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If shopping is more your stile, Jenners[16], on Princes Street, is Edinburghs answer to Harrods. And the Scottish Gallery on George Street is a happy hunting ground for collectors of fine art. Edinburgh is full of good hotels but its dramatic sky-line is dominated by two enormous hostelries at either end of Princes Street. The Caledonian and the Balmoral (formerly the North British) were built by rival railway companies in the days when competing steam trains raced from London.

You can also have a look at the Gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott, which stands in East Princes Street Gardens and was begun in 1840. It is rather high, and narrow staircase (a total of 287 steps in several stages) offers spectacular views of the city. Not far from the monument in Princes Street Gardens one can find the oldest Floral Clock in the world, built in 1903, consisting of about 25,000 flowers and plants.

Like all the best capitals, Edinburgh boasts cosmopolitan influences. Asian shopkeepers sell Samosas and Scotch (mutton) pies in the same thick Scots brogue, and the city is littered with Italian restaurants.

The city has three universities: the University of Edinburgh (1583), Herriot-Watt[17] (established in 1885; received university status in 1966) and Napier[18] University.

Edinburgh is also an industrial centre. Its industries include printing, publishing, banking, insurance, chemical manufacture, electronics, distilling, brewing.



Oh Scotia! My dear, my native soil!

Robert Burns

Scotland is a country of great variety with its own unique character and strong tradition. Its cities offer a mixture of designer lifestyle and age old tradition, while the countryside ranges from Britains highest mountains and waterfalls to the most stunning gorges and glens.

Scotlands national tradition is rather intense and much alive even now and is rather rare in the modern world. Scotland is part of Britain. But it is not England. The Scottishness is a real thing, not an imaginary feeling, kind of picturesque survival of the past. It is based on Scots law which is different from the English. Scotland has its own national heroes fought in endless battles against the English ( William Wallace, Sir John the Grahame , Robert Bruce and others).

1.'A wee dram'

Scots have their own national drink, and you need only ask for Scotch, and thats quite enough, you get what you wanted. More than half of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries are in the Grampian Highlands, and thus a third of the world's malt whisky is distilled here. A combination of fertile agricultural land, a sheltered, wet climate and the unpolluted waters of the River Spey and its tributaries, combined with the obvious enthusiasm of the locals for the work (and the product!) mean it is an ideal place to produce malt whisky. Many distilleries are open to visitors, and often offer samples!

The Scots are fond of the following joke about scotch:

A young man arrives in a small village situated near Loch Ness. There he meets an old man and asks him:

- When does the Loch Ness Monster usually appear?

- Usually it appears after the third glass of Scotch, - answered the


2.Scottish national dress.

There is also a distinctive national dress, the kilt. Strictly speaking it should be warn only by men; it is made of wool and looks like a pleated skirt. The kilt is a relic of the time when the clan system existed in the Highlands. But its origin is very ancient. The Celtic tribes who fought Ceasar wore kilts. When the Celts moved north up through Cornwall, and Wales, and Ireland, and eventually to Scotland, they brought the kilt with them. A thousand years ago, there was nothing specially Scottish about it. Now it has become the Highlands national dress and is worn in many parts of Scotland. It is probably the best walking-dress yet invented by man: there is up to 5 metres of material in it; it is thickly pleated st the back and sides; it is warm, it is airly, leaves the legs free for climbing; it stands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it hangs well above the mud and the wet grass; briefly it is warm for a cold day, and cool for a warm one. And, what is more, if a Highlander is caught in the mountains by the night, he has but to unfasten his kilt and wrap it around him 5 metres of warm wool hell sleep comfortably enough the night through.

: 29/08/2008