I've been to Edinburgh about five times during the course of this program. Considering I'll be returning there during my week off, I'll have been to Edinburgh an average of once a week. Every time I go, even if I visit the same places, I still have a different experience each time.
Edinburgh is a beautiful city with lots to see and learn about. We had previously visited the National Archives, before visiting Edinburgh castle. I loved the National Archives and being surrounded by so much knowledge and history. I just loved the idea of filling a place with the knowledge and documents of so many years past.
But when we went to Edinburgh Castle, it was full of something besides knowledge. It was full of experiences. The castle had been through a couple of scuffles and had been taken via a siege once. There was a chapel that had been around for almost a thousand years that was built to honor a dedicated wife and mother.
The castle housed the Scottish crown jewels and Mary Queen of Scots bedroom. It housed a memorial to fallen Scottish soldiers. It housed collections of weapons and paintings. These are all experiences of different people through the ages of Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a different city to each and every one of the people that visit, live in, or experience it.
Every time I go to Edinburgh, I have a different experience and it changes as a city for me. As Dr. Salt said, in order to know a city you have to experience in as many different ways as possible. Until now, I've always gone with other people, but during my week off I will be experiencing it by myself for the first time.
I will miss goofing around with everyone, but I anticipate that I will learn a lot more about the city when seeing it through my eyes alone and not have to worry about the "other" affecting my impression of the city. My perception won't be colored by outside comments or feelings. This will be my first time traveling alone, so I fully expect to learn a lot about both myself and the city.