Thursday, June 24, 2010

Scotland








Leaving Sweden was very hard for Shawn and I. We did not want to do it. But then we arrived in Scotland. I did not know all that much about Scotland before arriving and boy was I surprised. It was so green...and beautiful...and mountainous...and the people are so friendly! We got to stay with a friend of Shawn's and his family. We also got to take a driving tour around the whole country. We will hear about that later though, first, let's learn a little bit about Scotland. Scotland is part of the United Kingdom along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These countries are usually all lumped together as England (because the UK government is in London, the capital of England) but this couldn't be farther from the truth! Scotland began as many different clans (or family groups) and with heroes such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, they fought hard against the English to maintain their independence (for those of you who will be in kindergarten next year...we will learn about another country who fought against the English for their independence!) They speak English in Scotland but their accent is different (carry over from when a lot of Irish people came over to Scotland) and they use some different words than we do. Some people also still speak Gaelic in Scotland which is what the people in the clansmen days spoke. Road signs are often printed in English and Gaelic. Scottish men also still wear kilts on special occasions (watch the video to hear Euan tell us about them) so Shawn and I bought our own kilts to wear around! Lots of people mistook us for locals! We got them in Edinburgh which is the capital of Scotland. We got to tour the underground vaults in Edinburgh which is where vendors used to sell goods and where bodysnatchers (men who used to dig up graves, steal the bodies, and sell them to the medical schools) used to use to sneak the bodies to the schools. We also got to see the castle in Edinburgh where the crown jewels of Kings and Queens past are stored. Scotland has a royal family, the Stewart family, but they have no political powers. They are now ruled by ministers and a cabinet (as well as the UK government).
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1 comment:

  1. So much fun! I am so glad that you and Shawn bought kilts! You both totally look like locals. Sounds like you had an amazing time there!
    I'm so glad the Scottish man really thinks that Nessie is there! :-) And it is so good to know that they really do wear kilts!
    I'd never heard about William Wallace before - that's so exciting!

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