Thursday, July 5, 2012

Irn Bru and cute men in kilts

On a whim, I bought a plane ticket to Scotland to visit my best friend Katey. She is there on an internship with the Scottish parliament. I really wanted to go visit her but the plane ticket prices were just too expensive and I couldn't justify it being a full time student and part time worker. With that said, I still daydreamed of such an experience and would check flights occasionally just to make sure I still couldn't afford it. Then it happened, I found a ridiculously cheap flight. The only problem was that the flight left in 10 days. My boss is incredible and let me have work off, I had recently started school but talked with my professor and could make it work. After an hour of getting my ducks in a row, I purchased my plane ticket. I mean, it was like the universe needed me to go. I couldn't afford not to... right? And so I present to you, my travels to Scotland.

You'll have to excuse the excessive details. Or... you can thank me for them, either way. 

I'm no stranger to long days of multiple flights to another country (Thailand x3), but for some reason this one really wore me out. I wasn't really able to sleep on my long flight from St. Paul to Amsterdam due to a very large lady on my right who was all up in my business the whole flight. By the time I got to Scotland I was exhausted. Katey met me at the airport and we took the bus to her apartment. I crashed on the bed and Katey went to work. I woke up around 3 and headed out to exchange some money and pick up a couple things at the store. 

Just walking around the neighborhood.

I happen to go to Scotland the only week it wasn't cold and rainy.
It didn't rain once and it was mid 70's the entire time. You can see
how excited everyone was because the park was filled with 
thousands of people.

We went to the cutest little place for dinner and it was delicious.

Just walking around Edinburgh

Found a neat cemetary

One of my favorite things about Edinburgh is the Edinburgh castle perched on a 240 million year old volcano.
From almost anywhere in the city you can see it, and I felt like I was in a different time period every time I stopped to stare.

This is a view from the North Bridge which is 525 feet in length and connects High Street with Princes Street and the New Town with the Old. One of my favorite things about Edinburgh are the quaint little bookshops and local stores that they have lining the streets. It was so fun to travel the city by myself while Katey was at work and meet new people and enjoy the Scottish culture.

I just loved this delicious little lunch that I had for 5 pounds.

Katey and the BYU interns: Katelin and Steph.

These were taken where some of the first witch trials took place. It is an adorable little place called Grassmarket. I really loved the architecture of this place.
For your viewing pleasure:

Because the weather was so beautiful while I was there we decided
to go to the beach and explore the shore line and a castle there.
We took a train about 45 minutes Southeast of Edinburgh to a town
called North Berwick. These are our adventures there.

Throughout Scotland you'll see these vibrant yellow patches of Rapeseed.
It is what vegetable/canola oil is made of. We were obsessed with them.

This is the remains of a very old castle in the town.
We wanted to check it out.

We took a tour of the Edinburgh Castle and the view was incredible.
This is a picture of Calton Hill in the far right, the hotel in the middle
where J.K. Rowling finished the last Harry Potter, and 
Scott's Monument on Princes' Street.

On my last day in Scotland, Katey and I took a tour to St. Andrews.
We started the day off with some fish and chips and traveled around
what remains of St. Andrews' Cathedral. It was incredible traveling to 
a country with such a rich history and seeing buildings that dated
back to the twelfth century. 

On the way back from St. Andrews we traveled through beautiful green rolling hills filled with sheep. The sun was shining the entire week and everyone's spirits were up. I couldn't get enough of their accents and tried the whole week to master a good imitation. Unfortunately I can only mimic a male Scottish accent and not a female. I'll keep working on it I guess.