Scotland is a country in the United Kingdom to the north of England. Its symbol is a thistle; its patron is St. Andrew. The country is divided into Highlands and Lowlands. Most of the industry is concentrated in Lowlands, in the Clyde Valley. Glasgow is its largest and busiest town; Edinburgh is its capital. Glasgow and Edinburgh are two great centres of Scotland. There are only 45 miles between them, and it will take you an hour to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh by train but the cities are very different.
Glasgow is the heart of industry. It is a centre of business and trade. It is very busy, prosperous, dirty in some parts and smart in others. Edinburgh is rather cold but attractive. Edinburgh is known as Athens of the North. If you walk around the city you can touch on history at every step. Practically every building has a tale to tell.
The two most interesting parts of the city are the Old Town and the New Town. The Old Town lies between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. The Castle, in fact, is older than the city. No one can exactly say when the first settlers came to on the huge rock that stands high above Edinburgh. Later they built here a castle. It looks beautiful in any weather but at night when it is floodlit it looks just like a castle in a fairy-tale. It is not surprising that the Castle attracts a lot of tourists.
The Edinburgh military tattoo takes place every August and September. For 90 minutes on five or six nights a week, 600 people perform in the square in front of the Castle.
One of the most modest and yet one of the best known monuments in Edinburgh is a monument to dog called Bobby. The dog belonged to John Gray. When he died Bobby lived near his grave for twenty-six years. Later Bobby was buried near his master and his statue in the Old Town has become a symbol of devotion. The Old Town is a striking contrast to New Town with its white and beautiful streets. Princes Street is the most beautiful street of the New Town. It is Edinburgh’s popular shopping centre.
Princess Street lies between the New Town and the Old Town. The modern town is on the lower side, the old one – on the higher. They look at each other across the valley under Scotland’s blue sky.