Silence captivated the room creating a serene aesthetic. Delicate oil paintings framed in gold hung on the walls for visitors to admire. It is peaceful and elegant when all of a sudden you hear it--a loud hiccup disrupting the environment. Where was it coming from and how could you stop it?

As I walked around the Scottish Art Gallery in Edinburgh this morning I became one of the exhibits, but not in a good way. First of all know this, I never get the hiccups so it came as a shock when I started hiccupping in the art gallery (of all places). I had separated from my group and was walking through the gallery by myself when I started hiccupping. I thought my hiccups would go away because most of the time they do, but I wasn't so lucky. I tried holding my breath in the stairwell, but I became paranoid that if I passed out no one would find me so I moved to the next room and hoped no one noticed me.

Coming out of the stairwell, I was greeted by an old woman who commented on my hiccups saying she thought the lift or elevator was broken. In my head I was like, "Nope, it's just me."

Next, I met up with Kayla and she thought my situation was hilarious. I kept covering my mouth hoping to muffle the sound, but it didn't really help. Suddenly, I was surrounded by three older people, two women and a man. They literally cornered me so I'm sure my face was tomato red from embarrassment. These people tried to give me tips on how to get rid of the hiccups. One lady told me to hold my breath and I explained how I had already tried and failed. The man told me to go sit down, relax and take a deep breath because I was obviously stressed. Yes I was stressed! I knew I was annoying everyone, but I wanted to see the art so I kept pressing on. The other lady gave me some peppermints and these were my cure! Kayla of course was laughing the entire time and eventually once I escaped the room, I was laughing too.

After Kayla and I met up with the other girls, we left the art gallery and walked down Princes Street to the Scott Monument, another Edinburgh attraction.

Guess what? Here we climbed more spiral stairs, 287 steps to be exact! The monument to Sir Walter Scott looks like a layered gothic steeple with a dark mysterious kind of beauty.

Climbing the monument was sort of like a maze. Once the first set of stairs ended, I walked around looking at the view and the tiny museum in the center of the monument. Then I had to zigzag my way through people to find the next staircase. As I got closer to the top, the staircase got narrower. At the top, we all squeezed out of the stairs and onto the platform. The viewing area was a tiny little circle 200 feet and 6 inches above the ground packed with the six of us and a group of guys. It was a struggle to walk around and take pictures, but the view was spectacular so I pushed my way through. Awestruck by the view, I was the last one to climb back down. I just stood there by myself for a few minutes soaking in the city life below me where history and modernization collided.

My trip down the stairs was both awkward and hilarious. A swarm of people were climbing up as I was going down and the problem was everyone used the same narrow staircase. Needless to say, it took me a long time to make it down because I had to basically plaster myself to the wall so the others could squeeze by.

Once I was reunited with my group, we found lunch at the Princes Mall then began our 30-minute search for the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The weather in Scotland was a lot like London. One second it was sunny, the next it was raining. On our way to the botanical gardens, we hid out in a bookstore to avoid the rain. Hundreds of antique and first edition books ranging from children's stories to classics sat on the shelves. For a while, we all just went back in time as we flipped through the pages of random books. By the time we were finished, the sun was back out and we continued our journey to the gardens.

Splitting up into pairs, we all scattered around the gardens. I explored with Lauren. Purple, pink, blue, white and yellow flowers sprouted out amongst the green grass making me feel like I was in a Claude Monet painting. Lauren and I captured the beauty by taking tons of photos. At one point we found a huge tree where the limbs touched the ground creating a fort-like enclosure. Of course, we hopped inside and took pictures. People probably thought we were crazy because we got right in the middle of the flowers to take a picture.

During our walk, it started to rain again. Thankfully, we both had umbrellas so we continued walking. In the distance we could hear an announcer so we followed our ears trying to find the source. We were unsuccessful. We only saw about an eighth of the garden before we met back up with the other girls.

Our next point of interest was shopping at Rose Street. With the help of a local, we found the right bus to take and rode it to Rose Street. I wasn't very impressed with the shops here, but I did get some cute clothes before we sat down for lunch. Two of the girls decided to continue shopping in another area while Kayla, Lauren, Jennifer and I found an American pub. I know it is shameful to eat American food when in Scotland, but we did and it was delicious!

After dinner, we climbed a mountain in Holyrood Park. This was a nice escape from the city buzz and spiral staircases!

Climbing the mountain was incredible with the sunlight streaming through the white clouds creating a silhouette of the city. Around me lush green stalks of grass swayed in the wind taking me to a different time when nature was supreme. It took me awhile to make it to the top because I stopped to take a picture like every ten seconds.

I stood at the top of the mountain scanning the horizon trying to soak into memory the beauty I was witnessing. Edinburgh was surrounded by distant hills and the North Sea. We all stayed on top of the mountain for awhile taking pictures and just relaxing because the climb was pretty tough. The rain cut our trip short so we hiked back down in the rain. I had to really focus on not falling in the muddy, rocky path.

Once down from the mountain, Jennifer hailed a taxi because there was no way we were about to walk back to the bed and breakfast in the rain. This was my first taxi ride of the trip and I was happy to be out of the rain and off my feet.

We were all exhausted from the day so we basically passed out when we got to the room!
 


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.

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