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Scotland

Scotland is one of four parts of Great Britain. In size, Scotland is more than half as big as England. The principal cities of the country are its capital Edinburgh and the main industrial center Glasgow. Scottish towns look very different from English towns.

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of Britain's most attractive cities. It's a city for people who like to walk. One is never far from green parks, gardens and hills, even in the main shopping areas. It's a busy modern city, but history is everywhere.

At the top of the highest hill in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle. It was the home of Scotland's royal family, until 1603 when King James the 6th of Scotland became king of England and moved to London. The road which begins at the castle and heads east is called Royal Mile.

At the other end of the Royal Mile is the Palace of Hollyroodhouse. It was built by a Scottish king before Scotland and England were united to form Great Britain. Now it is a second home for the Queen or her children, who usually visit Edinburgh in the summer. When the royal family is not there, the palace is open to tourists. There are many interesting things to see in the Palace.

There are nine hills in Edinburgh. They are long-dead volcanoes. From the tops of these hills, you can see two bridges,a modern bridge for cars, and an old rail bridge, which has carried trains to the Highlands for more than a hundred years.

The Highlands of Scotland are mountainous and wild. In the winter, the Highlands are white with snow, and in summer, covered in purple.

The Highlands are famous for the Scottish Olympics or locally known as the Highland Games. These games are not only sporting competitions but include music and different traditional games, too. While athletes throw the hammer at one end of the arena, you can watch a dancing competition at the other end. There is also a game for the strongest athletes, tossing the caber, which weights 60 kilos and is six metres long. These games are very popular in the Highlands.

Rivers and lakes are located between the mountains. Scottish people like fishing very much, that's why they say that Scottish rivers are good for two reasons, fishing is one, the other is Scotch whiskey. Whiskey is made from water and barley. The method of making it hasn't changed for hundreds years.

Scotch whiskey is widely-known as being the very best in the world. Scotland is also famous for its kilt, the most important part of Scottish national dress, and also bagpipes, Scotland's national musical instrument.

I think Scotland is very beautiful country, and if you visit it you will never forget it.

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