, we arrived at the small town of Pitlochry. Here we split into two groups and started a very beautiful walk through the Scottish nature. Satisfied by the walk, we left for Edinburgh to eat together at a Mexican restaurant.
Sunday was our last day. We had a flight in the evening, and after checking out at the hostel, we had another free afternoon. Some went shopping, others walked around the Christmas market and others went to the local mosque and synagogue. After a good flight back to Holland, we immediately noticed one thing, back on Dutch soil: it was raining. I did not expect it, but after five days Scotland we were not used to it. Edinburgh treated us well.