Another day, another Abbey. The last day of the program in the United Kingdom brought the group to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the British Monarch’s official residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. Construction on the current building started in the 17th century on top of the ruins of a former building. It was built for Charles II of England and after nearly 300 years still serves the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, to this day.


At the back end of the working facility lies the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. Originally built in 1128 by King David I, the Abbey fell into disrepair after several decades of protests and poor maintenance. Which is a crying shame, as the ruins represent what was a wonderfully beautiful building and the fact that something like it can just be left to rot over time is disappointing, to say the least. I assume there really is nothing more American than ranting against monarchs from 250 years ago.


After visiting the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the walk home brought us past the devolved Scottish Parliament Building. Out front of the 13 year old facility stood three flags bring prominently displayed; the Union Jack, Flag of Scotland, and for the time being, the Flag of the European Union. Normally it would not be worth mentioning flags outside of a government complex, but the political climate in Scotland and the U.K. as a whole is just a tumultuous as back home, and with the current situations unfolding throughout Great Britain it’s anyone’s guess which flags will be flying in the years to come.