Our first weekend away from London! We left at 11 pm Friday night to get on our overnight bus to Scotland... It seemed like a good idea at the time. Tickets were extremely cheap, we wouldn't have to pay for a hostel that night... worst idea ever. Don't do it. None of us got like any sleep, Laura felt sick, and by the time we got there at 8 in the morning, we were all very cranky. But eventually we all perked up when it hit us that we were in SCOTLAND!!
We had to first find our hostel, which was a bit of a trip. But eventually, we found it (Thank GOD I still have my iPhone, it would have been impossible without the maps). We checked in and left our stuff at the hostel for the day. The hostel was run by people all our age and it had a hip cafe/bar area with games and a chill out room with a TV. After getting something to eat at a pub close by, we headed to Edinburgh Castle, which we could see up on the hill outside our hostel! It was BEAUTIFUL day outside and the castle is up on a hill, so we could see Edinburgh all around us and all the mountains! The city is truly gorgeous. And the castle is AMAZING. Like most other castles, its like its own village inside the walls. Edinburgh Castle has tons of interesting history (including Mary Queen of Scots!) and also has the Scottish Crown Jewels. There's also a World War memorial and a Prisoner of War exhibit inside the castle. The day we went there was a whiskey tasting in the shop. One of them was really good, with a honeycomb flavor to it. The other one was NASTY and I thought I was going to die. My throat burned for like 10 minutes. And all I had was a little sip. NO THANK YOU.
Once we left the castle, we walked along the Royal Mile (once you leave the castle, it leads straight into it). Its a really famous street, with tons of touristy shops along it and tons of things to do! A few shops will tell you your "clan name" and they have giant books with long lists of names. They can look up your name and tell where your family is from and tell you all of your family's history. Rollins is in all the books, pretty exciting :-) Theres always a guy dressed up as William Wallace in Braveheart, so you can take your picture with him. At this point, we were all starving and made our way to The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling began writing the Harry Potter series. From the back room, you have an amazing view of the castle and they have the most amazing food! Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel and decided a nap was a necessity. We could barely function. We had a 6 bed mixed dorm and there were 5 of us. So, we did have a random Spanish guy as our other roommate. But he was very friendly and made an effort to talk to us and invited us to go out that night with his Spanish friends. We politely declined, since we couldn't understand a word any of them were saying. Then we went to find some dinner and explored the nightlife/pubs around the area. Our hostel was located in an amazing area, with tons of things to do around it.
The second day, we got up and walked the rest of the Royal Mile down to Holyrood Palace. Along the way, I got a 100% Cashmere scarf! And a few postcards and souvenirs. Holyrood Palace is where the Queen stays for one week every year and several past queens and kings have stayed there. One of its most famous inhabitants, Mary Queen of Scots, lived there and one of her husbands was murdered there. It was really beautiful inside and in the back, there was a really old, ruined Abbey. Once we were finished at the Palace, we walked back along the Royal Mile and made our way to the Elephant House again (yes, it was THAT good!). Then, we hung out at the hostel for a bit and played some games until it was time to go to our bus. We had to do another overnight bus on the way back. It was even worse the second time. I got barely any sleep and I knew I'd have 3 classes the next day.
I can tell, it did not end well. I fell asleep in 2 of the 3 classes. In the first one, I literally kept falling asleep in the middle of writing sentences. Looking back at my notes, they make zero sense whatsoever. I was like a drunk person or something. BUT, the whole thing was totally worth it. I love Scotland!! Their accents are great and I've discovered they're actually much friendlier than British people. They love to joke around with you and they don't care about being proper and polite. Hopefully, we can make it back to visit other parts of Scotland at some point! Theres too many pictures to put up on here, so I made a whole new album on Facebook titled Land of Kilts and Bagpipes, check it out :-)